Today I have been comparing different Shire homepages. Of the five that I looked at, the Shire of Plantagenet and the Shire of Toodyay were the two that were, in my opinion, the best. I am going to answer a few questions that will show which areas of the sites were stronger than others.
How “attractive” do the home pages look?
To start with, the Plantagenet website looks good, it looks professional. The colours that are used look good together . Everything is set up neatly and orderly. Overall I would say this is a very neat website that is set up very well.
The Toodyay website is not as good in appearance as the Plantagenet site. This site does not look quite as professional, and the colours do not go with each other as well as the Plantagenet site. The three pictures on the main page do not look like they have been placed there in any order, with one over-lapping the other. Although this site is OK, I would say it is not as good as the Plantagenet site.
Can you find the name of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)? If so what is his/her name and was it easy to find?
The CEO for the Shire of Plantagenet is Rob Stewart. This was fairly easy to find. From the home page, it takes only two clicks of the mouse to find out who the CEO is.
The CEO for the Shire of Plantagenet is Graham Foster. This was also relatively easy to find, although perhaps not as easy as the Plantagenet site. Again, from the home page it takes only two clicks of the mouse, but the Plantagenet site has worded it so that it is easier to find.
Can you find information about a library, its opening hours and services?
Information about the Library was a little bit more difficult to find than the name of the CEO, with three clicks to get to it. The Opening hours are a little bit confusing and are not as simple as they could be. It is open from 11am – 5pm on Tuesday and Fridays, 2pm – 5pm on Wednesday, 11am – 6:30pm on Thursday, and 9am – 11am on Saturdays. It is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Information about the Toodyay library was very easy to find, being only one click away. The opening hours are a lot better and simpler than the Plantagenet library, being open from 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday and 9am – 11am on Saturday.
Find out where on the site the information about fire break regulations is placed.
After much searching, I did eventually find this, http://www.plantagenet.wa.gov.au/pdf/2011-12_Firebreak_Noticev2.pdf. This took quite awhile to find and I had to use the search bar. I would say that it could definitely be in an easier place to find.
Like the Plantagenet site, it took a while, and a search bar, to find this http://www.toodyay.wa.gov.au/council_services/fire_emergency_services.html
This could also be in a different place to make it a lot easier to find.
Does the site advertise local/community events if so then record the information for the next one that is due to take place.
Sadly, I could not find anything that says when the next event will be. This obviously says that it does not advertise events. I think it would be a very good idea to include this.
This was much easier to find than in the Plantagenet site, mainly because it actually existed. The next event that is supposed to take place is the Festival Of International Foods.
How easy is it to navigate (find your way around) the website?
This was fairly easy to navigate, it had a site map so that you could see where everything was, and a search bar in-case you cant find what you want. As for the menus, they were also pretty easy, and could be followed through without too much difficulty.
This site was also quite easy to navigate, with a few exceptions. Even though it was not quite as easy as the Plantagenet site, I found my way around without any hassles.
This not-so-epic, Battle-of-the-Shire-websites battle ends with the Plantagenet site reigning supreme, but only just. Both websites were good in the sense that they both provide a lot of information about the Shire that they are representing. I think both are good but in the end the Plantagenet site looks that little bit better, and is slightly easier to use.