The back end, and simplified site navigation

The bulk of my coding hours in recent years have gone into the back end, to enable me to efficiently manage a site that now has over 60,000 members. I’ve been staying a step or two ahead, increasing productivity at least as fast as membership has grown. Looking back, I almost cannot imagine how I operated the site without the tools I now have.

The next step: getting these tools to the point where someone other than myself can perform the most routine tasks. This will enable me to finally deliver many of the improvements and expansions that I’ve had on the drawing board for far too long. 2011 should be a very exciting year.

I have implemented some minor improvements along the way, as these require just a few days or even just a few hours. One night this past week I finally removed some pages that (I now realize) became obsolete when “My Garage” was added back in July 2009. Since the summer of 2006 the first page in each section has required visitors to choose between viewing results and responding to the survey. These pages have been eliminated. The previous second page, for selecting a make, is now the first page. With this change, the results pages can be reached in one fewer click.

With the new organization, there are two ways to get to a survey. The first page in each section has a new link to the survey at the top of the right sidebar. Or, as has been the case since July 2009, click on “My Garage” in the header. In “My Garage” you’ll find a list of your cars, with buttons for each applicable survey beneath each listed car.

To make this function of “My Garage” clearer, it has been renamed “My Garage / Surveys” in the nav bar. To provide the necessary space, the link for this blog has been moved to the footer at least until the site can be comprehensively redesigned.

  • alsto

    Keep up the good work Michael. I find your site & endeavors very beneficial & informative in my new car searches.Just gaining an understanding where people are having issues with their vehicles is interesting on its own!