Enterprises are launching “corporate portals,” gateway sites that act as an entryway to both a company’s Web presence and its intranet. In this column, Web consultant Kelly McKnight gives his opinion on a corporate portal, highlighting strengths and weaknesses that may translate to your company’s Web presence. The following index provides an objective look at the site’s features.
Kelly’s thoughts on the Expedia Web site
With my busy travel schedule, I use travel sites a lot—with mixed results. First up on my itinerary today, Expedia.

It’s a nice-looking site. The site is friendly, and I really liked the way it’s laid out and organized. There are Deals, Places To Go, and Interest & Activities, which are all interesting. These areas create easy ways to communicate—and attract—visitor interaction.
This is part one in a new series, “Around The World,” in which we will review travel-booking sites, including priceline and Travelocity. Fasten your seatbelts folks, and let’s take off.
Right away, I headed to “Deals” and found an area called “Beaches.” To me and my family, a vacation isn’t a vacation unless you mix in sand, water, and sun. This content area offered us some nifty choices for all three. I especially liked the one-price-covers-all aspect. Every member in my family usually selects a different meal and activity plan while on vacation, and it’s a major pain figuring out the bill. All-in-one deals make it a whole lot easier. The packages didn’t include flights, which is okay by me; I’d rather cut my own deal anyway.

I spotted another great promotion: a free set of Royal Doulton china for booking a honeymoon trip. What a great idea! My wife bought our Royal Doulton china while we were on our honeymoon. Not only did it cost an arm and a leg, but I had to lug 12 complete place settings all over the Caribbean.

The thing I hate about a lot of booking sites is that they quote a super low airfare price, but when it comes time to book the flight, the flight isn’t available. Hey! Why raise my expectations and list the price to begin with? As you can probably tell, this really gets under my skin.

So I’m going to put the sites to the test. I’m going to see who gives me the lowest price on a roundtrip ticket from Louisville to New York City. Expedia hit me for $360 and flew me into LaGuardia. Next week, let’s see what priceline comes up with.

Kelly’s verdict

Kelly McKnight is a principal of Via Internet Studio , a consulting firm that specializes in corporate Web site design, Internet marketing, and e-commerce.

Now it’s your turn to review the Expedia Web site. Just click on the Rate this Site! button and you can help separate the good from the bad from the ugly. It only takes a minute or two to complete your rating, so don’t waste any more time—rate this site now! For Kelly’s rating, scroll below.