Vermont Assn. Launches Innovative Website
The Vermont Campground Association (VCA) has launched its completely new website.
"To our knowledge, the newly launched website for the Vermont Campground Association at http://CampVermont.com is the first fully responsive campground association website in the United States," Peter M. Daniels, VCA executive director, stated in a news release. "Unlike a separate mobile website, this new technology allows a single website to respond to each user device and present the most appropriate version of content."
Unlike a mobile app, which must be downloaded and installed (and then may be rarely used), a responsive site is not limited to any one platform, requiring a duplication of expense for Android and iOS devices (and then leaving users of Blackberries and other devices out of luck).
"Essentially, this is the new way of building websites, and the Vermont Campground Association is pleased to be the first campground association on this cutting edge. Using a desktop computer or laptop, you are presented with one version of the site. Using a tablet or Smartphone, you are presented with alternate versions that are automatically optimized for the display size." Daniels stated
Custom built by Pelland Advertising, of Haydenville, Mass., the responsive design is only one of several features that are designed to allow the new site to present the most user-friendly experience possible.
In addition to the responsive technology, the database-driven and custom-programmed site includes highly sophisticated logic that allows users to search for the perfect Vermont campground or state park using map-based markers that respond to user input in real time. Users who prefer text-based search can also narrow their search by region, pre-selected amenities or other variables.
When choosing an individual campground, either from the map-based markers or an alphabetical listing, users are presented with everything they need to influence their decision and plan their vacation, including a photo (or three photos for enhanced listing members), a full list of recreation and amenities, nearby attractions, traffic advisories, generation of custom travel directions and links to the park’s website and e-mail addresses.
Enhanced listing members, in addition to presenting three photos, may also provide links to their Facebook pages and brochure downloads. The new traffic advisories are a particularly useful feature. Since written travel directions become obsolete with online mapping and Smartphone GPS apps, members may post either permanent notices regarding routes to avoid (such as steep grades or covered bridges) or temporary detours due to construction or temporary road closures.
The site also includes an interactive version of the 2013 Vermont Campground Association printed directory, using the Pelland Advertising’s new Inter-Flip branded technology. Among other features, the interactive directory includes smooth zooming, search capability, hyperlinks to advertisers, click-tracking through Google Analytics and simplified social sharing functions.
Other features include regional tourism information, business member listings, and useful links that include links to every other state campground association website. The member interface allows individual campgrounds to enter changes as frequently as necessary, not simply on an annual basis. The data entered may then be output by the association for consistent content in future printed directories.
"All in all, the goal was to create a very robust site behind the scenes that presents a very simple, intuitive, and user-friendly interface that will encourage visitors to camp in Vermont," Daniels concluded.