Evaluating Websites

What do people want to know about a site when they visit the first time. From what I can gather who what where when seems to be fairly high on the list.
 
Who wrote it and what authority they have to be doing so is  good start. There is a lot of rubbish out there on the web and it is hard to distinguish that from a good honest resource sometimes.
 
What are they writing about? Well that should be obvious to the reader. It should be in the title and in the first few lines of the page. It should also be in the meta description of a site. Meta information is used by some search engine to give you a snippet of what the page is all about. Or at least that is what these tags are supposed to do. They can and have been abused to a great level on web pages over the years. Some meta tags I have seen are in fact more like a dictionary that descriptive of the actual contents.
 
Where is the author or company that runs the site based? Is is a UK based company or American? There should be a registered company name and address available. I believe by law this information must be on websites own by UK companies and on emails from UK companies.
 
When was this information produced? It is in fact hard to find concrete evidence about when information was last updated. JavaScript allows webmasters to appear to have today’s date on and this can lead one to think it is very up to date.
 
The content is the most important part of the site. What does it read like? Has it been edited before publishing or it is random comments? What would you be expecting of that sort of site? Are you looking for Joe Public’s opinion, with all the bad punctuation and spelling that that may have, or fully edited obviously biased material.
 
 
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