May 2, 2012

Review your website or blog in a few minutes!

Though we continue to review blogs in detail, our limitation of time makes the queue very long. So we are giving a small check-list below, which you can use to analyse your blog for key factors.

If you like, you can play an interesting scoring game: Give your website marks on each question given below:  the marks should be between the numbers given against the question [e.g. -2 to 8]. Give yourself a pat on the cheek if you score more than 80 out of 100. There might be something horrible with the website / blog if you score less than 50. You can have a score of -68 too if you really try hard.

The 26 rapidfire blogging questions

  1. Is your website / blog pleasing and soothing?  0 to 10
  2. Does your content communicate well with the reader? Do you care to write original content? Is your writing style appropriate for the subject? [Corresponding questions in the case of photos.] 0 to 10
  3. Does the opening screen show up the best content in the blog / website [i.e. the visitor does not have to scroll down to find things he’s looking for]? 0 to 9
  4. Are your posts relevant to the main theme of the website / blog? -2 to 8
  5. Do you proof-read posts and check them for grammar before pressing the ‘publish’ button?  -3 to 6
  6. Do you post at a frequency adequate for your type of blog? [Say, daily for a news blog and once a fortnight for a food blog.] 0 to 7
  7. Is your title catchy, and has a crisp and relevant description under it? 0 to 7
  8. Have you put labels on posts and used categorization / labeling properly? Have you made the best use of menu-bar and archives? 0 to 7
  9. Is your text properly readable to a person with slightly poor eyesight and on a bit bright/ dull screen? [Do look at color, contrast, font type and size.] 0 to 7
  10. Are your posts of adequate size? Have you shortened long posts with ‘jump break’? 0 to 6
  11. Is the page length not too long, and width no bigger than about 1200 pixels? 0 to 5
  12. Do you care to respond to comments? -3 to 5
  13. Have you used proper script for long passages of non-English text? -5 to 3
  14. Do you use images in posts [for blogs other than photoblogs] / you give relevant text alongside images [photoblogs]? 0 to 5
  15. Have you put a favicon on the website? 0 to 3
  16. Does your website have a moving element [e.g. video, slide-show, flash animation] that does not allow the visitor to move forward till it has played out? -8 to 0
  17. Does your website play music without user’s permission? [And there is no prominent button to stop it?] -8 to 0
  18. Is your website free from irritants such as distracting animations and pop-ups? -5 to 0
  19. Have you stuffed the blog with irritating SEO tricks? -5 to 0
  20. Does the site have widgets that, when clicked, lead to subscription sites? -5 to 0
  21. Have you kept too many and too bulky images and videos on the site? -5 to 0
  22. Have you stuffed the website / blog with too many and irrelevant widgets and social media icons? -5 to 0
  23. Do you brag too much in ‘about me’, by sermonizing, by egotistical writing? Are you too self-centred? -4 to 2
  24. Does the website have too many advertisements? -4 to 0
  25. Are there too many jerky and contrasting shifts in text coloration and size, images, etc on the site? -3 to 0
  26. Do you ask for registration without much reason or make commenting too much difficult? -3 to 0
Be experimental, but be sensible

These are general points to check, and some types of websites and blogs will do good if they experiment with chaos while keeping the basics in mind. Why not have loud music at the very instant the website opens if the site is one on rock music? Who says there won’t be technical terms on a website / blog on a medical condition? Only a mad guy will say that a kid’s blog should look as serious as a grandpa’s.

You must experiment, show your bubbling side on your personal blog, break rules, declare rebellion. What we humbly  advocate is common-sense approach towards a website / blog -  to use various elements, tools and information sensibly, and not abuse or misuse them.

The final test of a website / blog is: whether your visitors will like it and will the site serve the purpose for which they visit it. If you score 100 here, you have the liberty to ignore the score you’ve obtained by answering the questions above.