Website Atrocity – Things you Should NEVER do to your Web Site

A faithful reader sent me a link this morning to a website he found particularly distasteful and YOWZA - he was spot on , as they say across the pond. So a big thank you goes out to Lucas Black of London, UK whose blog can be found at http://www.SometimeSpace.co.uk/

Now, this retailer, oddly enough, is quite the effective marketer, due to her nationwide television adverts, traveling double-decker billboard bus, and tons of free press and huge buzz about her unique style, not to mention, her quite effective marketing techniques.

If you can manage to stomach it, examining her site shows quite a few offers, lead generation tools, sticky content and SO much more.  However, if you didn’t already know about LINGsCars.com – you’d probably be afraid to give her money, assuming you don’t have a seizure while trying to find the link you’re looking for.

Ling-Thumb

The thumbnail doesn’t do the site justice… click the thumbnail to see the real site.  WARNING: If you have photosensitive epilepsy, click at your own risk! It’s THAT garish.

So, here’s how Ling’s site is a great example of things NOT to do.

  1. Ow! My Eyes! Other than the potential side effects for the epileptic, that site just plain old HURTs to look at.  If you want people to hang out on your site and do things (like give you money) it has to be easy enough on the eyes to let them feel comfortable doing so.  After looking around on that site for a few minutes, my retinas had a burned-in image of all those garish flashing colors.
  2. Where do I click? Let’s pretend I really WANT to give Ling my money?  Where do I click for that?  There’s a gazillion links on that page.  How long do I search to find what I want?  What’s a link?  What’s NOT a link?!

Other than that, though… it’s quite a piece of work.  Testimonials, free-live support, consumer information, contact info… it’s all there.  ALLL there… and ALL on the home page.  ;-)

You tell me!  If you did a search on Google to buy a car and found this site, without ever hearing about them before…  How would YOU react to this web site?

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120 comments ↓

#1 Kyle Reddoch (6 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 9:38 am

I totally agree with you on this. As a Web Developer myself, when I am talking with clients about a website design and layout, I try to express that you don’t want a lot of clutter on a website. You want potential clients of anyone else to be able to go to your site and EASILY find what they are looking for. This site is totally going down the wrong path. I look at this and get a headache and don’t know where to start.

So take is from an experienced Developer, Minimal is better!

#2 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 9:45 am

When I first saw it I was stunned.

It was far too “busy” for me to waste my time with.

I like simple, clean designs that are intuitive to use. Ling’s web site is very much counter intuitive (and not the best price if you search around!).

She also appears to be very blunt (to the point of being rude) in the way she communicates with any negativity.

Lots of great tools – but let down by the cacophony of colours, plethora of links and attitude.

Bang goes any chance of me getting a good deal from Ling now….

#3 KC Coburn (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:13 am

I love the LING Ad – not because it works for me as a consumer, but because it’s a great graphic illustration I can use in my classes for small business web presence. I’m going to hold it up for 3 seconds, then get the class to tell me what LING’s offer is and if they are ready to learn more about doing business with her what kind of business would it be and how would they learn more? Your point is SPOT on about consumers recognizing the LING brand – I get what she’s doing and it’s great if I KNOW LING. But since my small biz clients aren’t known and they want to become known, using this strategy is a disaster for my invisible online clients (they generally imitate LING by accident, thus the point of me holding up the LING ad so I can say, “Your site won’t convert if your customer can only see vomit on the home page!).

#4 Marty (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:17 am

Great post Daiv. You have to wonder if the creators of this site actually know what their site looks like?!? In addition to being hard on the eyes (and brain,) you hit the nail right on the head about not knowing where to click. You’d think the last thing any website creator would want to do is confuse and turn off their visitors and potential customers.

#5 meznor (2 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:28 am

Oh man, where to begin??

If I found that on Google and had never heard of Lings before, I’d immediately click the “back” button as soon as it loaded. It SCREAMS “sketchy.” In fact, it simply SCREAMS, quite offensively, at the visitor.

It’s the equivalent of walking off a bus in Pisa and being harangued by hundreds of street merchants in a a crowd with thousands of tourists suffocating you… I definitely wouldn’t trust anything that website has to sell, and I’d cling on to my wallet for dear life and mosh my way out of there as fast as possible.

I’d direct her to the Cluetrain Manifesto… if markets are a conversation, she should know you don’t start a conversation by screaming at the potential customer and demanding they buy your shit, which is the impression that website gives. I’d be interested to know what kind of people a) found her via website and b) decided to use her services. I’d like to pick their brain and ask WHY, dear God, WHY?

#6 tobi taiwo (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:34 am

totally agree with you concerning this, all i have to say it’s just way too busy and there is no way any person who visits the site. After spending a couple of minutes would not want to look for the nearest exit. Please if you do read this post, please redesign your site totally. Everything should not be cramped into a single page, it defeats its purpose….

#7 Michelle (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:35 am

It is so bad that at first it was actually difficult to believe it was real. Hard to understand how a sane human could think that was a good idea.

#8 DeVerne Chapman (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:37 am

I totally agree on the “Where do I click?” in your post. A website (or any offer) needs to have a clear Call to Action. I have yet to find one on that site. I’m sorry to say it, but I almost feel dirty, as if I’ve visited a porn site by accident.

#9 Alton (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 10:42 am

Scary is the right word. Not sure what they are trying to do but scary you away.
Someone may…may…. like it.

#10 Lorne Pike (2 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 11:00 am

Now there’s something you don’t see every day! Definitely a different approach to site design. Yes, it could use LOTS of changes. but maybe Ling is onto something here…

You say she’s been doing this for awhile, and is successful. She knows her buyers. If one of the keys to successful marketing is differentiation, then Ling has that nailed down tight.

Sure, she could clean up her ad in a thousand different ways. But then who would be talking about her? How would she stand out from all the other car Websites?

The fact is, there are buyers who love to shop for bargains in musty stores, and dig through bargain bins. There are buyers who love the eccentric and the unusual. You have to give Ling credit as a marketer… she got noticed. And ultimately, if she is indeed selling cars, as much as I would never have designed that site for one of my clients, I’d suggest that maybe she’s two steps ahead of where we think she is.

I’m willing to bet that Ling’s customers love her, and that they’d be very disappointed if Ling redesigned her Website to obey the rules. So, while as a designer I’d love to redo that thing, as a marketer I’d be very, very careful before I touched one pixel.

#11 Mike (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 11:04 am

Interesting points Daiv, athough I think Ling is maybe smarter than we give her credit for. After our chat on Twitter this morning I called a mate in the UK Motor Industry and she is a bit of a phenomenon. She sells more cars than any individual in UK – and that’s without the overhead of a showroom! People actually go to the site because it’s so bad! And as you suggest, she gets unbelievable free publicity because of it – witness the level of Twitter traffic, this post and these comments!

