December 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 21)
Strong Points: Broad coverage
Weak Points: Slow forward of links
Speaking of niches (both environmental and web-based), the Wild Plants of Malta site scores big-time for providing a beautiful and informative perspective of life on this distant land. Created by Stephen Mifsud, the site entices visitors on the opening page with an attractive slide show of beautiful and exotic plants. Subcategories lead to an expansive Wild Plant Index (unfortunately crammed onto a single massive page), Color Index (organization by color of flower), and a Search Page. Links within the subcategories frequently led to an annoying message about being forwarded to a new link in seconds, followed by the wait for this to happen. Why do site designers do this? Why not just automatically forward? But I digress. Other features of the site include a botanical glossary, lists of endemic plants and protected species, and posting of users comments (almost universally favorable). Though there are a few annoyances at the site they are more than outweighed by the massive amount of useful botanical information available.