Whisky Advocate

There’s a new Malt Advocate website. Have a look!

February 6th, 2009

It’s been months in the making, but Malt Advocate magazine’s completely revised and greatly enhanced website just went live. Have a look here.

Some of many enhancements include:

Improved navigation to provide a better user experience
A searchable Buyer’s Guide database
A greatly enhanced shopping area and shopping cart
A new “Whisky 101 section”
A live whisky news feed 
A listing of my five most recent blog postings with a link to this blog
A link to our new WhiskyFest blog, featuring timely WhiskyFest updates
A weekly whisky poll on timely topics

Go check it out and tell me what you think. And since it is brand new, we tried to iron out all the bugs, but if you find one, please let us know and we’ll fix it. Thanks!

11 Responses to “There’s a new Malt Advocate website. Have a look!”

  1. B.J. Reed says:

    Very nice John – I just have to learn to navigate around the new site – Congratulations! Lots of nooks and crannies to explore!

  2. John Hansell says:

    Thanks BJ. Have fun, and let me know if you see anything that doesn’t jive.

  3. Ruben says:

    Congratulations on the new site.

    But… I find the homepage difficult to scan, it’s not very structured and there’s very little alignment between the different blocks. I find my eyes being attracted to another part of the page every few seconds and in the end I haven’t really read anything. I would say it looks very American to me. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that Europe and America have different design traditions. Most of the inside pages look good though.

  4. Adam H. says:

    I think the new site looks good. I didn’t come across any bugs.

    THANK YOU for the searchable buyer’s guide. It seems to work very well and was direly needed. Yay!!

    One suggestion — Whisky News File — I like this a lot. But, this also makes me wonder about the news that I’ve already missed! Maybe if you click the header of that section, you can go to a page that lists the whole backlog of articles?

    And I may be overstepping my bounds here — but, well, I’ll do it anyway and ask for your forgiveness. I’d suggest that you feature two sections more prominently: Whisky Reviews and Whisky 101. This is info that lots of people are looking for — and it’s sort of indistinctly tucked away on the homepage. Beginners look for the 101 stuff, and folks like myself look for the ratings — I had a hard time locating the ratings link at first. I recognize that the revenue-generating stuff needs to be most prominent, but those two topics will probably drive a lot of traffic to your site. I’m no SEO master, but that’s my educated guess… on that note, it looks like your homepage is missing a meta-title and meta-description. I think those will be important since you’ve reduced the amount of static, descriptive (i.e. keyword) text on your homepage.

  5. John Hansell says:

    Adam, good comments. Thank you. I feel the same way about the Whisky News File. I wish it was longer or you could click on the header to see an expanded list. We’ll see what we can do about that.

    Ruben, yes we designed the home page to look like that so your eyes look at all the things we have going on.

    I’d like to hear more of your thoughts. This way, we can design it the way you would like to see it.

  6. John Hansell says:

    And our poll just mysteriously disappeared! Ya gotta love new website glitches. Email is already out to our web designer, who is going on vacation Monday… 🙁

  7. Jon W. says:

    John – I like the new site. A bit busy, but no obvious flaws (rating perhaps in the mid to high 80’s?). In the end it will be the content that keeps people coming back, so as long as you don’t pump all of your resources into web maintenance I think you’ll have continued success (content-wise you’re in the mid to high 90’s).

    On a slightly related topic (and I apologize if this has been brought up or discussed before. probably has): have you considered a forum to discuss/respond to Malt Advocate articles? I’m not suggesting a completely open forum since there’s enough of those already. However, a lot of us have obviously enjoyed interacting with you through your blog, and maybe there is an opportunity to open that up to some more of the Malt Advocate writers/contributors.

  8. John Hansell says:

    Jon, yes it’s a little busy, but we have a lot going on to share with everone. The maintenance of the site is designed to be done completely in-house, which will be good. No formal plans for a forum like you described, but we will consider it for the future.

  9. B.J. Reed says:

    One suggestion – Have hyperlinks anywhere you want people to go quickly – For example – under Whiskyfest you list Chicago, New York and San Francisco – you should have hyperlinks on each so when you click on “chicago” it takes you right to the site to order tickets for that event, see pictures, speakers and so forth…

  10. John Hansell says:

    Good suggestion BJ. I’ll see what we can do about it.

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