#12 Ben Smith on 01.26.09 at 11:15 am

What’s funny is this site goes against every rule in the book, is terrible to navigate, yet is apparently a great success. The craziness of the site is really a reflection of her personality, and what she has become renowned for. She first found “fame” when she appeared on the BBC show Dragons Den where you ask a group of investors to invest in your business and present your sales pitch to them. Against all odds, two of the investors wanted to buy in to her business but she actually turned them down. Check out her videos on
YouTube at http://tinyurl.com/ce822z. You’ll see her marketing using a Chinese nuclear missile truck, and some of her other many TV appearances. So it may be a case when wrong is actually right. Where the crazy, hard to navigate, horrible site is actually such a reflection of her personality and what she is famous for that that in itself makes it work in this case. Rules are made to be broken, here I think the site works because of who she is and how the site reflects that.

#13 Ben Simo (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 11:20 am

A quick count of anchor tags in the source HTML for that shows the page contains at least 508 links.

Over 500 links on a home page is horrible. Too many options! And to combine it with a nauseating flashing light show is just evil.

If I were looking for a car in the UK, that site would lead me to run away screaming like Sir Robin. “Run Away, Run Away!”

Ewwww. I’m not feeling well. Anyone got a bucket?

#14 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 11:25 am

Lorne Pike and Mike, you have it in one :)

The rest of you still need some mind-adjustment.

70,000 uniques this month, FYI. Best ever figures. Most UK car dealer websites struggle to do 2,500 and that’s with loads of adwords.

Would YOU remember my site in 2-years? I do my utmost to build emotional goodwill. And the customers (potential) who move on really save me a lot of time dealing with people who will give me grief.

I am very busy day-to-day. I want customers on my wavelength who don’t take life so seriously – it’s only a car, not life or death.

And which other UK car website owner would ever notice you have been twittering and blogging, never mind bother to reply?

Love you all really :)

Ling

#15 Chuck Bartok (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 11:38 am

I am not a Website expert but my old eyes need Simple and direct. also I enjoy Clear short Audio 20-30 seconds.
The Ling site is way too busy for me.

#16 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 11:58 am

She has a point though….

Once you see it, it can’t be unseen!

I keep going back there…it is stuck in my mind and I tell people about it!

It is either dumb luck on her part – or she is very clever…. and I have a sneaky suspicion that she is very clever indeed.

I think after some re-evaluation that this site falls into “So bad it’s good…..” or “The Goatse of car web sites…. you don’t want to click, but you can’t help yourself”.

Yes… the more I think about it, the cleverer it all seems….

#17 victorybyallmeans on 01.26.09 at 12:25 pm

Interesting now lets do a little analysis of why people use the web.

1 for information

2 to be amused

3 to make a purchase

Now lets look at LingsCars

Ticks all the boxes for me more than most sites I visit.

True the navigation is a bit of a maze,but if the customer wants something.

They will find it come hell of high water.

#18 Ryanjlewis (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 1:12 pm

This is quite possibly the worst website I have ever seen and it should not be counted into how effective their marketing is. It would be better if they just had a simple blog with a new post for each new car on sale. oh yea and a phone number. I do think it is a great lesson for what not to do though.

#19 meznor (2 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 1:36 pm

Ling,

Can you let us know who, of the 70,000 hits, had never heard of you before and called you up after viewing your site?

Hmm maybe they call you up because the site is nearly impossible to navigate. Though I don’t know how they’d be able to find the phone number.

It is very cool that you pay attention to the weblings on Twitter and on blogs like this. I don’t know what number of the web people actually end up using your services, but it does create good will when you speak directly to them through such channels.

Personally, I wouldn’t remember your website in 2 years; I might remember you commenting on this blog and being a human being, though. Congrats on your success. But I hope you redesign the site.

#20 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 2:01 pm

Just when you thought it was safe to click a link…

Ling sent me this…

http://www.lingscars.com/feature/aspirin.html

Looks like she really does know what she is doing!

#21 EasyLocalShopin (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 2:03 pm

Great site!
Just saved it to my favorites.
When I retire I should have time to look at it.

#22 Doug (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 2:03 pm

Wow, they just have way too much going on here. The website design is bad and there’s just way too many ads on the site itself. I wonder what their web analytic stats look like. Bounce rate must be very HIGH!

#23 Kimberly (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 2:09 pm

I know I’m chiming in here a bit after the fact, but several good points have been made here. While the site itself is total sensory overload, it has made an impression. Whether it’s a positive or negative impression remains to be seen but it’s got people talking nonetheless. I was happy to see that Ling has chimed in here as it not only makes her interactive with the audience who is review her site, it also means she is very closely tracking her brand and online mentions of her business/site- which is a good marketing move.

I would imagine that Ling has a pretty good grasp of who her audience is and is creating her brand just as she intended to. Whether or not our senses agree with it, isn’t the point. If she has 500 links on there, chances are the viewer will click on one of them (if not for any other reason but to get off the homepage or to check for additional visual wreckage.)

If you’ve read any of Seth Godin’s stuff- you can clearly see how Ling has created her own purple cow.

#24 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 2:30 pm

OK… Meznor and Ryan J Lewis:

I don’t do phone calls. But my phone number is clearly in every header on the right. I do everything with my customers online in a secure area called LINGO. They love it, everything on a blog like this in writing with a document upload area. The dealers/finance companies can access the documents and I discuss with them on the same system with a Chinese Wall (heheheh) inbetween both parties. I am the Chinese Wall.

I am soon introducing LINGO LITE (no password) for initial car quote requests. By adding a password, a customer can secure it. All orders are automatically secured on proposal.

Of course, I do answer the phone when it rings, but my office is a quiet one, the phone goes only a few times an hour. The rest of everything is done via speakers in my office. When i invoice i get the Chinese National Anthem, a proposal gets Chinese Numa Numa, a business proposal get a punk Internationale played. A quote gets a foghorn, etc. So, not so quiet when I’m busy.

So far in Jan 08 I have dealt with 4106 customer LINGO messages. Customers are never out of contact and can get a text echo for Blackberries etc. Customers love this system and with cars a slight mistake (eg colour or gearbox) is very expensive, so everything in writing was my aim. Just like this blog!! Really.

No other UK car supplier has a secure https: communication system, shocking in this day and age of ID theft. Everyone else sends sensitive stuff via email.

But, you don’t see all that at my front-end website.

