Webmaster Tutorial

Specific Criteria and Scoring

There are a total of 100 points available.


Award Points Needed
Platinum 98 +
Gold 97-90
Silver 89-80
Bronze 79-70
Merit 65-69
  Try again    below 65

Criteria Chammy

It should be said at this point, that the judging process is not exact. Creativity is subjective and difficult to "grade" objectively. The scores awarded are based as much as possible on measurable and concrete items, but my opinion of what I see is a big part of the grade. That's what differentiates the many award programs from each other. What appeals to me is different from what appeals to other judges.

Download Excel spreadsheet with criteria, comments, and automatic formulation of scoring 81 KB Zipped (Recommended)

At the present time I am "lingually" challenged therefore sites not in English can not be judged. There must be a complete English version of the site. Online translators are inadequate, inaccurate, and time consuming.

Content (35 points)

5 Points 2 points are awarded for clearly stating your purpose, and 3 points for reasonably achieving that purpose.


10 Points Subject matter is equally important as presentation. You should have knowledge of and passion for the subject, and both should come across in your presentation. "Entertain and Educate" me. Five pages will be randomly selected and judged for accuracy of information presented and educational value. A maximum of 2 points per page is available, no more than that will be awarded or lost per page. One point for each separate occurrence will be deducted if any information is found to be presented as "fact" and can reasonably be disputed. This type of statement should be accompanied by a disclaimer such as "it is widely accepted that..."

For example:

 "Granddaddy Long Legs spiders are the most toxic, but their fangs are too small to penetrate human skin." This "fact" can easily be disproved and would cost you 1 point for accuracy. You can loose a two points on each of the five selected pages for a total of 10 points.

If little or no substantial information is presented on the page, a maximum of 1 point per page will be deducted for lack of content.

Commercial sites need to offer more than their paid services. There should be care sheets, free graphics, screen savers, etc...

3 Points If I say "WOW, I didn't know that",  then you have impressed me with your content. I want to learn something from your site and be impressed by your presentation. For these points, I will spend some time (at least - you guessed it - 5 minutes) just surfin'  through your site looking for anything of interest. (very subjective points)

2 Points Do you have a well organized, prominent, awards display area. One point if awards are organized chronologically, and one point if they are categorized by rating system.

10 points Spelling and grammar are both considered in this category. With the "spell checker" and "grammar checker" capabilities available, there should not be ANY misspelled words or fragmented sentences. Five pages will be randomly selected and thoroughly checked using MS Word 2000. You can loose a maximum of 2 points per page in any combination of bad spelling or grammar.  If English is not your native language, AND your complete site is available in English and any other language, provide links to both versions and a bonus of 1 point per page of content (excluding guest books, table of contents, links pages, awards pages, privacy policy, and copyright pages) will be given,  up to a maximum of 5 points is awarded to compensate.

5 Points There should be SOME original material, and ALL borrowed material should be given proper credit. Again, 5 pages will be randomly selected and checked for presumably original content and proper credit given for any borrowed content. Each page is worth 1 point here. Borrowed content, or mirrored pages without proper credit is plagiarism and constitutes disqualification. A minimum of 5 pages is required excluding guest books, table of contents, links pages, awards pages, privacy policy, and copyright pages. The more useful content your site has the better your chance of  a high score. Less than 5 pages will not get evaluated because most point categories require the evaluation of 5 pages.


Continuity and Navigation (20 points)

5 Points There should be a "theme" or common denominator  to the content and appearance of the site. The information should be connected somehow so that the surfer is not left thinking "What did that have to do with XYZ or why was that page even there?" Once more, 5 pages will be checked for a connection to the previous page. One point for each page without such a tie.

5 Points Unless I leave your site, I should be able to easily tell I am still somewhere within it. By this I mean there should be some consistency and continuity from page to page. This does not mean every page should look exactly the same, only that pages have common navigation elements and similar appearance to each other. Five pages will be checked for a common element to each other. This could be the same navigation tool, same background, color patterns logos or other elements. If I can not find a common element, 1 point for each page will be lost.

