Form and function
While it’s about time someone came up with a handy tool for this and a website comparing hosting deals, you can’t help but wonder what’s in it for them…..and the bland design with advertising thrown in only highlights this. My first impression of the site design was pretty ordinary. It has a reasonable layout that looks like a business template, lots of matching colour co-ordination in blue, black and white, an OK logo and normal text. I guess if you’re marketing to web developers and IT people then this would be quite acceptable. If you’re trying to market to web designers, you would lose them from lack of interest. It seems as though companies who want to attract business this days compete against each other on who can look the most boring – and if their product is lacking in any way, they’ll puzzle over what happened.
fig 1. This looks like advertising to me!
In Who Is Hosting This, the main selling point is their interesting tool to find out who is hosting which website. This is on the main page for convenience and it could stand out a bit more as it took me a minute to find it. A minor point is that the font styles are different to each other even in the same module, such as the “Review Your Host & Win!” – surely CSS wouldn’t be doing that? But overall, the design and layout is acceptable and the content is dressed up advertising which is often used these days and is read by more people than we think, although not with interest.
I’m not quite sure why a company which came up with a nice, simple tool for IT’ers would want to build reviews, blogs, forums, coupons etc around the product, which is free. Obviously the tool is just a grabber, to get you to go to the site and the rest is to make sure you buy something from one of the advertised (reviewed) hosting sites. I’d hardly say the site was unbiased, based on the hosting company banners displayed on it. And the filing cabinet graphic on the main page which says “100% free” is like saying “we do not charge for the useless crap on this site”.
If the Who Is Hosting tool is so well-liked (and lots of people seem to like it in the forum), then why not push the envelope and create new and better tools that are also useful to people? Try and find a product that everyone will actually want to use. Eventually, if they are useful enough, people will pay good money to own them. WhoIsHosting could remain the freebie tool to get traffic and get people to check out the other company products.
The one part of the site which stood as being a bit original, besides the Who Is Hosting This tool, was the blog, which had interesting and relevant content on it.
fig 2. The blog has some cool and original content.
Loading time is fast and all navigational links appear to work. These guys are also seo experts. I got a feeling that every single page in the site is carefully optimised.
fig 3. Might need to reword some items too.
The home page is simple and effective – thumbs up (many people actually forget about this). Although the website loads fast and functions OK, it is quite bland and needs a bit more work if it wants to stand out and be memorable. It offers lots of advertising fluff built around a main free product and more products are needed if it wants to go places.
I was especially interested in the registered company in charge of whoishostingthis.com. Why did they call themselves “Quality Nonsense Ltd”?