The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: August 14th, 2001

To Webpage Reviewers

By: Hitsuji

So I'm strolling along WPR looking for websites to look at to see if there was anything worth looking at. To my surprise, I find broken links, broken pictures, designing atrocities, and things that should never appear on a review website. What? you might say.. I mean why am I holding you people to a higher standard than any other website? Why should *I* complain. That's just it..

If the you have 2 broken images on your front page, and you are reviewing someone and mention 2 broken images. How seriously will the reviewee take you? What right do you have to say "You should fix that" when you haven't fixed it on your own website? You haven't taken the time to follow your own advice. Personally, I would roll my eyes and say to them, "Yeah right!" and think, "When I fix this on my website, my site will be better than yours.. by your standards."

That's not all! If your criticisms sound hypocritical.. how about the your compliments? I would think they would sound just as empty. What kinds of standards are you comparing them to? Do they really want to be complimented by you anymore than they want to be criticized? Let's view it this way.

A fake website reviewer example:They come across a page with good grammar and spelling. They themselves have bad grammar and spelling. So their compliment is, "You spell good." (It's well, since "spell" is a verb, and "well" is an adverb. "Good" is an adjective.. which adds to nouns..) Doesn't that kind of compliment sound flat? Now add to it that they went against their own requirements for their own site. Now does that sound even flatter?

It would be fine if they came up with the idea of a WPR independently from the AQ, well known and well-respected. But most of them got the idea from the AQ, and if they are copying standards from the AQ to review other sites.. then I don't understand why they didn't view AQ's website tips.

Here's an example:The problem with the majority of the WPR are that they are not finished, they don't have all the members, they don't have all the reviews up... basically they don't have the backbone of it.. and yet, the very same website reviewers they were inspired by say this, "Only after you are convinced your page is ready and most of the site is up and running do you start to advertise your page." (http://members.tripod.com/~pagetips/art-promo.html: at the very top)

Professional webdesigners say to not limit browser compatibility. If you ask them to get another browser, they will most likely hit the back key and never return to your website again.

Let's give some professional examples here. How many search engine sites do you know that is not viewable in Netscape, and limits the window width? How many of them have a splash page with browser specifications? Record so far? None.

Examples: http://www.yahoo.com http://www.google.com http://www.altavista.com

and for an example near and dear to everyone's heart.. that is not a professional website: http://members.tripod.com/~SailorMoonWorstOfWeb/

Yet there are all these design specifications that the WPR are putting on the user of the website..

Here are some common mistakes I see on WPR sites:

  1. Hard Navigation
  2. Web browser incompatibility
  3. Useless splash page
  4. broken images
  5. Broken links
  6. Insisting that you sign their guestbook, or link their page to get a review
  7. Bad spelling
  8. Lack of knowledge of the series (umm.. someone actually used the wrong spelling of their character name for their site name.. and then said that bad grammar and spelling irritates them on their requirements.)
  9. Unfinished linked pages that go nowhere (except to the occasional "The webpage is not here, be patient" sign. You know what AQ has said about that!)
So now, Website Reviewers, I ask, did you actually go to the trouble of making your own website the best it could be before you requested that AQ posted it? Did you actually sift through your own website? You are setting yourself as an example to other sites, so you should set yourself to be the best example you can be.

BTW, I have reviewed a number of websites, while I never really made a WPR, I did set my own site as an example, and asked for reviews on it as well. I do realize that WPR sites can't be perfect, but they should at least follow their own specifications!

If WPR's need some expert advice to make their websites shine better than average, then read: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000109.html

Seriously, if this continues, then who knows, someday there might be a BWPRR or Bad Webpage Reviewer Reviewer.


Comments on this article can be sent to: Hitsuji .


Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.


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