Rocket Daddy Awards are given to web sites who strive for excellence in their industry. We will judge submitted websites on criteria in each of these five categories. Web designers can use the principles and suggestions listed below to learn what the RocketDaddy.com staff is looking for in an award-winning website.
Content - the information found on your page. Any website can look pretty, but if it serves no purpose or does not draw the reader with valuable content, it is unlikely that the site will receive a return visit. Some questions to help you determine the content of your site:
Learn about Content scoring guidelines
- Does your site offer a useful purpose?
- Does this site present valuable information/entertainment?
- What can be learned from visiting this site?
- Does this site help me to learn more about the company, organization, or person who this site represents?
- Is the site inovative in it's use of technology.
- Is the site honest with it's user in it's representations.
- Do you post a phone number or address?
Graphic Design - the look. They say it takes three seconds to make a first impression and this is no different on the internet. Based on the graphics and color palette visitors immediately decide if the site is meant for business, entertainment, children, or simply not worth their time. Here are some questions to consider in analyzing your site's graphics:
Learn about Graphic Design scoring guidelines
- Are graphics purposeful throughout the site?
- Do graphics significantly slow the load time of your site?
- Do the graphic elements enhance your site or do they cause disfuction?
- Is your logo on the site?
- Do headings and links have a consistent style throughout the site?
- Is the site easy to use?
Layout - how it is organized. Most people know what they're looking for when they visit a website. If your site is hard to navigate, most visitors will quickly give up and look somewhere else.
Learn about Layout scoring guidelines
- Does the layout of your site have a logical structure?
- Do you have a site map?
- If you have a large site, is there a search feature?
- Is your navigation easily accessible?
- Is your menu always in the same place?
- The "fold" is the area above the point where a visitor needs to scroll down. Do you have important headlines or features above the fold?
- Is your site made so that visitors do not need to scroll horizontally?
Usability - ease of use. Over the years, web surfers have been conditioned to look for similarities in websites. These similarities, such as menu placement, can be a major advantage when considering web usability. Unless you have a specific reason, you don't want to stray from a visitor's expectations.
Learn about Usability scoring guidelines
- Is your logo also a link back to the home page?
- Is there a link back to your home page on every page?
- Do links describe where they are going?
- Do you use alt tags to describe images for visitors who are blind and for when images are broken?
- Do you provide breadcrumbs to let visitors know how deep they are in the site?
Functionality - how it works. So your visitor likes what they've seen so far. Now they want to buy your product or service. But if your menu or check out process is out of commission, you won't make the sale. If you are constantly changing your site, don't forget about links that lead to pages that don't exist or no longer work. Questions to consider for functionality:
Learn about Functionality scoring guidelines
- Does your navigation system work with all browsers and current operating systems?
- Does your shopping cart work?
- Does your check out process work?
- Do all your links work? Do they go to the correct page?
- Does your site function in all browsers?
Do you think your page has what it takes to make our list? If you would like to see it ranked on one of our sites, we would be happy to look it over. Click here to submit your site. Once we have reviewed your website, we will make a determination as to where your page ranks in comparison to others submitted. We will contact you with the good news and instruct you on how to receive your award. You have the option of simply submitting your site for a chance at our Top 100 rankings, or if you would also like a second opinion on what you already have, just let us know. The members of our staff will be happy to assess your site and provide you with some helpful comments and suggestions. Often times, a different point of view or a subtle change from here to there can make a world of difference.
If you find that your site has been ranked on one of our sites, and you have not been contacted with our congratulations, click here to claim your Rocket Daddy award.