GT-Rider Website – Latest Enhancements

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Champasak, May 22, 2012.

  1. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    There’s a new look and layout on the outer part of the www.GT-Rider website, which has been done for several reasons;

    [list type=decimal]
    [*]To make the extent / range of content available on GT-Rider a lot more obvious
    [*]To improve navigation across the site, especially into the Forums
    [*]To enhance its appeal to a wider audience – i.e. anyone looking for good information on touring S.E. Asia – by motorcycle, bicycle or car etc.
    [*]To implement a modern design theme that uses latest technology options and has inherently better security (and upgrade path)
    [/list type=decimal]
    [h=3]The GT-Rider Evolution[/h] The initial focus on GT-Rider was “Motorcycle Touring in Northern Thailand” but the website has come a long way since those humble beginnings in those early days! The volume of information on GT-Rider encompasses Thailand, all of Laos plus several other S.E. Asian countries, and that was not immediately obvious at first glance on the previous Home page. *
    The new version of GT-Rider.com allows us to;

    • provide menu links that go deep into the forums as well as the outer WordPress content management system
    • associate information from different website sections into an organised menu structure
    • install nice enhancements of existing content, such as Gallery image display etc.
    For example, under the LAOS drop down menu, we have been able to incorporate the following structure;

    In this way, content that could not previously be associated is now assembled in a much more logical menu structure.*
    [h=3]The Past Year’s Milestones[/h] Previous efforts to increase our readership base have delivered steady progress. For example, Visitors per Month have grown from 77,000 visitors in March 2011, to 106,000 in March 2012. Thats pleasing, but we’ve long believed that there is a lot more potential there, because we have a veritable treasure house of S.E. Asian touring information.
    [h=2]New GT-Rider Initiatives for 2012[/h] The website redesign is obviously an important part of that, but there’s a lot more been happening behind the scenes. In planning growth, its a matter of both refining what we have AND expanding it with growing volumes of useful information…That takes time and effort, and additional manpower…
    [h=3]More Involvement by Talented Moderators[/h] To get the ball rolling a little faster, we’ve asked several long-time respected GT-Rider contributors to take on an Editorial role in areas of respective interest. We’re extremely grateful to these great guys for joining the ‘GT-Rider Team’ and for providing their expertise, knowledge and experience to help the riding and touring community.*
    [h=2]Trip Planning[/h] Of all the enhancements to the information GT-Rider offers, the new Trip Planning forums are perhaps one of the most significant.* At this point, we’ve got content appearing for Laos and Vietnam, in addition to the extensive North Thailand material;

    In addition to that, we’ve got Editors appointed and working on new Trip Planning content for;

    • North East Thailand (Isan) – John Gooding
    • Central & Western Thailand – Tony_BKK
    [h=3]GPS Tracks[/h] There’s been growing interest in sharing GPS Tracks for interesting dirt roads and side-track excursions. To that end, Brian and Rex have volunteered to manage the growth and development in this area, with support from other GPS enthusiasts.* *

    [h=3]Getting Things Done[/h] We’ve previously been criticised for not responding to or implementing member’s suggestions. [​IMG]
    Bear in mind that efforts from both webmaster/s and moderator/s are on an entirely voluntary basis, so things don’t always happen overnight. Add to that the constraints of various software versions and consequent integration issues. There are also conflicting opinions on the merits of change, and of elements such as Social Media… All those things have to be considered, weighed in the balance and decisions made for the greater good.
    There are times when it seems that its a miracle anything happens at all! [​IMG]
    Regardless of all that – the steady growth in new visitors and rate of repeat visitors, indicates that the formula is more or less working as intended.
    [h=2]Appreciation & Thanks[/h] Thanks to moderators Rod, Tony, Brian, Rex, John and Jurgen for their generous donations of time and effort, and for sharing their advice and knowledge via constructive feedback on new initiatives etc. Thanks also to the many loyal visitors, supporters and contributors to GT-Rider.com – you guys have all helped to make this website a great resource for all of us to enjoy!
    Thanks
    The GT Rider Team

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