From time to time someone requests a glimpse of the website quality. Our expert judgement may be insufficient, we must support it with several pages report. How to write such document, where the data take from ? Basic information can be gathered from free to use online tools. Below is the list, composed with a view to quickly obtaining data for basic website quality rating.
1. Look at Standards
The webpage which fails to comply with the standards could have different errors, which are very difficult to predict. Starting from the problems in different browsers, to poor Google indexing. With the help comes the W3C, which sets standards and provides ready to use tools:
- HTML, XHTML – http://validator.w3.org/
- CSS – http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
- FEED (RSS or ATOM) – http://validator.w3.org/feed/
2. Look at Design
The design has many meanings, here it comes mainly about how the site will be looked in different environments. Is not too wide, too high and looks the same in Firefox or Opera.
- Plenty of browsers, systems, etc - http://browsershots.org/
- Look at webpage in different resolution – http://www.markhorrell.com/tools/browser.html
3. Look at Performance
Underestimated but very important issue: the speed of page loading. We can have beautiful graphics, animations and great scripts but the user may not wait for full page load. Remember that we need to count the full load, not just the size of the HTML source, but also images, flash, ads, scripts and dynamic content via AJAX.
4. Look at SEO Quality
Search engine optimization is a difficult and lengthy process but most mistakes are the same, easy and crucial errors that substantially reduce the Google ranking. The following tools, which very quickly learn us problems at the site in terms of SEO:
- Complete SEO Analyzer – http://www.seoworkers.com/tools/analyzer.html
- Google Webmaster Guidelines – http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769
5. Look at Linking
Dead links are strictly connected with bad SEO score. Good to have many inner and outer links, but not too many and all must live :) Google Webmaster Tools are very useful particularly for the analysis of the number of links from other sites.
- W3C Tool – http://validator.w3.org/checklink
- DeadLinks – http://www.dead-links.com/
- Google Webmaster Tools – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
6. Look at Accessibility
Accessibility lies close to the Usability which is hard to check by machine. We have standards for websites accessibility and tools to rate it.
- Great, visual tool – http://wave.webaim.org/
- Compliance with standards – http://www.contentquality.com/
- Standard – http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/
- Standard – http://www.access-board.gov/508.htm
7. Ready for Mobile
More and more often we watch websites in our phones, we have already large displays but unfortunately have serious problems with the correct navigate at most sites. If some improvement can be done at low costs and thus will make mobile users life easier it should be done.
The above list is not exhaustive and detailed but gives a high potential to quickly verify whether provided website has the basic and crucial defects.