In the month of September, Mojo Motors made some major upgrades to the homepage and vehicle detail page (VDP). In fact, some folks might say aside from the new dealer dashboard, these are some of the biggest updates since the website was redesigned back in November of 2012.
The changes took place on the vehicle detail pages and the homepage. The internal codeword for the product update on the VDP was “Need for Speed.” There was no codeword for the homepage redesign, but for the purposes of a blog post, it will be named “Bye Sheila!”
Need for Speed
Mojo Motors was never a slow website, but it wasn’t exactly blazing fast either. The release “Need for Speed” changed all that because now our vehicle detail pages are quick. In fact, we found out they were too quick. We had to add a ‘Loading Inventory’ progress indicator so shoppers would know they were about to see a new page. Before this progress indicator was put in place, a new page would load so fast that some shoppers wouldn’t realize they were looking at a different car, especially if the color and mileage was similar.
We were able to make the new VDP 10x faster than the old VDP by completely “gutting” it. The tech team ripped out the old code and then re-wrote the architecture. Each VDP now only talks to our database once when it is first loaded, instead of every time something on the VDP is clicked.
This same technology will be rolled out on the search page soon, as well. Coupled with the addition of a carousel (the top row of similar vehicle links), the speedier VDP has led to nearly a 500% growth of vehicle views.
The changes were described to me by our CTO, Tae Oh, in a great analogy.
Before re-writing the VDP code, each time something was clicked, the page would have to communicate with the database which is like having to go into the kitchen every time you want to get a Cool Ranch Dorito. The new VDP only talks to the database once so it’s like we’re letting you take the whole bag of Doritos with you to the couch. There’s nothing holding you back from that Cool Ranch taste.
Sheila was our homepage girl, but she’s gone now. The screenshot below was our old homepage for almost a year.
The new homepage is cleaner, more intuitive and loads faster because there are no longer vehicle modules of the ‘Most Followed Cars on Mojo Motors’ which means no more database calls. This is what the homepage looks like today.
The new homepage also has one call-to-action, ‘Search.’ The whole point of using Mojo Motors is to shop for used cars, but if shoppers want to see what we’re all about, they can scroll down and learn more. They can also reload the page to see a different testimonial from Ronnie, Cindy, Tim or Mel.
When changing and redesigning pages on Mojo Motors, it takes a lot of work to make the responsive design look perfect, or close to it. Responsive design means the website will automatically resize to fit the screen of your device, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.
Responsive design may result in 20% more overhead on tablet and mobile combined, but it’s worth it. The costs to maintain a mobile site or Android and iOS apps would be more expensive and not offer a seamless experience between devices.
We hope you enjoy using the faster Mojo Motors website while shopping for a used car. And please remember, for optimal browsing, use Chrome or Firefox because those old Internet Explorer versions are dead to us.
Written by Max Katsarelas