Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Review—A Checklist for Blogs and Websites

One of the services I offer as a social media coach, is a blog or website evaluation. Now don’t panic, I’m not selling you my services. Quite the contrary, today I’m giving you the checklist I use to evaluate online sites. 
Why am I giving it away? Because it’s not the only thing I do as a coach, and because I think this checklist can help you improve your site. 
So I challenge you to go over your site and let us know what you find out! Be sure to post your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Edie's Blog Critique Checklist

  • Size 
  • Consistency
  • Color Choice

Color Choices:
  • Background
  • Headers
  • Footers
  • Comments
  • Date
  • Tabs
  • Misc

  • Does the order of gadgets make sense?
  • Are the Lists/Links explained?
  • Is the Blog easy to view on mobile/tablet devices?
  • Is the Blog too busy or too stark to be effective?

Included Gadgets
  • About Me
  • Follow on Email
  • Follow through RSS
  • Facebook Link
  • Twitter Link
  • Pages/Pages Tabs
  • Contact Me.

Individual Posts
  • Do they catch the reader’s attention? 
  • Are they keyword rich?

Text Format:
  • Length of Paragraphs
  • Bullet Points and Lists
  • Use of Photographs/Visual Images
  • Use of Video
  • Spacing in and around posts
  • Open ended questions/application
  • Labels used effectively
  • Commenting
  • Hyperlinks

Misc Thoughts & Suggestions


  1. Hi Edie:)
    I know I could definitely use all the advice I can get for my fairly new blog. I'm not exactly 'blog design savvy.' I think my gadgets might be in the wrong order and maybe I need a different background colour:( Just sortof thinking out loud. I would welcome any advice you could give me.
    Great post!

  2. Lorna, great questions! Believe me, none of us was born knowing this stuff. As far as the order of your gadgets, I rank them by importance. For me, the most important thing I want my readers to do (after visiting the first time) is to come back. So I have my email/RSS subscription gadget first. Then I want them to connect with me on Twitter and Facebook, so those come next, etc.

    I visited your blog and I'm impressed. The font you've chosen is very readable and I love your header (as well as the title of your blog)! As far as background, the white is fine, but a softer color (like off white or grey) will be easier on someone's eyes. But overall, I'd say you've done a great job!
    Blessings, E

  3. How do you know if the font is easy to read and what it looks like on mobile devices if you don't have one?

    These seems like comprehensive criteria, but I'm not sure how to judge any of it.

  4. Ellen, the fonts you should choose need to be Sans Serif fonts, like Helvetica and Verdana (on your blog you use Verdana). As far as viewing on a mobile device, as a friend. These days we all have buddies who have smart phones and tablets. Great questions!
    Blessings, E

  5. What is a hyperlink? When would you use it?

  6. Barb, a hyperlink is the proper (formal) name for a link. These are clickable words that take you to another website. You use them to make your content more valuable. For instance, when I post about certain things, I'll link to older blog posts that give the reader more information. Here is a post I recently did on hyperlinks and the proper way to use them.
    Great question, thanks for dropping by!
    Blessings, Edie

  7. Oh, I know I'm probably doing things wrong. I had some training, but I'm basicly feeling my way through the whole blog idea. :) I was told to use Arial 12 because it's read by those who have computers that help with handicaps? It is that true?
    Thanks, Karen

  8. Karen, I've never seen that. I know you need to use at least an 11 point font and good contrast between page and print. Everything I've ever seen recommends a sans serif font. I'd love to know where that came from.
    Thanks for dropping by.
    Blessings, E

  9. Great checklist, Edie! Thanks.

    I haven't yet created Pages for my blog yet. Any suggestions on the best pages to include?


  10. Lindsay, one of the first pages I did was an about me page. It gave me an opportunity to move my bio somewhere where it could breath. LOL! I've also enjoyed having a schedule/calendar page. If you speak that's important, and I'm working on a media kit page. I've gotten that suggestion from a publicist. I've also seen cool pages with quotes, links, etc. It's really determine by the focus of your blog/writing. I hope that helps.
    Great question!
    Blessings, E

  11. Thanks for the free checklist, Edie. I promised my wife I wouldn't spend any money from the family budget on blogging. Even though writing is my passion, I must adhere to my promise and your free pointers are much appreciated. Thank you.

  12. Michael, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad I can help!
    Blessings, E

  13. Edie, the blog critique you gave me at the Writer's ADVANCE! Boot Camp has been beneficial beyond belief. I immediately doubled my traffic to the site because of your recommendations. Thank you so much. You are a blessing to each of us.

  14. Edie, Very gracious of you to share your checklist, and your answers to Lorna's questions gave me even more useful information. How should we use headers and footers- I think the "header" has the blog title, but how could one use the "footer"? Thanks for your time!

  15. Thanks so much for all your help and guidance.God bless you.

    Glenda Parker

  16. Nan, you already had an amazing blog - we just tweaked the visual!
    Julia, you're correct about the header. The footers can be used to adjust the social media settings. You know, tweet this, post on Facebook, etc.
    Glenda, I'm glad to be of help. Your blog is also in really good shape!
    Blessings All, E