3 points The navigation should be simple enough for average surfers to use. Complex navigation applets or pages that make you guess where the navigation links are may be interesting, challenging, and fun toys, but they are not for the average person. If I can not immediately find your main navigation, 1 point will be lost for each such occurrence up to a maximum of 3 points.

2 points Site maps are useful and text links at the bottom of the page are very helpful for someone that does not want to guess where the button is. One point is awarded for a site map and one point will be given for primary navigation text links at the bottom of the page.

5 points Links to external pages should open in NEW windows. Links to internal pages should open in the SAME window, unless there is a justifiable reason. Five pages will be checked and one point will be taken  for any occurrence of the aforementioned problems.


Interactivity (10 points)

A static site is a dead site. There should be some interactive content. With all of the wonderful and free interactive content available on the internet, you should have no trouble finding games, e-cards, and other "sticky" content. The points listed below will be given for each example found on your site. When more than one example of the same type of "sticky" content is found on a site, additional games, surveys and other material will be considered, but only two examples of the same type will be considered and points awarded will not exceed a total of 10.

1 point Surveys are OK, but the more involvement required of the surfer, the more likely they are to learn something and want to return.

1 point There should be some "sticky" content such as news feeds or "daily quotes." Something that changes constantly to bring people back more often.

1 point E-greeting cards are nice if the quality is good.

5 points Allowing surfers to upload photos,  quotes,  jokes, or other such original contributions gives the surfer some "ownership" in the site and  will give them a reason to keep coming back., as well as potentially improve the content of the site.  More than one location allowing uploading of the same type of material here will not get double credit.

2 points Interactive games and puzzles are another good choice.


Eye Appeal (25 points)


25 points The color choices, graphics, fonts, and background should all work together to portray the information in an appealing and easy to read presentation. These elements should set a tone consistent with the material presented. This is another subjective criteria, but none the less, very important. Knowing how physiological and psychological effects of color may help you present the information in your site more effectively, but the Chameleon's Eye Award is primarily concerned about the harmonious balance the color choices project. The link below lists lots of good websites with examples and explanations of how colors work together (or don't). Too many animated gifs, too many colors in use, or poorly chosen colors that conflict greatly distract from the information you are trying to present. Avoid using more than 1 -2 animations per page and select colors that complement or contrast each other in a balance to bring more appeal to your information.


Click HERE for some websites related to color coordinating. Click HERE for the meaning of certain colors

Nuts and Bolts (10 points)


10 points Every internal link (includes navigation system links) should work and 95% of external links should work. A properly functioning link not only reaches its target, but puts the target in the proper window. External links should open in new windows and internal links open in the same window, unless there is a stated reason. You are 100% responsible for a page within your site, and 100% responsible for a link to a page outside of  your site. That being said, you cannot check every external link everyday to see if it still exists, but you need to check them frequently. At this moment, this site has 26335 hyperlinks, 1441 are external. By this standard, I would be allowed to have 72 external links broken. I will randomly select 5 pages and combine the total number of links on those pages to get a representative sample. Lose 1 point for each internal link not working and lose 1 point for each external link after the 5 % are discounted. All failed links will be checked a maximum of three times before marked as failing.

For example:
  Number on 5 Pages Number Working Number  - % not working Points Lost Points Awarded
Internal 45 44 1 1  
External 20 19 1 - 5% 0

Additional penalties:

Lose 5 points if I can not turn off your music or sound effects that last more than 10 seconds.

Lose 5 points if you have a "flash" start page and do not provide a "skip" link.

Lose 1 point for each occurrence of flashing text and/or iMProPeR UsE oF cAPitaLs up to a maximum of 5 points. These are distracting and make it difficult to read the text. Lose 5 points for trailing cursors or forced Comet cursor.

Lose 5 points for unnecessary automatic pop up windows. The windows required by the server are acceptable, but any others and you lose.



Criteria Chammy 2 O.K. You can come back to this page as often as you need to and check criteria, but let's move on now to the "Self Test" page and get into the actual scoring of your site.


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