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Rationale behind the website
There are a lot of agricultural websites, but most offer a sub-par experience. I want to build the website I wish existed! What does that mean?
With useful I mean that it solves a need or a problem. In the case of TractorFan, I want it to solve several needs, all closely related to eachother. To me, TractorFan should be a valuable resource to many people. It should be a place where:
- you can find like minded people
- you can find all information about a machine
- you can find users of a machine and ask questions
- you can read previous questions and more importantly, answers
- you can see pictures, watch video's and read stories about that machine
- you can find products and services related to owning or maintaining that machine
- you can read news about new machines, products, services and events that interest you
The main goal is: if you have any interest in agricultural machinery at all, TractorFan should inform and entertain you enough to become a website you visit regularly, for your own pleasure.
Most websites have ulterior motives for offering useful content. They offer dragged out content in order make you watch ads or sign up for a subscription. All while ruining your experience by distracting you with ads and paywalls.
I get it. I have been there. I have made a good living off those practices with the hundreds of websites I launched during my career. I also used the advertising solutions to reach the audiences I wanted to sell a product to.
And I hated every minute of it.
My goal is to make this website work without any external ads.
And I think I can do that because I can keep costs low by creating the full stack myself. This means I don't have to hire consultants, designers, developers, copywriters and marketers to create this website, and I don't have to wring out every cent out of your attention to pay those people. I also don't have any shareholders to answer to.
Everyone hates it. Before you can read any content, you're confronted with cookie notices, location requests, browser notifications, newsletter subscriptions and coupon codes.
To me it feels like the website is giving me a giant🖕ever time I see one. My goal is to offer a great experience without any of these red flags. So no popups, no tracking cookies, no distractions.
Even though companies like Apple do their best to slow down development of internet standards in favour of companies launching apps in their app store, the technology still develops faster than ever before.
A website launched just 5 years ago can look dated by modern standards. Dark Mode for example didn't exist 5 years ago and today no modern website can do without. My goal is to keep up with modern standards and introduce features as soon as they become available.
While not visible to the general public, the backend technology is just as important as the frontend. That's why I plan on using a widely supported open source framework that is in active development and used by lots of developers. This increase the chances of the website keeping up to date with new server technology.
It should not be dependant on one single company. Otherwise we could simply start a Facebook community of Discord channel.
Keeping up with modern technology also ensures that when something happens to me, another developer can pick up where I left and maintain a website that is such a valuable resource to so many people.