Open forum …. any suggestions for tweaking the site?

It is exactly two years since I last ran an ‘open forum’ where I opened up the comments to ideas on tweaking the site.  It worked well so I thought I would try it again.

Without a huge team behind me, any changes to Head for Points will always be ‘evolution not revolution’.  That said, because there are now two of us there is more flexibility.  Some of the benefits of that in recent months have been:

the Christmas party, which could never have been done without a second pair of hands (the fact that I’d never done it before is proof of that)

the introduction of video to our reviews and the launch of a YouTube channel

increased review coverage, both of hotels and via press events such as the recent Cathay lounge launch

letting Anika write 95% of Shopper Points, freeing up more of my time for HFP

On the short list for improvements is:

an improved mobile site

the introduction of a Q&A page where readers can post questions which other readers can answer (this will NOT be a forum, it will be a specific Q&A page)

the reintroduction of a luxury hotel booking service (coming in January)

However, I am fully aware that there is an element of ‘snow blindness’ in what we do. After all, we look at the site every day for a considerable period of time, and we can only second-guess how you, the readers, respond to the different elements.

Logo without text PNG

As we start a new year, I’d like to open up the floor to any suggestions you have about the site. Remember that I need to cater for two audiences at the same time – the regular readers and the thousands of people who come here via Google each day and who I want to convert into regular readers.

Is it clear to a newcomer what the site is about and why they should keep on reading it?

Are there too many menus at the top of the page? Too few?

Are there too many ads? (Probably not, most blogs would run ads inside posts as well, which I don’t)

Are the sidebars too confusing? Should I push the social media links more?

Should there be more ‘sticky’ information for newcomers?

Does the mix of content – which veers from Tesco deals to airline deals to credit card sign-up offers – work for you?

Is the mix of news versus ‘reference / background’ articles (eg ‘How to use Combine My Avios with Iberia’) right?

Does the current format of running a fixed number of stories at fixed times every day – with a ‘lead’ story and two less important ones below – work for you? (Most blogs just post at random times throughout the day, but I am middle-aged and grew up with the newspaper tradition!)

If there is anything about the way the site currently looks that annoys or confuses you, or if you have any ideas for improvements, please post below. You can also email me at rob [at] headforpoints.co.uk if you’d prefer.

Anything from your dislike of how I punctuate the headlines through to ideas for new ‘sticky’ pages are welcome – no idea is too small!  And, to be honest, small changes are easier to implement than large changes ….

Thank you, and a Happy New Year for 2017.

£1500 business class flights London-Sydney / Melbourne on Malaysia (earns Avios and tier points)
A negative Hilton HHonors quirk I never knew about and which could prove costly ....
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Comments

  1. I check my HFP emails every day religiously. Thanks, Rob and Anika, for all the hard work you put in to make the site what it is!

    Would it be possible to have a page where readers can trade credit card referrals? Rob, I know you have referred me for at least a few cards over the years, and I am happy to send any referrals your direction, but wouldn’t you have maxed out the number of referrals you can earn points for? In which case it could be useful for other readers to pick up the slack. Maybe a widget that picks a HFP reader’s referral link at random so as to give everyone a fair shot?

    • the real harry says:

      I just want to know the annual referrals limit Raffles got Amex to agree to heh heh

      but I guess that would be telling

      I’m 100% sure it won’t be the same annual limit as the rest of us

      • Actually to be fair to him, Rob mentioned a while back that as far as referral points are concerned, Amex insist on giving everyone in the UK the same limits. I believe his comment at the time was; “you can tell this is a conversation we’ve had”.

        Whether that is still the case, you would have to ask him!

  2. Yes, I should update that one. TPE has stopped paying commission BUT I think (TBC) that it gives Nectar points on ALL operators which may make it the best option.

    • Correct. TPE do currently give Nectar points on all tickets, plus they do not charge for posting tickets bought sufficiently far in advance. Handy with all the trips we have made between Carlisle and Newcastle in the last month.