Kimberley… Seth Godin is exactly right. He is a hero, along with Ryanair’s O’Leary. Both empower the customer, a terrible phrase, but true. How is it that my customers allow their full names and addresses to be published on my letters page? It is a trust thing. I trust my customers (and get to know them personally in a 1-month process) and they trust me.

What’s the alternative to get a UK car: a faceless operative from another leasing company or a greasy car salesman at a dealer? Bless them:)

Does this make sense?

#25 Michelle Crowe Ritter (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 2:46 pm

I LOVE IT! Take a minute. Think about it. No one is currently blogging about our websites or sending hundreds/thousands of their closest friends to see it. From a design standpoint – it is HIDEOUS. From a viral marketing perspective – it is GENIUS!

#26 victorybyallmeans on 01.26.09 at 4:05 pm

Well I am surprised that Ling is having her best month ever,considering we are in a recession in the UK.
So she must be doing something right 70k visitors a month is no mean feat in such a competitive area.

Maybe I need to make my site a bit more of a mess.

I suspect it has the human touch,which a lot of corporate site lack,some seem to cold and clinical for my taste.

#27 Ben Smith on 01.26.09 at 4:35 pm

Got to say, its getting a little unpleasant here. Its fine to be critical but I dont really see the need to start questioning the “character” of someone that none of us have ever met, or to start comparing her site to a porn site. Thats pretty harsh. Sure, the site doesnt fit conventional design standards. Sure her marketing is less than conventional. But it works – she sells cars and, most importantly, has a great reputation. So whats the problem.

#28 victorybyallmeans on 01.26.09 at 4:39 pm

Stephen A I should venture a bit further into the site and you will find a wealth of useful information on all things motoring.

Great money saving advice e.t.c .A content rich site that would be an SEO’s dream.

As for marketing I do find the likes of wallmart and tesco a tad garish ,but not a lot of people complain about that

People are in business to make money,end of.

#29 kylereddoch (Kyle Reddoch) (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 4:42 pm

Why a Minimal Design is Better. via @DaivRawks http://bit.ly/IfsO

#30 SuccessMan (Russell Yermal) (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 5:27 pm

LOL! Want to see the ugliest website ever? (EPILEPSY WARNING) http://bit.ly/IfsO

#31 RonMedlin (Ron Medlin) (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 5:29 pm

HOLY CRAP! RT @SuccessMan: LOL! Want to see the ugliest website ever? (EPILEPSY WARNING) http://bit.ly/IfsO

#32 kirstenwright (Kirsten Wright) (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 5:35 pm

Seriously disturbing site design. RT @DaivRawks: OMG! This site is HIDEOUS! You HAVE to check it out http://bit.ly/IfsO

#33 Nathan (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 5:35 pm

Yep, my eyes are definitely bleeding now! I can’t believe that they actually make money from that.

#34 Lorne Pike (2 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 5:47 pm

The site is a great example of a discussion I’ve had with others. Marketing materials are created for a specific purpose. In business, that is usually to make money. Most sites fail. So if a site succeeds in generating income, it’s a success. And if it succeeds by breaking the design rules that others hold dear, that does not make it any less a success.

This is just market segmentation. You choose to whom you want to appeal, and accept that you will be uninteresting or even bothersome to others. It can be done through loud music, or spokespeople who annoy some but enthrall others, or through “bad design.” It has proven over and over again to be very effective marketing, but it has also proven to ruffle some feathers.

Given that Ling’s is a business site rather than an art site, if it’s generating income in an honest manner, then it works, and is a good business investment. It pulls in considerable income in a highly competitive field. You may or may not like her artistic stylings, but Ling has succeeded in creating a site that apparently works brilliantly, and she did it her own way.

#35 Stephen A. on 01.26.09 at 6:05 pm

Must I “venture a bit further” into a Website through a layer of surface clutter in order to get to the “car” stuff? I did find some there, but I had to guess where to click. That’s not just bad design, it’s bizarre.

I’ll grant her this: Becoming known for a messy, messy Website is, in fact, becoming known. But that’s not saying much.

#36 swoodruff (Steve Woodruff) (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 6:36 pm

Wow. Just wow. Web design cannot get worse than this…http://bit.ly/IfsO

#37 designtwit (2 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 8:00 pm

Great discussion about what I believe is the ugliest website on the net. But, I am not her market. The psychology of the consumer is truly at hand here. At one time I did catalogs and advertising for the furniture industry. We would roll out these lovely catalogs and ads for the year’s new lines of high-end furniture. And when it came time to do advertising for close-outs the marketing people insisted we YELL !!SALE!! and junk up the circulars. It brought in a whole other market. So there is the market that wants fresh and lovely and then there is the market that will only come out for the yelling sale. We know who Ling’s market is. I still think the site is hideous. In marketing 101 she could be genius. And she does not have to hire a high-dollar designer either.

#38 christinakb (christinakb) (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 9:26 pm

@DaivRawks re: http://bit.ly/IfsO Wasn’t she on Dragon’s Den? As garish as it is, she seems to be doing something right (yikes!)

#39 The Daily Blonde (1 comments.) on 01.26.09 at 9:32 pm

Amazing…I see blogs like THIS every day. It makes my head spin. Well, I’m blonde (or am I?) so I guess that’s a given.

When I go to blogs that take forever to load because of all the “Stuff” on them, I leave. I’m in the process of cleaning mine up, too.

#40 rdnewman (Richard Newman) (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 12:56 am

@DaivRawks http://bit.ly/IfsO reminds me of the http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/

#41 nhprman (nhprman) (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 1:14 am

Great disc. going on at @DaivRawks blog about a GARISH Website that some are actually defending (not me, though): http://bit.ly/IfsO

#42 Michel Bonvanie (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 1:18 am

Hey Daiv, yea the site is kinda awkward. I saw they installed Analytics on it. I wonder what kinda reports come out of that haha. Nice post :)

#43 steve on 01.27.09 at 1:26 am

So many are missing the point. She succeeds, because she is an entreprenuer not a web designer, web designers design websites – she sells cars. They sometimes co-incide, sometimes don’t

#44 Amit (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 2:58 am

This was scary ! I wonder if this was intentional or it was just a bad designer. And if Ling is making money out of this !! WOW !!

#45 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 3:27 am

I have been chatting to Ling since I mentioned her site to Daiv. I figured it was the polite thing to do, as I was the person to point it out to Daiv as being a terrible web site. Looking at the responses Daiv has had, it is a great topic that he has put together – so congratulations!!!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder with Lings site. Rather than being upset that I flagged her site as an eyesore, she and I started emailing backwards and forwards on how she views the site and what she is doing with it.

