The Webcheck Centre at e.com 2000 manned by Internet professional from SIMA International received over 55 sites in the span of three days for analysis.
Organised as part of 'Dubai-the city that cares and spring celebrations' at the DCCI (17,18,19 Jan 2000), the healthy response to the Webcheck Centre indicates the a coming of age of the corporate sector vis-a-vis the Internet.
"Companies are beginning to realise that the Internet is more than setting up a website. What is more, they understand that a website does not look after itself", says Murad, an website analyst from SIMA International.
Over 55 sites were submitted for analysis with regard to content, navigation, html, browser compatibility and efficiency. "95% of the sites were corporate sites and over 80% of these sites were e-commerce enabled", says Murad who led the SIMA team of website analysts.
"Content on most sites was focused but largely outdated. Companies must begin to appreciate the need to have a dedicated team for maintaining their website. Maintenance was also required to reduce broken links," said Murad.
Recommendations for Quality Improvement
- Broken links can be a cause of frustration for your customers and make you look bad. Fix the 59 broken links on your site by editing the Parent files that contain references to these links.
- Anything more than 15 seconds for a page to load is too long! Consider reducing the size of the 37 slow pages on your site by reducing the size of graphics, number of graphics or amount of text.
- Over 1% of the content on your site is over 6 Months old. By updating your site with fresh content you can increase repeat traffic and customer satisfaction. Also examine old content to ensure that it is still relevant.
- Your site contains 45 pages that take more than 4 clicks to get to from the front page of your site. Consider adding a sitemap or other navigation tool to improve the likelihood that these pages will be found.
- 1 of your pages is missing titles. It is important to include titles in your pages because they appear at the top of the browser when the page is loaded. Also, the title will appear in search engine query results.
- Consider adding author tags to your site. Automated reports can give you author by author breakdowns of your site's problems.
- Perform website tests at regular intervals. By doing so, you will reduce the number of errors found and save yourself precious time.
- Add height and width attributes to your image tags to improve page rendering.
- Consider fixing the temporary redirects.
- Remember that your customers are paying to be online. Provide fast and easy access to your information and content. Don't abuse their time. A large no. of Internet users have Netscape 3.0 and IE 3 with 28.8 KBPS modems.
- Avoid useless pages that serve no purpose. If a page doesn't show or tell the user something, or provide a service, then your site doesn't need it.
- Register with every possible source of traffic. Search engines are the primary pathways to your corporate front door. www.yahoo.com, www.altavista.com, www.inforseek.com and the like. Having a link with Community websites would help a lot in terms of traffic - www.godubai.com
- Run test searches to make sure your site comes up with each of the search engines.
- Think through keywords clearly. Imagine how a customer would look for your service or product if they didn't know your company or Web site name.
- Systemize your responses to email requests. An immediate response stating that the message has been received assures users that you are on the ball. Also, give the user an indication of how long it will be before they can expect a response.
- Encourage full company participation. Educate your staff, making sure they are familiar with your Web site, both in function and design. Feel free to ask the experts behind the major websites for advice.
The exhibition was organised by the chamber in conjunction with the "Dubai the City that Cares & Spring Celebrations" promotion.
The Internet City