Feedback on your thoughts for tweaking the site

On New Years Day, I ran this post where I asked for your thoughts on ways to improve the layout and look of the site.

A lot of you took the time to comment, both in that post and by email.  I’d like to thank everyone who contributed.

I have made a few easy changes based on your feedback:

“Your Comments” has been expanded to six comments from four.  I have looked into possible ways of having a standalone page of comments, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be something that can be done easily.

I have extended the ‘open’ period for comments from 14 to 21 days.  If it leads to a big increase in spam, I may have to revisit it.

I have changed the date format on posts to the standard UK ‘day month year’ format!

I have rewritten parts of ‘Read This First’, in particular the opening paragraphs.  In the medium term, I will retire the ‘Avios Habit’ page and replace it with some further information pages – not exactly sure what yet, but probably some comparatives on the different hotel schemes.

Forum

People had firm views on whether I should add a forum to the site, both for and against.  At present, it won’t be happening.  I feel that the current comments arrangement allows the best of both worlds – readers can share ideas and information on the topic at hand, whilst the debate remains focussed on that particular issue.

An open-ended forum would require moderation and a serious time commitment, whilst adding very little in terms of revenue.  (Ad rates for forums are very low.) It would also take discussion away from under posts, which would weaken their value.

Timings / emails

Readers seemed generally happy with the ‘3 posts a day, all in the early morning’ approach, which is good.  Some were keen on the ability to customise the emails they receive (or even combine them into one daily email) but this is not possible using the current forum software unfortunately.

There are bits of software that would allow me to send one daily email instead of three.  However, this a) carries a monthly fee, b) requires additional daily work from myself and c) may not actually help people.  The current emails have the title in the headline, and you can delete them without opening them if they don’t seem relevant.  A combined ‘all in one’ email would need to be opened for you to know what was in it.

‘Breaking news’

Some people expressed interest in a page where odd snippets of news could be posted, eg the sudden appearance of points from a long-forgotten promo.

At the moment, I can’t see an easy way to integrate this – I don’t want an open-ended ‘Ask Raffles’ page, to be honest.  However, I am using Twitter more these days to send out odd little snippets of information which don’t justify a full post (albeit only a couple of things a month – you’re not missing much if you don’t read it!).

Thanks again to those who submitted feedback.  I will continue to tweak the site here and there to keep it relevant and informative.

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Comments

  1. In my opinion , there’s nothing broken with this site – nothing to fix! All spot on :)

  2. Just a little disappointing that there is no option to contact other contributers….I missed out on the recent Iberia Avios promotion unfortunately, as I could not link up with anybody. Apart from that, it’s all looking good.

    • How would you propose to add this…?

      • Not being a technophobe, I have no idea, except that a couple of sites I visit allow you the option to press on a thing that allows you to send a private message.

        • I think that would entail a proper a/c registration arrangement, I personally HFP-lite as it is, so far there isn’t a numpty problem, just a pleasant set of readers.

          • adds ‘like’ 😉

          • You also need to remember that HFP got 69,000 unique visitors last month who views 450,000 pages. The people who comment represent literally under 1% of those who visit in any particular month.

        • Can’t be done with WordPress, which is the underlying software behind this site.

    • People are, of course, free to post email addresses in comments if they want. I would be happy to delete or edit posts later on to remove the details.

      Alternatively, email me and I can pass on your details – I can see the email address that you enter when you make your comment, even though it isn’t posted on the site.

  3. A minor point Raffles,
    Would you consider sending out new posts a bit earlier? I sometimes have to leave for work at 6-ish and while I could use my phone it’s easier to check things out on my home computer.
    Usually I don’t have to leave the house until 7.30, which lets me read H4P over breakfast.

    My other morning reading materials tend to update at either midnight UK time, or midnight US eastern time = 5am.

    • Really?

    • Hi while i agree a computer monitor is easier to read, many of us find a decent smart phone has kind of taken over as the screen we read from most as we go about from place to place. The screen resolution is generally very good and sometimes exceptional.

    • I can do. The current times are ‘random’ to the extent that the posts are obviously not written the same morning you receive them. That said, I don’t want stuff going out at midnight because I want to be in a position where I can make quick corrections if something turns out to be wrong.

      I will have a think …. although I can’t imagine I pull it back to 6am. Pulling it forward a little is possible.

      • The posts seemed to come out earlier this morning …. worked better for me.

        Noticed a few links to HFP have appeared on HUKD for the Avios £1 flight deal, not sure if that is a good or bad thing!

        • 740 views from HUKD at the time of posting! Given that they must all have some Avios to bother looking at the link, they are hopefully potential long-term readers.

          I have pulled forward the posts by 30 minutes at reader request, the last one will now be up at 7am.

  4. Chilibenny says:

    I think the sort of times you do now are ideal – 6.30, 7 and 7.30. It means I have a look in the morning when I am getting ready to go to work, part of the routine.

  5. Lady London says:

    I think you have made the correct decisions on these points Raffles. They will preserve the unique value of the site. I’m also trying to train my self to use the links on your site to Amazon and Ebay as somewhere along the line the unique value you have provided since you started headforpoints has got to be appreciated and supported.

  6. I think the three stories a day really is a bit much, there really isn’t three stories worth going on every day in my opinion, and the casual visitor, who you will want to have visiting again and again, will not see the all important post from 4 days ago as it’s moved to page two of the site.

  7. Apologies Raffles – slightly off topic but didn’t want to hijack another thread!

    Do you have an indication of how long it takes for SPG points to hit the Starwood ‘loyalty’ account, from the SPG credit card account.

    They disappeared from the credit card account about a week ago, but haven’t turned up to the loyalty account yet. Worried that the dipsticks have created a new account (even though we phoned to give them our loyalty account number!)

    • The dipsticks have created a new account, I think. I tend to get mine within 48 hours of them leaving Amex.

      • :( nuts

        Ok – thanks… looks like another phone call to them then!

        Who do I target first? Starwood loyalty peeps, or Amex?

        • Amex, they should know what number account they sent them to! Then Starwood to sort out the merger.

          • Thanks again – thought that would be the case… I just don’t know how they’ve managed this as the email address (for starters) is the same on both the Amex and Starwood account, as well as us providing them with the number!

            I’m tempted just to stick with the one created by Amex / Starwood – it’s my wife’s card and it was set up specifically for this credit card so we haven’t used it yet anyways.

            This hasn’t gone smoothly at all (considering she has met spend and still not been credited either… it’s making the “quick cancel” more difficult and is costing me money each month 😮 – I think they’re onto me 😉 )