Now more than ever I can see that this is very much a planned approach – and she really does get a lot of customers.

The bounce rate maybe high – but out of 70,000 new hits, it doesn’t take many of those to stick to turn a profit.

It may be like fishing with dynamite – messy, but it still catches fish.

The main thing is that it works for her – and she is happy with the result. Why would you change your site if you were happy with it? You spend most of your life working, so you may as well do it in a way that you enjoy!

In her emails she comes across as a very intelligent woman – so there really is method in her madness.

As a consumer, I still don’t like it – but then I don’t have to, because for everyone that doesn’t like it, there are many more that do!

What a turn around I have made!!!!

#46 Sammysunshine (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 4:55 am

Wow, when we tweeted about this yesterday, I was just gobsmacked. The blinking gifs and colour coordination are a nightmare. Well, there is no coordination of colour and that is part of the problem.

There was just too much going on and even the text was off-putting. It sure as heck wouldn’t make me want to buy a car.

Also, when this page is viewed on a slower connection it completely bogs or times out. UGh, ugh…and did I already say Ugh? I do not think that web designers should design pages for people with slower internet but, even if the page takes a long time to load, the wait should be worth it. This was just a mess.

I do think web developers should keep in mind that there should be a flow to a web page. You know, an expected smoothness. This one was just so manic and jumpy, it did not have that flow.

#47 Bander (2 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 5:32 am

I’ve actually seen worse on a news site.

#48 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 6:59 am

Hey hey, every day, a few more comments.

I’ve just been invited to see Seth Godin, …who mentioned him earlier?

Sammysunshine, slow connection? My customers have broadband. Or 3G or whatever, they have a few quid. If they do not qualify for broadband, they do not qualify for a car :)

Lucas has been watching customers moving around my site, looking at cars, playing with stuff on a secret back-end page. No wonder he is a convert. I look and play with customers on m site like a 3-year old plays with a goldfish aquarium. I bang on the glass to make them swim faster! :)

Steve has gottit, above. This is a business, I have 7 full time and 4 part time employees to feed. All from this website.

Can anyone here put up their hand and say they have managed that? You totally miss the point talking about design. This is talking about success. Anyone can go on about “colour coordination” and “smoothness”. Try explaining that to the bank manager.

You can tell who here is likely to run a business and who is a (very skilled I am sure) employee :)

It is the cash that counts. Everything else is secondary. Beauty is looking at £100k in the bank. Plus… read the letters page, notice all my customers are happy. That’s where the cash comes from. Gotta stay real! Pastel helvetica grey beauty can go hang.

- Ling

#49 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 8:14 am

“Pastel helvetica grey beauty can go hang.” (sic)

I can almost imagine that as a motivational poster!

#50 victorybyallmeans on 01.27.09 at 10:20 am

Ling although I agree with a lot of what you say.I keep getting a picture of all those poor souls arriving on your site and wondering where to go.

I think you may well be in need of a professional shepherd or maybe a pied piper on your interesting site map to guide your customers around.

I do hope when you meet Seth Godin,you don’t give away to many of your secrets.

Now lets see 100k don’t buy you a house.I think a couple of million might make me smile.

#51 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 11:36 am

I am sure they do wonder where to go. I am sure I get a lot of drop off.

But… if you keep optimising again and again for max superduperness and slickness, you end up with a mediocre but excellently planned site that inspires no one, yet offends no one. It may look VERY professional, but people buy on emotion.

Clearly, I am going for the 30% who love it rather than the 30% who loathe it or the middle 40%. At least I am targeting an audience and converting them.

I am in a hell of a sector, competing against real dealers with multi-million £££ dealerships, real cars and real people. Good job they are useless at their jobs. All I have is a website, me, a 130×80 oversharpened car .gif and some emotion. Yet I am converting big ticket items. For an average £250 lease, someone is committing to £10,000 over 3-years. Show me another website that closes that commitment and does it over 250 times a month? Just over half customers pass finance. The rest I discard (nicely). So, I have a further 250 in my sausage machine, being managed on their way to a new car. A big workload. And at the end (read the letters page) everyone loves it! So much so that 60% return again.

Without wishing to call anyone stupid, how can that be true if the website really is “bad”? It is bloody good! No one else manages these volumes, online, in the UK. Just because it doesn’t fit the “MacUser’s Guide to Coolness and super-conventional Website Design”

Add to this I am a Chinese female, not an average image of a car salesman… would YOU commit £10k to a crazy Chinese bird for the lease of a £25,000 Audi car that you have never seen???

…By the way, houses are only as good as the equity in them, and if someone will allow you to get it out of them. Many people have found this out recently. You cannot eat a house or pay the taxman with it. Cash is always king.

- Ling

#52 Matt Eagar (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 11:41 am

A huge percentage of East Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese) websites are just like this – garish, annoying, seizure-inducing nightmares. I think it’s a cultural thing. I’m guessing Ling is Chinese…

#53 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 12:34 pm

@Matt Eagar

Was this the give away?

“Add to this I am a Chinese female”

#54 victorybyallmeans on 01.27.09 at 1:32 pm

Ling someone should have told NR that cash is king.?

Knowledge is king.

” a fool and his money are soon parted “

#55 Allan Misch (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 3:03 pm

In my opinion, the most important aspect of a commercial website is how successful it is at meeting its objective; i.e., is it doing a great job at converting visitors to customers, collecting email addresses, etc.? This is not necessarily a function of graphic design, but knowing who’s visiting your site, who you want to visit your site, being unique, and offering visitors what they came for.

Web designers often seem to be obsessed with “coloring within the lines,” being “creative,” and having more white space then designing websites that ultimately make oodles of $$$$$. Give me a site that is “ugly” and closes the sale more often than the site that looks pretty but loses the sale to the competition.

Ling, if it’s working, more power to you. In the final analysis, if the “ugly” site is meeting its objectives, its very pretty. If the “pretty” site is not meeting its objectives, its ugly.

#56 Charity (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 8:21 pm

I couldn’t even let the page completely load before having to turn it off. It was already driving me nuts. I didn’t know where to look first. Beautiful example of what not to do on your website!

#57 PAYoung (Paul Young) (1 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 8:58 pm

OK this an interesting debate on whether Ling’s site is the UGLIEST or a “Purple Cow”? See what you think?

#58 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.27.09 at 11:40 pm

victorybyallmeans; if “NR” is Northern Rock, then I did attempt a rescue, by publicly investing a wedge of cash when Rome was burning. I turned up in my bus. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=OeYNYrqS4cY

It took an hour of negotiations with that Applegarth before they would let me in. I was waiting outside with an ITV film crew. It got on GMTV and the evening news.

