When editing or proofreading webpages online there are a few things to remember. It is more difficult to read screen based documents. And you are not only checking the content. Once you have edited or proofread the site, you will need to type up your report and send it to the client via email.
Elements of a Website
Reporting for a website is slightly different than reporting for a PDF document. You must ensure your client understands which page you are referring to. Here are some website elements and how to report them.
Functionality: Check the content is useful and helpful, and make sure a contact page is provided.
home/index.html: doesn’t mention the product
contacts/site.html: there is no email address
Navigation: Ensure the site is user-friendly, a navigation bar is on all pages and easy to locate and use.
products/style.html: no navigation bar on page
products/postage.html: sub-menu is not clickable
Consistency: Ensure the content is consistent, as well as the layout and placement of graphics.
about us/history.html: irrelevant information
index.html: different logo used to rest of site
Accuracy: Ensure all links work, all headings are correct, all references to the company are spelt correctly, and all banners, menus, etc work.
prices/design.html: page doesn’t load
products/faq.html: para 2, line 4: “there’ sb “their”
Speed: Too many graphics will cause a page to load slowly.
products/design.html: page loads slowly
Appearance: Does the site look professional? Will it appeal to its target audience?
contactus.html: emoticons look unbusiness like
products/design.html: graphics slow loading
Browsers: Check to ensure the website displays correctly in various browsers.
Website does not display properly in IE.
Resolutions: Check the screen resolutions, where possible, as some designs look shabby when viewed with smaller or larger screens.
Website does not display properly when viewed on larger screens.
Maintenance: Are the file names complicated or user-friendly? Is the coding easy to change on pages that need frequent updating?
homepage/index.html: file name too complicated
products/pricing.html: content difficult to update
Some Basics of Online Editing
Successful websites tend to offer “byte-sized” chunks of information rather than long pieces of written material as most visitors skim over the content if there’s too much reading involved.
The layout should be user-friendly, with key elements such as links and headlines easy to find and standing out from the rest of the text.
Websites make use of colour, graphics, bullet points and underlined links but should never be cluttered and cramped as it puts the viewer/reader off.
When proofing a website some proofreaders like to scroll down the page, reading each line as it appears at the bottom of the page. Others prefer to use the cursor, moving it across the page as they check each word. Remember, ALL text must be checked on every page (ie headings, banners, logos, content, links, address bars, etc). It is always wise to write your report as you check each page.