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Review Article of the Month - June 2012
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Wherever we can, on pages about shops, businesses, organisations etc., we carry direct links to the web-sites of those people, and there are many of them. This month’s Review simply highlights a few of them as means of encouraging you, when you go to a page with a web-link, to go and have a look at that site, to have a look through their ‘window’ and see more about them.

Almost without doubt the biggest web-site in and for the community is that of Rochford District Council, a somewhat sombre site, but as it probably carries more information than most of the rest of us put together (and it’s an organ of government) that’s perhaps not surprising. A year back we criticised it for being incredibly difficult to use and find things you wanted, but the team there have obviously been working hard and now it is much easier to use and, in some parts at least, much friendlier in appearance. Keep at it guys! What is sad, is that very large numbers of the local population clearly do not use either that site or this one, as was recently evidenced by residents still putting their bins out on the usual day in Jubilee week when both they and we announced bin days were dropping back a day in that week! Such are the problems of communication. We have been asked on occasion why we do not advertise and the answer is that we don’t have money and don’t make money and so rely on word of mouth and growing reputation. Slow stuff!

Now it is difficult to choose what sites to highlight and so what follows are simply ones that have particularly stood out to us. Although Father Gerry from St. Teresa’s declined to be included on Rochford Life, we cannot but help acknowledge that their web-site,  as churches go, looks good, carries a great deal of information and feels interesting. Very professional.  Another church web-site that is very professional and full of information is that of the Elim Estuary Group which moves into the hi-tec realms of blogging and Twitter as well as providing basic information and masses of reading matter, but be warned (we missed them to start with)  the two arrows on the front page, either side of the page are the handles for moving between some of the key things they want to share with us. An excellent site though.

Schools don’t normally stand out in web-site design but maybe not surprisingly The King Edmund School web-site clearly stands head and shoulders above the rest for professionalism, content and interest. Another excellent site!  

Another site that is better than you might expect (sorry about that, and for our low expectations) is the Essex Police Site. If you use that link you’ll go to the Rochford District page of their site and by either putting in your postcode in the box on the right hand side or clicking one of the names on the left hand column under Rochford District, you can get more information about either Rochford town or Ashingdon. Simple and straight forward.

In the retail sector, for a small shop Rochford Archery has a bold site through which you can actually buy archery equipment. Quite impressive. Somehow you expect more from computing shops and you get it from Argon Computing. Another professional sales site is that from Rochford Tyres if you want Alloy Wheels. Probably THE shop with a sense of the regal about it, and full of information must be JJW Designs . Estate Agents have a name for clever and informative web-sites and Welcome Homes is no exception. If you want a nice, simple, straight forward, and highly informative business site, you probably can’t do a lot better than that of The Print Studio.

If you want class you have to go to the various restaurants around town. For THE top quality Indian food site, Regency Spice is colourful, interesting and full of all the information you might want and you can even book a reservation online. For clarity, boldness and a real sense of what you will find, The Grey Goose web-site really takes some beating, although The Royal Oak, out at Stambridge which has a finesse about it with clarity and information, comes a close second, while for Pub Food, the Hungry Horse at the Anne Boleyn comes top.

Well there is a good selection. No doubt we’ve missed someone you know with a good site, so apologies in advance. Point them out to us and we’ll add them in here.  In the meantime the selection above shows us that technology is alive and well (if not thriving) in Rochford. If you want to see good sites for no other reason than they are good to look at, then the above is a good starting place. Enjoy.  
Windows on Rochford

This month we give over our Review page to consider something quite different, the windows that we have into the life of Rochford - web-sites that show us what we have here. Of course that is exactly what Rochford Life is. We often comment in our editorials that although our front tag is “bringing people into focus”, we also like the phrase that defines our aim, “to bring the community to the community”; we act like a window through which you can look to see what is here. When it comes to other such ‘windows’ we don’t try to compete and as we often say in conversation, we’re not a glossy or smooth web-site, we’re just here to provide basic information to let you see what is here on your doorstep.