      By contrast, the Virgin ticket machine at Carlisle just says “Sorry, your journey is not eligible for Nectar points”

  3. Happy New Year, Rob, and many thanks for the money you have already saved me!

    There are one or two suggestions about the website that I was about to make, but have just finally realised that they are already in place. (No, I am not going to say what they are!

  4. I must admit I like the ‘OT’ as have learned stuff based on other people’s questions. I am also happy to help others when I can. If you are not interested then ignore anything that starts with OT or have a question/info sharing board.

    Thanks Rob. I have shared referrals with you and click on ads as often as possible to give some payback.

  5. Thanks for all the hard work Rob and everyone else!

    Is there any chance the emails could be sent with bigger text? I look at them on my iPhone 5SE in the Gmail app but the text is very slightly too small to read in portrait. I believe if you use a more ‘responsive’ template you could up the font size and make it easier for us who don’t have as good eyesight as the rest…!

  6. Could you add more information about the various options for transferring between schemes, I realise this could be difficult to implement, but I lose track of what schemes transfer to what other schemes.
    e.g. following a recent rarticle I am now a member of Partner Benefits. I have 1000 points, but don’t really know what to do with them.
    Following another article I have 500 Air Berlin points…..so……what do I do with them?

    O/T Anyone got their Iberia Plus Avios bonus yet?

  7. Charliepr says:

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  8. Could the Search box be moved to the top of the page as it’s hard to find in the middle of the page. Maybe on the main menu ribbon. You could just put the magnifying glass logo to save space as that’s a common symbol for searching.

  9. I think the structure of the web site is fine – I can find my way around.

    Adversing. Thanks to the post this morning about the current Amex £50 off £200 travel offer I am going to save myself £100 (via two cards) on journeys I was going to make already. I have in the past saved £££ via HFP tips.

    If advertising or sponsorship means that the site can carry on and I can carry on benefiting – then bring on the advertising.

    Having said, that the embedded video ads that suddenly and noisily start playing are really annoying.

    Good points – please don’t change:

    Fixed number of stories at fixed times of the day are one of the things that make Head For Points special.

    2) Please carry on being opinionated. Please carry on calling out rubbish offers for what they are.

    Suggestion: Next time you are doing a redemption university article, how about more info on the opportunities offered by Amex points partners. Now that the Diamond Club credit cards are no more, my stack of Amex points is getting larger -but I’m pretty clueless about the pros an cons of their airline partners other than Virgin or BA Maybe its just me, but every time I fly with BA I find myself falling a little bit more out of love with them.

  10. An edit function for the comments sections so that I could correct my typos

  11. Blimey, a lot of people don’t know how easy they have it with HfP! Back in the early noughties we were booking £2,300 twenty segment round-the-world business class tickets on BA from Cairo and Istanbul, but organising those trips was *hard*… did I ever tell you about how I managed to get BA to comp me a silver card despite not meeting the four segment requirement…? My point is, readers shouldn’t expect everything on a (BA) silver salver.

    Rob, the site is excellent and there is nothing that stands out as needing improvement. You’ve put a huge amount of work into setting it up and running it, and you deserve whatever rewards it gives you. The number and content of emails is right for me; the standard of content is high; and it doesn’t feel like a credit card selling machine, unlike some US sites. Although I’m sometimes surprised by just how similar Anika’s writing style is to yours 😉 . My only suggestion is it would be good, in the style of MSE, if all affiliate/commission links were made explicit, even by a little asterisk.

    Keep it up.

  12. A bit late to the game…but wanted to thank you for all your time and work.

    We like the site just the way it is – even if something isn’t necessarily relevant it’s bound to be an interesting read!

    Happy New Year!

  13. I often read HfP through your Facebook page, as I like the way you link to the odd shopperpoints article. I’m never going to be a regular reader of SP, but I like reading the odd one – especially those that would probably have featured on HfP before SP existed !

    Instead of making me go to FB to see the SP links – how about inserting the links here on HfP ??