The police even waved my bus in to park illegally outside the main branch. How good was that?

#59 Linnet Woods (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 9:29 am

Unbelievable! Having never heard of Ling I’m certain that one look at that home page and I wouldn’t want to know who it was or what they were selling!

Whatever can whoever is in charge of marketing there have been thinking of?! Terrifying to think that anyone might believe that was the way to present anything to anybody! LOL

#60 Romeo Burke (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 10:06 am

Fantastic Ling!! keep up the good work!!

#61 Titus (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 11:00 am

Ling is brilliant!

Don’t appeal to authority and say that a certain way to create websites is correct and works because web designers or other ‘professional’ people studied it and reached a conclusion. It makes you look dumb(er).

Of course, what Ling did most people will never be able to replicate. They are mediocre and follow what the ones with ‘authority’ say.

Keep thinking for yourself, Ling. ;]

#62 Grant (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 11:00 am

Yes….VERY interesting. But you know she got you to look and got you to tell us and we looked. Now THAT’S how you get free advertising. “The links are hard to find” Everything on that page was a link. Yes a bit over the top but I think we can learn some posative things too. Free word-of-mouth is still the best form of advertising.

Grant H. Lynn
{Sky}

#63 artsycrafter (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 12:35 pm

Yuck, I almost threw up! I guess it looks cheap for them to lease cheap cars?

#64 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 1:09 pm

Hahaha! This thread is so wierd. I wonder how some people imagine their wages get paid? Isn’t this strange. Some of you must be unemployed I think (no offence).

Can I just keep saying until I am bored to tears that the number one priority of any business at the moment is cash in the bank. You can be as beautiful as you want, but that is not the priority of a business website. It is to make money and create wealth and growth and to secure employment for staff.

Can someone who doesn’t like my website please list one, two or three other car leasing websites that meet your design criteria and sell cars online?

My sales are already up on last January and will end up about 25-30% up for Jan, year on year, Show me ANY other new car business that is managing that! While you moaners moan, GM, Chrysler, Ford and the rest are slowly going bust and needing massive cash injections and guarantees. UK new car sales are 23% down, year on year.

Some of the people here just cannot see that what works, works, and I spend as much time giving priority to my bank statements as my website. Isn’t that money garish and bright!

By the way, I had lunch with all the team at Viz magazine today (Chinese steamed sea bass etc), and hold on to your hats, I’ll be back in the new issue!

Tickets for Seth Godin booked. London, Feb 17th. Anyone wanna come? – Ling

#65 kalos_eidos (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 8:15 pm

Wow, I should have listened to the voice telling me not to click on the link to that site! If I had been searching for cars and came across that, no way would I have ever stayed long enough to even think about buying a car. It’s just too busy and confusing.

Not to mention blinding. My left eye is still twitching…

#66 Tony Farley (1 comments.) on 01.28.09 at 10:48 pm

I disagree. I love the site. It’s way over the top and breaks all the rules that the “web designers” tout. I’m guessing the site reflects the business, and it’s crazy fun without regard for tradition. I bet she makes a fine bit of money also.

Tony

#67 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 12:42 am

Actually, if anyone wants to meet Seth Godin in London (can meet personally prior to 3 hour presentation), I will be happy to put you in touch with booking agent who will supply 3 tickets for price of 2. Tickets just £100 each. send me an e at seth @ lingscars.com.

#68 Sonja Cassella (3 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 4:59 am

Daiv I think this is a case of the punishment fitting the crime, or, as it were, the website fitting the purpose. Ling’s site actually, by it’s chaos, mimics the feelings people have when they’re looking for a car. There’s a lot going on and if you’re not willing to discuss, yet, buying, you can check out Ling’s race horse picks. Doesn’t this remind you a little bit of the experience of going to the local used car lot?

Another thing — the seemingly self-designed low budget nature of the site suggests that you can trust Ling. Because she’s not investing in some high end web design, she’s doing it herself so she can give you the cheapest prices possible … ya think?

#69 Tom Gray (1 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 5:17 am

From LingsCars.com…

“PEOPLE OF BRITAIN
…you can trust me,
I AM LING!”

Ling, I love it. Ninja-Nerd needs to re-title this post to ‘Website-brilliance-how-to-use-worst-practice-web-design-to-generate-controversy-traffic-and-money”

You are the Crazy Eddie of UK Car sales!

#70 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 5:51 am

Holy Purple Cow!!!!

Hey @DaivRawks – Seth’s latest blog – scroll down, click the “sales” link in the text…. http://tinyurl.com/dmjof7 He calls it exciting!

Hit after hit!!!!

#71 Lucas Black (10 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 5:52 am

To quote:

…the humility, freshness and transparency that comes with an honest performance might actually be better than what a professional could do.

http://tinyurl.com/dmjof7

#72 Bud Gallant (1 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 7:28 am

The web site is terrible. That’s the bottom line. I’ve seen a lot of tacky, flashy, junk sites, but this is by far the worst. It looks like someone scanned a collage made by a 6 year old and then animated half of it.

The site is terribly unprofessional. I’ve never heard of Ling, and could care less who good the offline marketing is. The online marketing is worse than bad. There’s no way in hell I would do business with this company. Image is everything in a visual medium. I’ve seen fishing sites and 401 e-mails that have more credibility than this web site does.

#73 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 11:27 am

Bud, you do not qualify to buy a car from me, sorry. No offence, but I am not sure I will ever have a customer calle Bud, or Bubba for that matter (or the indian derivation Bubbita). Bob is OK.

My customers need a certain appreciation of artistic quality and complimentary colour coordination. I have all that.

Animated gifs are pure class. Who needs flash? Don’t you just hate flash? I do. All car manufacturer sites use flash. It is compulsory. Otherwise, how can the web designers charge such high fees?

Seth Godin must have a migraine by now. This is the first time he has mentioned my site in his blog. How many visits have I had today? My Who’s On has been rattling like popcorn in a microwave.

Have added a jpg of me in a gasmask to my car_detail page (drill into a car). It represents the car emissions. It looks like that German soldier in Medal of Honour :)

#74 JustinSMV (1 comments.) on 01.29.09 at 10:51 pm

I love how the website comments all say that the site is really professional and organized.

#75 AmieIlene on 01.29.09 at 11:11 pm

Although Ling’s site does seem to break all rules (spoken and unspoken) of design, there is one she hit right on the head which is: don’t be afraid to break the rules sometimes and when you do, do it big.

Ling has certainly done it big and it is working for her. This would be very risky for most, but Ling obviously made it work. And hey, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Congrat’s on your success Ling and I admire you for following your instinct. Don’t ever change.

