Web site Review Checklist


  • The site organization has been tested with users.
  • Clients have reviewed the architecture for completeness and appropriateness.
  • The site organization has been finalized and documented.
  • A site maintenance plan is documented.
  • All content has been acquired or planned for.
  • Site logs and search logs have been reviewed for possible refinements.


  • The architecture matches overall site requirements.
  • The architecture makes sense at a glance.


  • No relevant content is missing.
  • No unnecessary pages can be removed.
  • The site has all necessary pieces, e.g.,
  • Home
  • About/Introduction/Overview
  • Contact/Feedback Forms
  • Site Map/Site Index/Table of Contents
  • Help/Frequently Asked Questions
  • Search
  • Error Pages
  • Privacy Policy/Copyright Policy

Task Analysis

  • All important tasks and user types are supported.
  • Common tasks flow along a natural and short sequence of pages.
  • Important tasks are achievable in one section of the site, or appropriately cross-linked.


  • The site is relatively broad and shallow, no deeper than 3 levels, no broader than
  • about 16 options.
  • Categories are placed at the right depth. Based on importance, no categories need
  • to be promoted or demoted.
  • Important options come first.
  • Related options are grouped.
  • The organization is flexible. Sections can be added and deleted without major
  • reorganization.


  • Categories divide up the space sensibly.
  • Each category has comprehensive coverage.
  • All topics are in the correct category.

Orientation and Labeling

  • Pages are clearly identified and explained, with clear page titles and good descriptions.
  • Landmark pages are sufficiently distinct.
  • Labels are clear, meaningful, and appropriate to their target content.
  • Labels are consistent in specificity, tone, and usage.
  • Link labels provide the scent of all subcategories.
  • Scope notes are provided when useful.
  • Users can gauge their progress through the information.


  • The link to the home page is explicitly indicated.
  • External links are chosen with restraint, appropriate, and regularly maintained.
  • Page links are minimal and clearly labeled.
  • There are no dead-end pages—those without any outgoing links.

Navigation Bar

  • The navbar indicates where the user is currently located.
  • The user can see how the current page is positioned within the whole site.
  • The hierarchy is clear. The user can determine which options are at the top level
  • versus a sublevel.
  • Text navigation is provided for users who are not viewing images.
  • Navigation is at the top and the bottom of long pages.
  • The user can quickly review all options without scrolling or rolling over the options.


  • Users can choose to either browse or search (though search may not be needed on
  • small or very well structured sites).
  • The scope of the search is clear.
  • Search tips are provided, especially after too few or too many results are found.
  • Search results indicate the number of matches and the total records or documents.
  • Search results are comprehensive, precise, and relevant.
  • Search results are ordered usefully.
  • Search results provide the context and/or description of each match.
  • Search results are categorized when there are a large number of matches.
  • The search query is repeated in the results, and users can easily refine searches.
  • Common queries produce good results.
  • The search is robust with regard to misspellings, alternate spellings, synonyms,
  • plurality, and prefixes and suffixes.


  • Simplicity, consistency, and focus.
  • Contrast, balance, and repetition.
  • Proximity, similarity, and good continuation.
  • Critical elements stand out.
  • Critical information appears toward top left of the page.
  • Works for printing and at a variety of window sizes (e.g., 520 pixel
  • maximum width of your design).
  • Provides appropriate focal point, emphasis, and hierarchy of information.

Background Image

  • Can be compressed to a reasonable size.
  • Aligns with the foreground images.
  • Will tile appropriately.


  • Navigation is scalable.
  • The most complex page can be developed using this framework.
  • Proper page titles and link labels have been used.


  • The typeface matches the page style.
  • The number of typefaces is limited.
  • The use of typefaces, weights, and emphasis is limited.
  • HTML text is aliased (jaggy) and presented in the expected font.
  • Font size is flexible.
  • Text links are underlined.
  • Text links are different colors for visited and unvisited links.
  • Body text, titles, and labels are legible.


  • A consistent light source is used.
  • The compression of the mockup does not lose too much visual quality.
  • The images are used to support the content of the page.


  • Color is used appropriately (e.g., for grouping, pop-out effects, and so forth).
  • Color is appropriate for dark, light, and grayscale monitor settings.
  • Contrast is appropriate for dark, light, and grayscale monitor settings.

Client Requirements

  • Required logos, fonts, and colors are included in the mockup.
  • Page titles, button labels, and link names are accurate.
  • Appropriate identifying images and marks are included.
  • The client address is correct.

Pre-Launch Checklist

Typography and layout

  • Check for incorrect punctuation marks, particularly apostrophes, quotation marks and hyphens/dashes
  • Check for widow/orphan terms in important paragraphs
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Consistency
  • Check for widow/orphan terms in important paragraphs
  • Capitalization (especially of main headings)
  • Is all the writing in the same tense/style
  • Recurring/common phrases (e.g. ‘More about X’ links)
  • Is there consistent use of variations in words (e.g. Websites vs. Web Sites, or UK vs. US spelling)
  • Treatment of bulleted lists (e.g. periods or commas at end of each item)
  • Ensure no test content on site
  • Check how important pages (e.g. content items) print
  • Check all ‘Hidden Copy’ (e.g. alt text, transcriptions, text in JavaScript functions)


Search Engine Visibility, SEO and Metrics

  • Page Titles are important; ensure they make sense and have relevant keywords in them.
  • Check for target keyword usage in general content
  • Check format (user/search engine friendliness) of URLs
  • Set up Analytics, FeedBurner, and any other packages for measuring ongoing success
  • Create an XML Sitemap
  • Configure Google Webmaster Console and Yahoo! Site Explorer


Functional Testing

  • Check all bespoke/complex functionality
  • Check search functionality (including relevance of results)
  • Check on common variations of browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc.), version (6, 7, 2.2, 3.1 etc.) and platform (Windows, OSX, Linux)
  • Check on common variations of Screen Resolution
  • Test all forms (e.g. contact us, blog comments), including anti-spam features, response emails/text, etc.
  • Test without JavaScript, Flash, and other plug-ins
  • Check all external links are valid
  • Check analytics for problems, popular pages etc. and adjust as necessary


Security Checklist

  • Configure backup schedule, and test recovery from backup.
  • Protect any sensitive pages (e.g. administration area)
  • Use robots.txt where necessary
  • Security/Penetration test
  • Turn-off verbose error reporting
  • Check disk space/capacity
  • Set-up email/SMS monitoring/alerts (e.g. for errors, server warnings); consider internal and external monitoring services
  • Performance Load test
  • Check image optimization
  • Check and implement caching where necessary
  • Check total page size/download time
  • Minify/compress static (JavaScript/HTML/CSS) files
  • Optimize your CSS: use short image paths; make full-use ‘cascading’ nature of CSS, etc.
  • Check correct database indexing
  • Check configuration at every level (Web server, Database, any other software e.g. Content Management System)
  • Configure server-based logging/measurement tools (e.g. database/web server logging)

Finishing Touches

  • Create custom 404/error pages
  • Create a favicon
  • Submit to search engines

Just to let you know, this page was last updated Thursday, Apr 18 24