MultiValue News                                     1998 Issue 4

Pick of the Web by Elkie Holland
Prospectus Computer Registrations

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Craystone was formed by Glenn and Chris in October 1992, to supply the VAR community with competitively priced hardware products along with high levels of customer service.
In the early years Craystone played a large part in the development of a four and eight port multi-user serial card for the PICK operating system. The card is called OCTOBUS and has proved to be very successful, currently positioned in many sites throughout the country.
Since early 1996 Craystone has specialised in the supply of Tape and DAT backup products, including Archive, Sony, Tandberg Data, Wangdat and Wangtek.
Now you know what Craystone do, let me tell you some of the history to their web site.   In August 1998, I was asked to review this web site by the editor of MultiValue News.  I was working to tight deadlines as I was off on holiday (yes, another one for those who know me well!).  I visited this site and roamed around it and had to write the article that night for submission.
What I would have written would have been a total slating of all things bad in a web site.   Whilst I don't mind criticising sites within reason, I felt the slating this one would get would be above and beyond anything suitable for publication.  As it was so late into the night and early into the next morning, I decided to write my comments in an e-mail to Glenn of Craystone in which I said: "I have just been up and given it a cursory look and sadly I think I'll do us both a favour and not review your site officially at this moment in time." The e-mail then printed for 4 pages (my fingers became a little verbose and my criticism a little over ambitious!).
Glenn managed to actually hold a polite (thank you!) conversation with me after reading the e-mail which commented on.
o   No domain name;
o   Logo too large;
o   Page layout was too large for standard 14" monitors
o   If printing from the site the information was on the page was too wide for most printer margins;
o   Fonts were too big so not much information per screen - too much scrolling;
o   Unable to click to send e-mail direct to company;
o   Hyperlinks and text were all the same colour so could not tell what was or was not clickable;
o   No background graphic or colour;
o   Team grid was nice but you then had to scroll down the page and could not click on the person's name;
o   Grid contained too many lines and space;
o   Counter page had 24 showing only - not a good site recommendation - suggested missing it off;
o   No easy moving around site by using menu bar at the top or frames;
o   Arrows and links did not always work;
o   Price list missing;
o   Diagrams nice but the text wrapping not working;

Craystone read, digested and discussed the points above and others which I raised and have in just over two short months, not only addressed all the points but have added some fabulous stuff.
The technical content is all there but dig around deeper in their site and you will see that these guys have stamina, personality, originality, courage and a HUGE sense of humour: go visit
Ed: Or preferably sign on to and use the Co Info button on the menu bar.
Some parts of this site are still under construction but talk about RAD development - this site had a RADical face lift! Well done. Keep an eye on this site - see it progress.
They have gone far and beyond my comments on their site development and included ListBot by LinkExchange too.  This is something I think we will see more of on web sites.
CONGRATULATIONS on a site which is progressing and changing and growing and improving very rapidly.  It is a fast loader, attracts a lot of traffic, and there are new features being added all the time.
Most of all thank you for listening and not taking offence with my earlier e-mail and getting to the destination of a web site which I hope will bring you lots of business.

Elkie Holland

HP Colorado Travan

Would you like Elkie to give your Website the once over?  Send details of your company and the URL to Elspeth Ferguson at and they'll sort it out