#76 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 01.30.09 at 8:21 am

Thanks Amie.

Justin, this is so simple.

You, Bubba, Kalos and a lot of the rest would not have a car. Whereas others would consider it.

Some will, some won’t, so what?

I polarise visitors, I don’t try to work with lowest common denominator visitors. I want visitors who have a fun, open, happy attitude to my site. Then, everything goes swimmingly.

If you start off with an unhappy website critique and take that through into every aspect of the car order, moaning about the way I do stuff… do you really want the car from me? Do I really want to supply you?

I would rather have a customer order book full of “onside” people, having fun, not moaning about this gif or that colour or those words.

Does this make sense? Plus, I don’t want to be averagely good. I would rather be excellently bad (and good).

- Ling

#77 Paul Ingersole (1 comments.) on 01.30.09 at 11:06 pm

I think it is great.similar concept to annoying tv commercials that grow in viral popularity and dislike.
If something works in advertising and it is not immoral or offensive let’s acknowledge it’s cleverness.
Paul

#78 victorybyallmeans on 01.31.09 at 1:21 am

Amie its a numbers game,bums on seats is the first priority.

Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke may apply to your car or any mechanical appliance.

But a bit of fine tuning on a website can make it go a hell of a lot faster.

I suspect that Lings 70k a month is no where near the limit of available traffic in that industry.

I suspect that with a little bit of cleaning up ,and some decent navigation allied to the right marketing guru on board.

She may be in a position to let all hell loose on the car leasing industry.

#79 clonevideos.com (1 comments.) on 01.31.09 at 1:39 am

I got the link through the twitter. As all of you agree on that “where to click?” me too was searching where to click? and i already have a bad monitor in my office and i could not look at the site more than a minute or two. Me too developing some sites and i never like this kind of annoying site. and so many links and ads which one to choose to find what customers are looking for? there was not a search bar even? what a mess?

#80 Kiedis on 01.31.09 at 8:29 am

Now this is interesting, these kind of websites are an example for everyone and should be studied to understand better why it works.
In marketing the result counts, this website works so we should payb attention to this
Logos are dead and advertising as we know it is dying too, viral marketing its on now
Way to go lyn

#81 Tom Harris on 02.01.09 at 11:46 am

Well, Ling, I’m going to feature your site in the book I’m currently writing about website usability. Just not sure exactly what I’m going to say about it.

#82 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.02.09 at 12:39 am

You can say: the people that like it, love it. The people who dislike it, hate it.

Don’t forget there is a massive fully transcripted webservice BEHIND the website called LINGO that my customers use (and universally love).

My latest customer letter says “Using the new Lingo system this time from a customer point of view was also really useful. Actually being able to see what stage the whole process was at, easily upload specific documents was really helpful and informative. A good innovation.”

No one else in the UK motor industry has a secure web system to protect online ID theft. I have had visits from several high-profile people to see how it works.

Send me a copy of the book :) And feel free to ask me for info…

#83 JC on 02.02.09 at 5:17 am

Genius. As a business person first and foremost, I would choose Ling over most of the ‘web gurus’ that I have met. The figures she quotes are exceptional, and I don’t doubt them. I appreciate nicely designed websites and have shelled out significant chunks of cash in the past to ensure that my sites are, but in her industry Ling is showing a strategic understanding of the importance of defining and dominating a niche. There is something warm and human about the site which made me smile and made me browse.

Very well done.

#84 Jade (1 comments.) on 02.02.09 at 8:45 am

I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so harmful to the eyes in my online life…

#85 ranee25 on 02.02.09 at 10:08 am

I LOVE it!
My first reaction when I went to Ling’s site was EXCITEMENT! It looked like an exciting adventure and I felt like there were lots of things to explore and discover.

I realize that I am very different from the general population in that I LOVE *not* knowing what is going to happen next and this site is perfect for that. Being slightly ADD there are lots of “shiny new things” to distract me! What fun!!

There are all different types of people in this world. I do understand the reason for the “rules” in design and usability and I understand that those are targeted towards the largest population of people, however those rules don’t fit everyone. The sites that are what the majority of you would call “perfect” do not capture the attention of people like me.

Ling, I find you site and your personality to be refreshing!

#86 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.02.09 at 11:59 am

Wear sunglasses, hahahaha!

#87 Bridget Short (1 comments.) on 02.03.09 at 2:23 pm

Reminds me of Brands mart and other discount retailers. Somehow they stay in business, but I get a stomachache every time I am forced to go in one!

#88 1stAngel (2 comments.) on 02.03.09 at 2:25 pm

I saw her on Dragons Den…bet she is laughing at them now! I think her and the site are like a breath of fresh air… Her testimonial responses are brilliant. GO LING!

#89 Dave Newton (1 comments.) on 02.03.09 at 4:40 pm

Car dealers are car dealers, the world over. TV, newspaper, radio, the Web, doesn’t matter. They’ll always produce ugly advertising that works. You’ll never change them, or their customers.

#90 Bud Gallant (2 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 5:29 am

I must have fallen into a portal full of irony when someone named Ling is attempting to defend my lack of appreciation for her website by attacking my name. I suppose it was somewhat clever, although, implying I lack “artistic appreciation’ for the flashing monstrocity that is your website, Ling, is also ironic.

I should note, in performing a google search for “Bud”, the top results relate to Nascar and beer. In searching your name, “Ling”, the top results relate to fish. You display a rather predicitible lack of understanding for your primary demographics, if you actually believe your customers will respond more to “fish” than to “Nascar, and beer”. Seems like maybe you should change your name to Bud… Anyone buying from you after seeing your site is probably a Nascar fan, and quite likely drunk.

#91 Bud Gallant (2 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 6:05 am

Just to clarify, I may lack an artistic appreciation of your artistic flashing collage website, but I do have an appreciation for wit, so I give you props for that, Ling. ;) No hard feelings?

#92 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 2:40 pm

Bud! So pleased you are not annoyed, and you will find my website improves after several bottles of Bud. :)

However, if you “perform a Google search” for “Ling”, I beg to differ with your results. The top result for my chritian name is… me. Not many people can say they are #1 for their first name. The fish come second, hahaha.

I understand my primary demographics VERY well, I would post them here, but no graphigs allowed. Basically ABC12, 73% men, average UK credit is score >900 / 1000.

No offence in mistaking you for Bubba :)

#93 Robin (2 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 2:42 pm

From the conventional web sense it is terrible.

I suspect it works (lots of £’s in the register) and they are not going to listen to our good advice.

