On The Web, January 2003

Volume IV, Issue XIII I recently visited a manufacturing-related Web site that really stood out to me. That’s really saying something, because it’s my job to keep up with what’s online to serve metalworking and machining professionals, and I spend most of my days visiting manufacturers of all walks online.

Columns From: 1/2/2003 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Volume IV, Issue XIII

I recently visited a manufacturing-related Web site that really stood out to me. That’s really saying something, because it’s my job to keep up with what’s online to serve metalworking and machining professionals, and I spend most of my days visiting manufacturers of all walks online. To find a site that’s memorable is, well, memorable.

This site didn’t impress me with its slam-bang design. More important to manufacturers is the fact that few in our realm who are looking for “parts and partners” care one iota about design.

And I wasn’t impressed by this site’s numerous links on the home page to ambiguous areas named “About Us,” “Technical Information,” “Products,” or “What’s New.” You know as well as I do how common these links are on sites throughout the metalworking domain and how often you select them. Or not.

No, what caught my eye was what I found on a subsequent page, beyond the classy façade and numerous links. There, where this company should describe with great clarity its value and purpose and knowledge, was this nugget of timeless machining wisdom: “Problem Caused By: Feed Rate Too High. Solve Problem: Reduce Feed Rate.”

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more spectacular display of online anticlimactic blather anywhere. Sadly, I do see many examples that are just as bad as this one. They are all examples of “top-heavy Web sites”—sites that are “fat” where visitors link from (design, graphics, home page organization, link saturation) but “thin” in those areas where manufacturing prospects and researchers link to for information.

Regardless of your station in metalworking—a shop, a machining division, a multinational company, a machine tool builder or supplier—review your site, and ensure that the quality of information found by visitors to your site is accurate, thorough and adequately portrays what you know. Otherwise, why bother?

Job Shop Site Of The Month

Hugin Components’ Web site(www.hugincomponents.com) is well organized, with what Hugin makes, how it’s made, and why anyone looking for components, connectors, fasteners or fabricating and assembly services would be well-suited to consider Hugin. Of particular note are its parts galleries and value added service sections.

To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to otw@mmsonline.com.

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