Advantages Concise, funny, regularly updated
Disadvantages Popups, popups and more popups
I've got to write this review because I've only just read rachels_ratty review of the site in another section of Ciao and feel I need to balance the argument.I first heard about 365 about three years ago when journalist and pundit Danny Kelly was in charge of matters. It took a while for me to get around to going there but when I did it was obvious that this was a site Kelly had overseen. In depth news on all the top stories, statistics that would keep even the most ardent fan occupied for hours, opinions by top columnists (including Andy Gray, John Nicholson and Kelly himself) and fun features such as Mediawatch, lookalikes and picture gags. I'd been expecting a soul-less football factfile run by people who had seen about two matches in their life and they were both on the TV. I was wrong, thankfully.
What I'll say first of all about the layout is that it could be better. Whilst there is a news ticker, links to the latest articles, columnists and features it is quite difficult to spot what you want at first glance. Much of the home page just feels too bunched up and unless like me, you're a regular visitor you'll have to search a little for what you want. Links to all the statistics, club pages, tables and the like is to the left of the page, The main news summary is centred, with the top story in bold near the top with other stories listed below. To the right of these are links to other main pages such as the columnists, competitions and regular features. These are interchangeable as and when new columns are written and when pages are updated. Against a plain white background though, at least the layout will not send you blind trying to pick out links against some horrible multiclour effort or picture background.Getting around the site gets easier the more you visit it. Once you get used to where everything is located you can be looking at reviews, reports and previews in one or two clicks. The site lacks actual icons to click on as opposed to text links. Personally, I find clicking an icon far simpler than looking out for a text. Homepages like 365's that contain tons of text need to break some of it up with icons otherwise newcomers can get put off very early on in their visit. I know I found links to some sections very hard to find simply because I had to look for text links rather than a one click option of an icon.
The sites pages load in double-quick time because most of what they contain is text. Flash and other animations are rare and pictures are kept to manageable sizes, so anyone with a standard dial-up connection will find pages uploading in seconds rather than minutes. Those on broadband have no worries and will get their pages instantly.As most of what Football365 does is bring the latest news and opinion, updated content is important and this is done very well. Sites like Ananova, Yahoo news, the Press association and BBC sites are regularly scoured for breaking news and quotes and very few stories are missed. If anything this can also be a drawback as on heavier news days, stories from earlier in the day are pushed to the back as the newer ones roll in.
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