#94 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 2:45 pm

You know what?I have been taking some of your (plural) views on board. I have made a new image set for my cars this week, and I am planning to sort out my navigation a bit.

Just to let you all know that I DO pay attention.

The bright colours will stay and the flashing gifs, but I will eventually restrict the bright “header” to one initial page.

Really thanks for all opinions.

#95 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 3:01 pm

Robin, you posted your comment while mine about the same topic was under moderation….

…but it’s YOU who are not reading this blog. I am not a “they”, I am a “she”. Singular.

Pay attention.

#96 Robin (2 comments.) on 02.05.09 at 3:47 pm

I am always an “us” in public, that allows for plausible
deniability when we screw up.

I read the original blog post, not all the comments.

Keep up the good work. ;-)

#97 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.06.09 at 1:21 am

The “WE” and “US” thing:

This is really, really important. I don’t have plausible deniability. If I screw up, I admit the blame. I say I have screwed up – it is so hard to maintain such vast content and keep up with events and to be as accurate as possible. I hate websites that use “US” and “WE” all the time. I always think: “who are THEY?”.

Like this blog, Daiv will not say “WE”, you can plainly see it is down to Daiv. “WE” begs the questions; who is responsible, who am I talking to?

Your answer is correct, Robin, but the feeling it leaves the visitor is one of exactly that: deniability.

I prefer non-deniability and to be the one responsible. Buck stops with me.

#98 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.06.09 at 11:39 am

I have spent a whole day changing stuff (on the fly).

Through my car deal process on my website, the “header” (the bit with all the colour on every page filling the screen) is no more. It is only on the first page, and my extra cheap deals, and my full car lists.

But, click through a make or a model on the left menu, and you will see a difference. I have also spent the whole week making a better image set, with 320×200 images, nice (ish) quality, but 100% better than any other car leasing site.

I will see how this gets on over the weekend.

Next week? … maybe some tabs to replace the menu at the top, and maybe some breadcrumbs. However, don’t think this will cure your migraine :)

#99 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.08.09 at 2:36 pm

Just to cheer everyone in the UK up a bit, I have redone my very top header bar and strapline. Paraphrased Gordon Brown, hahahaha!

#100 1stAngel (2 comments.) on 02.09.09 at 4:57 am

I am one who thought your site showed originality and I spent ages on it looking around, but then I am someone who loves those old shops where you have to root through things to find a bargain. The fact that you use I rather than we again demands my respect immediately as I know who I would be dealing with. If I need a car I will be coming to you!

#101 kcurrier on 02.11.09 at 11:26 am

Hahaha! As a designer –the kind concerned with color harmony, balance, negative space, font treatments– this site is horrid! This is the extreme and ultimate example of what carnage can happen when a zealous marketing type is allowed to run amok without (or in spite of) the direction of a solid designer. In print, when merchants want to sell 60 products on one page, and have each image as big as possible, all caps, tons of colors…in design, when marketers get identity crisis and combine mixed sales messages resulting in garish, conflicting design all over their homepages and emails…THIS is what happens.

But.

Indeed, Ling has her own purple cow. And it works for her and her customers. If I had any advice for her at all as a designer, I’d evaluate the ease of use for her customers and adjust according to that. She might make more money w/o realizing it. But by all means she should keep her eyesore if it works for her.

Marketers must remember what product they are selling and the lifestyle they are selling to and how to represent their brand. Ling is clearly a character, and she is selling her offbeat self just as much as her cars. She is unforgettable. If she combines her quirkiness with good customer service, she wins undeniably.

Other companies the garish approach has worked well for is Building #19 in Massachusetts, and Brandsmart in SoFla. People love shopping these places. They always make money. And they are cheesy, loud and decidedly design-deaf.

#102 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.14.09 at 1:24 pm

Ok, people. I have made my LINGsCARS site live with new navigation. Can some of you who are interested go and have a look. It is not all working 100% and some of the pages are badly formatted as they have been brought in from pop-ups.

Thanks for comments.

#103 Daiv Russell (10 comments.) on 02.14.09 at 3:14 pm

I love it, Ling! There’s always room for improvement, but I don’t want to be picky. Coming to the site as a newcomer, I can actually quickly and easily tell where to go to give you money. What I’d REALLY like to know is how much better is does for you. I’m sure your meager 37MM is going up-up-up with your improved usability and diminished “migraine-effect”.

I’m thrilled to have facilitated your improved profitability. :-D

- Daiv http://Twitter.com/DaivRawks

#104 designtwit (2 comments.) on 02.14.09 at 4:00 pm

Ling! Your customer will always love your bling. I’ve enjoyed reading this dialog. How often do you change your website? All the time? I’d say the graphic focal point of of navigation tabs will help the lost find there way. I like the bread crumb that even says it in the copy… “Are you LOST”? You have 30% that don’t bounce when they land on your site? I think that was the stat? So why not 40 or 50%, capturing the 20% that don’t know where to start.

No, you will never be clean and helvetica and grey. Breaker of the two font rule. All that aside, clear navigation can be the key to lowering that bounce rate for some. We all understand road signs when we drive because a consistent pattern exists to help guide our way. Even when you zig-zag, you can still get back on the road to click “add to cart”. Tabs are a nomenclature understood for navigation, and there are others you should try- those tabs are hulky and taking over your bling. Look forward to checking back. Happy navigating!

PS: I thought about writing in ALL CAPS and using lots of !!!!!!!! to see if that would make my post more “READABLE”!!!!!!

#105 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.14.09 at 4:42 pm

Hmmmm, Daiv… well, I know Jamie has been talking to you about stuff, thanks for help.

I have lots of work to do. I would appreciate more advice. I am looking forward to Seth’s opinion on Tuesday. Any opinions welcome.

One thing – how do you pronounce “Daiv”? Jamie thinks like “Dave”, I think Day-eiv, like some Israeli name. Which is it?

- Ling

#106 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.15.09 at 2:39 pm

Designtwit, well thanks. Yes, the tabs are big, but I thought “let’s make them the focal point”. A lot of the navigation needs work, but I thought “what the hell” and just did it. I work on the site constantly, I have just added an aggressive yellow bar for “ILLEGAL” competitors.

I have also considered a handwritten site, made up of pages of overlaying divved gifs. It would be bloody fantastic. Like paint on acid. :)

I will see how things develop, it has been a good weekend order-wise, so might be onto something. Really, need a solid week bug chasing now.

I did have “are you blind?” and then “are you stupid?” but I went gentler with “are you lost?” Not working properly yet, so they are more like Chinese roadsigns :) )) Hahahaha. Gotta laugh!

Is it Day-eivvvvvvvvv, or Dave? Vote now!

