For anyone dabbling in creative work of any kind, it can be extremely useful to get good critical feedback. Unfortunately, however, while there are numerous venues for artists and writers to get their work reviewed critically, this is not so for websites, where criticism tends to come only with the occasional denied affiliation request, and as such it's hard for a budding webmaster to get a grasp of what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong and how they can improve. That's where I come in.
"Site Rater" is a bit of a misnomer; it would be more accurately described as "Get Your Site Mercilessly Picked On", but that doesn't sound as good in a title. Basically, you request a site rating, and I will give you a critical review of your site. I should emphasize that this is meant as help for you, not as some sort of an award or anything like that. If you just want an ego boost, this is not the place to look, since my comments will be almost exclusively negative, with maybe a "Hey, this is really neat" here and there if something you're doing right really catches my eye. The point here is to give you feedback about things to improve on, with the hope that your site will end up better for it. It should be very useful, but be sure you can stomach criticism before you ask for a rating.
I do not rate forums (it's not like I can go around picking on your users' spelling) or non-Pokémon websites (there is no guarantee I'd be remotely familiar with the subject matter and I wouldn't have a very clear idea of what sort of content is found on other similar sites), though if you've just made a layout and only want my thoughts on that, it doesn't matter.
How It Works
Well, basically, you e-mail me with the URL to your site and a request for a site rating. Then, sometime when I'm not being busy/lazy, I'll go to your site, open a text file and read through your whole site by going down your menu (unless you have a very, very large number of parallel sections like episode guides or something, where I'll usually only read a couple of samples) while writing every single nitpick that crosses my mind down into that file, from specific instances of misinformation to coding errors to generally picking on your spelling and grammar. Again, if you have a particularly good section that catches my eye, I'll comment on that too, but the main focus is on things you should fix.
If you request, I'll list all spelling/grammar/punctuation mistakes I find (otherwise I'll usually only comment generally on it and point out specifics where you misspell Pokémon names or other Pokémon terminology), but if there are too many of them, I'll just give up anyway and tell you to run your content through a spellchecker, read up on grammar and punctuation usage and/or find someone who can beta-read your sections.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Before requesting a site rating, read my Website Tips, Sections that Suck and preferably Content-Writing for Dummies. Almost every time I rate a website, I end up retyping several things I've already said there. All that text scaring you? Well, if you don't like to read loads and loads of advice, don't request a site rating - they get long.
- Yet again, the point here is to help you. Don't take it personally if your site rating is purely negative and tells you half of your sections are pointless or whatever; it's not because I hate you or your site, and even if I sound irritated it's probably just because I'm in a bad mood that day. I'm doing this because I truly, honestly want to see your site become better.
- Ultimately, everything I tell you is just my opinion. I'm not the world authority on websites; if you disagree with something I tell you, you're free to just ignore my complaints and continue on your merry way. However, it is very highly likely that my opinion will be shared, consciously or subconsciously, by a very large chunk of your potential visitors, and odds are your site will be more successful if you do what I say. And though you may disagree, don't ask for a site rating unless you truly do value my opinion to some extent; I don't want to waste my time reviewing your site if you end up not wanting to take any of my advice.
Still Want It?
If your mouth is watering at the thought of having me nitpick at your site, just contact me. Note that you may have to wait a little while for me to actually do it, since site rating requests get added to the affiliation queue and I'm not always in the mood to be browsing through websites so that queue tends to get long, but I'll get around to it eventually.
Page last modified November 18 2010 at 00:49 GMT