Everyone has their own website reviewing methods. Some of them only look at the surface presentation of the site and rarely delve deep within a site’s depths to check all the pages and posts. Others look at the site’s use of presentation styles, dig into the code to check it, and give a more detailed review. Just make sure and ask for the depth of review you need when requesting a review of your site.
Here is a checklist on how reviews look in WordPress:
How long does the site usually take to load? What normally comes up first? Are waiting times long because of large graphics or links to external references like graphics off-site? Extremely long load times often result in a site not being reviewed.
While WordPress has two Themes, reviewers may want to see what you have done beyond the core Themes. They need use of color and graphics, then layout and navigation. Do the colors match or contrast in a way to highlight the content and purpose of the site? Or, may be they are overwhelming or hard to read or easy on the eye. Are the navigation areas made easy to find? Is the aim of the site clearly visible to the eye?
Checkout does the site make use of CSS layout and presentation? Or is it in tables, frames, or iframes, or other non-standard web structures? Mostly these are considered bad design form, but they may work for your site and reviewers will comment on their usage, good or bad. Does the sidebar overlap or is too close to the content? Is the footer on a great distance from the rest of the content. All site architecture will be inspected and commented on if it is not working or looks “uncomfortable.”
While not critical to the review, visitors often look for clues to the purpose of a site. This is usually reflected in the layout and design elements, use of color and graphics, and clear titles and explanations. Reviewers look for these elements, too.
The header is a very important part of a site as it provides immediate information about the site and its purpose. It may be done with the use of words, color and graphics. If the header has not a definitive style and information, the reviewers will let you know immediately.
Navigation elements for a site are often in the sidebar of a web page, but they may also be in the header and footer. Reviewers hunt for these and look at how the information is laid out, and how navigation works through your site. This actually includes clear use of Pages, Categories, Archives, Calendar, and other navigational tools.
Use of Color and Images
As part of the overall presentation of a site, reviewers look at the use of color and images in the site. This includes their use in the header, sidebar, footer, content, and titles. Besides it includes the use of color and graphics in the background of the overall site and individual sections like the sidebar and header. Is the font readable against the graphics or photographs? Do these colors and images enhance the site?
Fonts and Text Size
Small fonts are one of the most complained about things on many sites. Make sure to make fonts readable and have enough color contrast between the background color and text color. White text on a black background is fine if the text is large enough and “bold” enough to be seen against the black background. Gray text on a black background might look good in theory, but it’s very hard to see. Just like the pink on red, or green on blue. Since people usually look at the words on a site from the moment of their arrival, the readability of the fonts counts.
WordPress Tags and Templates
As the reviewer moves around your site and examine the navigation, they are also looking at how WordPress is used to display your site’s content and information. Do you use template tags to list your categories or the drop-down menu tags? How are you using the WordPress PHP Loop in your site to change the way content is generated? Does the sidebar change when visiting the single post or category pages? Do other elements in the template files change as the reviewer moves around the site, displaying information unique to every web page? Are the search, category, or archive pages unique and different from the others? WordPress has got a lot of powerful features and conditional tags which generate different information as well as different looks depending on the request and serious reviewers are looking for such usage.
Reviews often accept the use of popular plugins and tools and may comment on usage of these add-on features, especially if the usage is distinctive. If there are way many plugins cluttering things up, or problems with the plugins, they will point these out, too.
Typically, the “Themes and Templates Support” section manages issues with browsers on website design and layout, but some dedicated reviewers are likely to inspect your site in various browsers to help you out.
Every web page that’s generated by WordPress is based upon two core files: template files and the style sheet. There may be one or many various template files and one or more style sheets, and all of this code should be checked for errors. Many reviewers will run your site’s pages through a validator to check for HTML and XHTML errors and errors in your stylesheet or CSS. These checks can help you know if your site meets the web standards, and it also can help to clean up errors and prevent bigger ones from occurring. Part of having a solid website is having solid code and then reviewers will inspect it for you and report on errors and ways to fix it, if they can.
From the lessons you learn from your own review, you will start to pay attention to other sites and how they work, and soon you may show your appreciation to the WordPress Community by reviewing other people’s WordPress sites.
Hope you liked this article and got the main idea of leaving reviews.