- Ling

#107 Robin (2 comments.) on 02.15.09 at 8:09 pm

Why not add a few Chinese roadsigns?

I for one am waiting on Daiv’s response to the “Day-eivvvvvvvvv, or Dave? ” question.

You rock Ling your site is a definite 10+. If you weren’t 4900 miles away, I’d buy you dinner after I got a car from you!

#108 Daiv Russell (10 comments.) on 02.15.09 at 8:28 pm

@Robin and @Ling – It’s a abbreviated form of David, so it’s pronounced “Dave”. But, just as so many people choose to use the informal form of their name and choose how to spell it, I have done so, but slightly differently… for the branding purposes. You will never EVER forget “that Daiv guy”. I’ve had people run into me 10 years later, and they see my name “Daiv”, and instantly they remember me, or at least remember seeing my name somewhere. Talk about brand recognition!

How many people can say that? Sting? Bono? Flea? Liberace?? Alright, I’ll stick with Bono, Flea, and Sting.

#109 Robin (2 comments.) on 02.15.09 at 9:00 pm

I have to give you credit. That’s a great concept (if not original), but, if done creatively and correctly it makes all the difference
Let’s start a new thread about branding, “how many people can say that?”
Ling
Cher
Madonna
Barak ?
Dubya
Worf
Radar

#110 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.15.09 at 11:44 pm

Oooops, now I am disappointed :)

I was hoping it was Day-a-ivvvve, a bot like the Arabs give Is-ra-a-lies 4 syallables.

However, it certainly pulls you to close to the top on Google for your christian name.

Hmmmm, who is “Worf”? I know the rest, if “Radar” was the small guy in The Resisting American War of Imperialist Aggression to Aid Korea. :) ))

#111 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.15.09 at 11:48 pm

I have also quietly added a few new features to my website, including (stolen from the Economist) a Big Mac Index.

You can see it on every car, eg here:

http://www.lingscars.com/Audi/A5_Coupe/5253-2.0_TDi_(170bhp)_Sport__Coupe_2dr_1968cc-personal.html

#112 Rebecca (1 comments.) on 02.20.09 at 8:58 pm

Oh my. And I thought MY website was an eye sore!

#113 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.24.09 at 2:26 pm

Wow Daiv your website just exploded visitors on to my site! What happened? GMT 21.24

- Ling

#114 Lubos Tomicek (1 comments.) on 02.24.09 at 6:21 pm

Ling, in our country when we want to honour someone we say something what can be translated as: Take down the hats. If I would have one on my head, I will do that. Your website is exactly what it has to be – original and you are not a part of the crowd. Yes – some things can (maybe!) help such as navigation – but I love your web exactly for that what it is – you are in the your own class. No one can come close. Please, if you will do some changes, take it slowly, change just few (or better only one) things and check how it reflected on the sales. Do not make a lot of changes in short time. You are right – in business cash is a king not compliance with design rules. Wish you well.

#115 Daiv Russell (10 comments.) on 02.26.09 at 3:29 pm

I made a single tweet on Twitter, and people rushed to the site, then visited yours. :-D Perhaps I can work with you guys to improve your leveraging of social media. ;-)

#116 THE ITALIAN on 02.27.09 at 5:27 pm

WOW. My hat comes off to you. That is a retina burning wonder that I just can’t stop looking at (and I should be setting up a camera system). You really need a large link for this put somewhere in the middle possibly flashing bright colors http://www.lingscars.com/feature/aspirin.html

Once I have time I am going to probably read the whole thing. Some of that stuff is really great you have seriously captured the art of designing web pages. Like the old video games off the wall spontaneity isn’t seen in video games any more much less a corporate website.

Do you lease globally especially in the US? If you do thats great and if you have any Suzuki Samurai’s even better.

I may just try a similar marketing scheme for a wild life refuge donation fund I’m looking into setting up hmmmm.

#117 THE ITALIAN on 02.27.09 at 6:53 pm

OK need to get the av up at this building, so no more reading the site for now, but serious kudos to you.

“I road test car! I drive faster than Stig. I take it in town, on open road. Drives nice. Room for wok in boot.”

The stereotypical accent is really good really adds something.

“Jeremy Clarkson eating my dust, also get haircut, you UNCOOL!”

remember he almost got beat by a stock cargo van on the nurburgring.

#118 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 02.28.09 at 2:16 am

Hahahaha, The Italian, – well, pragmatics: Top Gear references (in the UK) get a lot of traffic. And if that result showed in Google, who could resist clicking on it?

Thanks for comments. It is all about engaging with visitors and making them feel comfortable and personal and emotional. I do my best. VERY FEW websites do this stuff IMHO. What it does is polarise, so you think great, I think great, but many others think terrible.

But, that is good. It is the Marmite effect (there is some benefit to being naturalised British). Marmite.

Lubos, thanks so much :)

Daiv, that Twitter went crazy. I was watching TV with laptop on my knee, and a machine-gun of visitors went off. Suddenly swamped by 100+ visitors on my site. Most were from the USA though (which is not bad, but means benefit is in blogging and talking rather than buying). I am not ungrateful. People certainly read your tweets.

Tabs are clunky, but have improved navigation, price lists have been improved and many other small things. But, I resist to turn it into a boring site.

I am building a white label site as a basic trial-run for my affiliate program, here. Hoping the UK Gov will assist me with development. This is a novelty gift site, I know the owner he is great and he has 50k+ visitors/mth buying jellybeans. Everyone (except kids) drives a car, so who cares if they buy toys and gifts? They are on-line transacters – is that a word?

You can see the site is only half built, but has a more conventional style. Powered by LINGsCARS and I am currently building customer handling backend.

Appreciate comments: http://www.carleasingexpert.co.uk

Note: this site will end up on Shiny Shack domain, but i will host (for DB integrity). SS will simply channel customers, some will purchase. I will handle those with generic “car leasing expert” brand admin. I will pay an amount per delivered car. If site puts 25 customers a month to me who take delivery, he will gain £15k to £30,000/annum benefit to his company bottom line, with no effort. Cool huh?

I anticipate a queue shortly, and I anticipate a future commitment fee from white label operators. I intend to build sites very carefully. This will not be a generic flood.

Appreciate comments – Ling

#119 Queen Lindsay (1 comments.) on 04.02.09 at 4:13 pm

Wow, whoa, that site gave me an intense headache!

#120 Ling Valentine (25 comments.) on 04.02.09 at 11:52 pm

Yes, well, take aspirin.

My new live visitor sitemap, web-leading and simply fantastic (set up as a Maoist detention camp), is here:

http://www.lingscars.com/sitemap.php