The "Ask Felgall" Website Construction Award
Criteria - Stage One
A web site must meet all of the following criteria in order to be considered for our website "Construction Award". Sites that contain pages that do not comply with all of the items listed below will not be considered for our award.
- The site being submitted should have at least ten pages of content
There is no point in having a well constructed site unless it has some content to give people a reason to visit.
Links pages, guestbooks, privacy statements, and other support pages will not be counted as content pages.
This is the only critera that we are applying that is not directly related to the site construction.
- The size of each individual page (including all images, scripts, etc.) must be under 80k.
This will give a load time under 8 seconds on a T1 broadband link and under 30 seconds on a 56k dialup. Most visitors will wait 8 seconds but almost no one will wait more than 30. Ideally, pages should load in under two seconds on T1 and eight on dialup. Almost every site submitted for the award has failed this condition - most on their home page which should normally be much smaller than this maximum size.
- Each individual page must not access more than two servers.
Each additional server adds to the time taken to load the page and there should be no reason to need to access more than two on a single page.
External server access to load advertising will not be counted in this two server limit.
- The site should avoid using frames except where necessary.
There are better ways to provide a common navigation bar than by using frames so we do not consider their use for this to be necessary.
The two circumstances where we consider the use of frames to be necessary are:
- To provide your common navigation on an externally hosted services page.
- Additional browser windows should only be used for external links.
You should use only one browser window to display all of your site content but you may want to keep your site open when your visitors follow an external link.
- Popup windows should only appear when your visitor selects a link that opens the popup.
Popup windows can be used to display larger images when your visitor clicks on a thumbnail image or the display information that requires fixed image dimensions. Popups should not appear automatically when a page is opened.
- Popups should not fill the entire screen
A section of the main window should still be visible so that your visitor knows that they can easily return to the page that generated the popup.
- A single Popunder window may be opened behind the window displaying your site.
The window may be opened automatically by a script in the head section of your page or by the onload parameter of the body tag. Where a popunder window is opened by scripts in the head section of your page the size of the files used to load the popunder window will be included in your page size because the two pages are loading simultaneously. This slows the loading of the visible page. Popunders should not be opened using the onunload parameter as that can interfere with the loading of someone else's site. Popunder windows should not open pages on secure servers unless the opening page is on the same secure server. Pages on secure servers may only open popunder windows using pages on the same secure server.
- Pages must not display more than one scrollbar at 1024x768 resolution
Your visitors will not appreciate having to scroll in multiple directions and most of your visitors will still be using that resolution or a lower one.
- The site must not depend on plug-ins for navigation
Your site should be navigable without relying on your visitors having previously downloaded the required plugin or expecting them to delay to download it now.
- Sound should not be used unless relevant to the site content
Even where it does contribute to the site a means for the visitor to decide whether or not they want to hear it should be provided.
- The site must not block any of the normal navigation functions provided by the browser.
These restrictions are usually applied in the mistaken belief that they can block access to your source but all they do is annoy your visitors.
- There are no broken links between pages of your site.
These links are completely under your control so there is no excuse for internal links to be broken.
- The site does not use a splash page.
People are visiting your site to view your content, a splash page slows their access to your site content, they should go straight to the home page.
- Server side scripting does not significantly delay the page from loading.
The actual coding of a page in a server side language (ASP, JSP, PHP, PERL etc.) is invisible to visitors to your page. As such we are not able to include evaluation of server side scripting in our award criteria. We will however disqualify sites where a page using server side scripting loads much slower than the generated html would normally require.
If your site meets all of the above requirements then it passes stage one and you are ready to continue on to stage two.
Sites that pass Stage One are eligible to receive the "Passed Stage One" Award even if they fail to obtain sufficient points for any of the awards in stage two. Sites that fail stage one will not be considered for stage two.