Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Web Secret #128: Critical Questions About Your Website

Recently I have had a flurry of people asking me to assess the effectiveness of their websites. I am always tempted to send them to the exhaustive 149 Mortal Sins That Will Send Your Site to Web Design Hell. But let's face it - sometimes a shorter checklist can also do the trick. So for those of you who want a quick take on whether your site is web worthy, I have edited the classic 50 Critical Questions About Your Website down to 18 key questions:
  1. Do you have an "About Me" page?
  2. Can visitors tell what your site is about without visiting your "About Me" page?
  3. Is there an easily findable link to your contact information from every page?
  4. Is your home page a call to action or is it merely an “Enter Site” gateway?
  5. Is your content up to date?
  6. Is anyone linking to you?
  7. If not, what can you do to make this happen?
  8. Who are you linking to?
  9. How long does it take your site to load at your mother’s house?
  10. What is the single most important thing you want a visitor to do?
  11. Is that clear from looking at your site?
  12. Does your site look professional, or does it look like a teenager’s Facebook page?
  13. Do you link out to your other web presences (Facebook, Twitter account, YouTube page, LinkedIn)?
  14. Are you commenting on blogs and building relationships with other site-owners in your industry or niche?
  15. How does your site look on an iPhone? a Blackberry? On Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari?
  16. How many clicks does it take for a visitor to give you money? Or make an appointment or schedule a speaking engagement that will earn you money?
  17. How easy is it for a visitor to leave a comment or send you an e-mail?
  18. Is the entire site backed up?
So there you have it - the Cliff Notes version of web site evaluation.

Looking for something more in depth? There is no substitute for reading my post on Very Bad Websites.

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