"How do you as a website owner, know if you have a purpose built
quality website, designed to attract visitors and get them to take the actions you want
Before you can develop a quality website you need to understand what quality means. It’s a
common enough term but what does it actually mean and how do we define quality ?
Webster’s Collegiate dictionary gives a definition for quality as “being of high quality” ...
really useful !
The Oxford Reference dictionary gives the definition of quality as “degree or level of
I think of quality as being something that’s well designed, well made and fit for its purpose.
If it looks good and stylish that’s a bonus.
But if something looks good, but is not well designed or made and not fit for the purpose it was
intended I would strongly argue it's also not of good quality.
There’s a lot more to good quality website design than what a site looks like. In fact when we
do an evaluation that accounts for less than 5% of the elements that make up an effective
That may surprise you if you’re a website owner or
web designer who places a lot of emphasis on appearance
There are two common sayings that apply just as much to websites and they are:
- “don’t judge a book by its cover“
- “appearances can be deceptive”
For a website being well designed and made is the stuff under the hood, much of which you don’t
see but it affects whether the website will be fit for its purpose.
Well for a business website it’s to attract visitors and get them to take some desired
But what is the purpose of a website ?
In the product design and manufacturing world things like quality control and quality assurance
are common place. But in designing and building a website quality control and quality assurance are
far from being common place.
In fact in my experience quality control in website design is as rare as finding rocking horse
s_ _ t, I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks.
Ensuring a quality website in the web world should mean doing what they do in the manufacturing
world. That is using quality controls that evaluate the product and its processes against
In manufacturing a product you only know if you have a quality product fit for its purpose if
you test and evaluate it. Similarly you only know if you have a quality website fit for its
purpose, if you evaluate the website.
“That means carrying out a website
also known as a website audit”
I recently updated two checklists we use during website development, one a web page evaluation
checklist, the other a website checklist. The number of aspects to evaluate about a web page has
grown to over 170, with another 120 to consider for the overall website.
These design aspects were spread over 12 categories for a webpage and 12 categories for a
website and are:
- Navigation and orientation
- Help and support
- Error handling
- Visitor control
- Visitor language & security
- Keeping visitors informed
- Visual design
- Search engine optimization
In the above list there is only category that deals with website appearance and that’s under
“10. Visual design.”
Looking good doesn't count much in a Quality Website
"There’s not a single check that asks if the site looks
That’s because appearance counts for only 5 checks out of over 170 for a web page,
which makes it largely irrelevant to developing a good quality webpage and website.
Whether you’re a web designer or a website
you should be evaluating your website
- The web designer should carry out a website evaluation as part of the design process to
ensure they design and make a website the owner wants.
- The website owner should do a website evaluation to ensure the web designer has made a
website fit for its purpose.
Quality control should be in place and applied.
A website should not be different to any other product you buy from a manufacturer.
Why do website owners not expect a guarantee ?
Would you spend even $50 on a new product
and not expect a guarantee ?
"Then why spend $500 on a website and not get a
Not only do website owners buy a website without getting a guarantee but they also don’t bother
to really evaluate what they just bought.
I strongly advise you to carry out you own design evaluation which you can do by downloading
either our web page checklist or
Alternatively you can use our online
quality calculator to determine a quality rating out of 10.
To your Success
Website Audit Expert