Fleet News

Web watch: we review what’s hot on the net

WEBSITES are increasingly vital for daily rental companies – and Northgate has been one of the leaders.

After looking at this site, you definitely know why the web is dubbed the ‘information superhighway’ – there is a lot here.

Nearly every section is packed with information about the company – giving it a corporate feel. While this is generally a good thing, the sheer amount of text can seem overwhelming.

The FAQs section is helpful and there is a function available to email Northgate chief executive Steve Smith with questions.

A lot of information is also downloadable as pdfs, including publications by Northgate and ‘Really Essential Financial Statistics’.

The investor relations section offers the facility to sign up for an email alert service for news, calendars, press releases, presentations and annual reports.

Other practical functions include a portfolio calculator, share price search and various tables/graphs.

To actually rent a van, a link to Wannavan.com, the online rental brand of Northgate Plc, is provided at the top left of the site.

Northgate’s logo colours are incorporated throughout the plc site but the occasional inclusion of too many shades, and the odd blue or pink, makes some sections look a little untidy.

Pictures were used to good effect on the site, though a few more would have helped break up some of the more text-heavy areas.

Although the site was easy to navigate, some of the more important sections like Wannavan were quite difficult to find. Surely an online van rental brand should be made more of a prominent feature for a commercial vehicle provider’s site. Tom Seymour

The lowdown

The site: www.northgateplc.com

We like

The wealth of information leaves nothing to question regarding Northgate’s USP

We don’t like

There is little spark in the site’s design to add interest to the very dry content

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