How do you create the world's leading Plant Finder tool?
Well, first of all, it takes a whole lot of experience. You see, to millions of northern gardeners and home landscapers, Northscaping.com was the best resource and community website on the Internet. This means we've been catering to millions of gardeners on the Internet since 2004 - and these gardeners are, not coincidentally, your customers! We've learned how they use the Internet, what they want from it, and what they expect it to do for them.
We know who pays the bills here - which is why NetPS was not designed for us, nor for you, nor for a coffee house full of botany professors; it was designed to be used by your customers. They find it easy and intuitive to use, and that's no coincidence, because NetPS is based on Northscaping's pioneering Landscape Plant Search tool which has 8+ years of development behind it. No other online plant database packs this much real-world experience!
Now from this starting point, add each of the following:
+ search page
Your customers will access your own customized search page on your website - this is always the starting point. From here, they can search for plants using specific keywords or phrases (for example, by plant names), a series of category-specific search parameters (with the Advanced Search option) which include detailed plant characteristics, landscape attributes, ornamental features, edible qualities (where appropriate) and site conditions, or a combination of the above. Or, they can click through to see all the plants you carry, broken down by category and alphabetically arranged. The search interface is very flexible!
+ plant information page
By clicking on a plant in the list of results, your customers will bring up an information page for each plant, which includes details on how to grow it, where to grow it, and how it will grow in their yard or garden. Every plant has between 1 and 3 indicative photos of its primary attributes - your customers will never see an unsightly "Photo Not Available" message with NetPS. To take advantage of Social Media marketing, customers can "Like" and "Share" their favorite plants on Facebook, and pin the photos on Pinterest - all of which link back to your Plant Finder tool!
+ results page
When your customers click "Search", the innovative plant search engine consults the NetPS plant database which contains over 20,000 plants, and which has been cross-referenced to only show the plants that you carry. It tests against 128 different data fields to produce a set of results that best matches your customers' search criteria. The results are prioritized according to relevance, and each result includes a snapshot of key plant information along with a thumbnail photo. NetPS uses cultivars to differentiate the results, not just species - your customers will see distinctive photos of every cultivar!
+ printer-friendly page
Printing pages directly off a website is a bad idea - you probably know this from personal experience. That's why NetPS provides special printer-friendly plant information pages. They are in PDF format, which means that they will print the same regardless of what computer or printer they're printed from. Best of all, the printable versions of these pages can be customized with your company's logo and letterhead. Think of it as having a detailed care sheet for each plant you carry available on your website!
This is pretty good stuff, but wait till you see what your customers can build with the myPlants personal plant list option!