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Golden Spiders Take #3

Posted in: CSS,JavaScript,Standards,Statistics,WebDev by Richard Hearne on November 6, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

Categories 9 through 12 in the Golden Spiders cover ‘Best Technology Innovation Website’, ‘Best Retail Website’, ‘Best Professional Services Website’ and ‘Best e-Business’.

Please note that I have made a very slight change to the legends used. ‘DUAL-CASE’ has been changed to ‘SINGLE-CASE’ to denote the use of consistent type-case throughout the HTML document.

The Golden Spiders Accessibility Results, Categories 9-12

Golden Spiders categories 9-12
(NB Again you can click on the image for a larger version.)

In these four categories no websites fully passes the benchmark for standards compliance.

Quite notable, however, was the Professional Services category. Four of the eight sites short-listed passed both Section 508 and WCAG 1.0 Priority 1. A number of these sites also displayed high coding standards.

It is possible that the professional service firms may have a better grasp of the accessibility standards. This may be due to the inherently human nature of many of these businesses.

Categories 9, 10 and 12 contain primarily Internet-based businesses. Thus far these categories are tending toward the least standards compliant.

These are the latest running totals (1-12):

Total Sample: 99 sites;
Valid CSS: 26 (26%);
Valid HTML: 10 (10%);
Valid Section 508: 20 (20%);
Valid WCAG 1.0 Priority 1: 18 (18%);
Valid WCAG 1.0 Priority 2: 4 (4%);
Valid WCAG 1.0 Priority 3: 3 (3%);
Valid TV Core: 32 (32%);
Valid TV HTML: 11 (11%);
Valid TV WCAG 1.0 Priority 1: 32 (32%);
Valid WAVE Overlay: 23 (23%);
Sites with consistent mark-up: 59 (59%);
CSS, HTML, Section 508 & WCAG 1.0 Priority 1 COMPLIANT: 3 (3%).

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  1. [...] Originally Posted by richardo I thionk it needs to be stressed that the purpose of this campaign is to question the whole concept and validity of the Golden Spider Awards. They are the target of the campaign, not the individual sites. If a site is criticised, it is not intended as a critique of that site. It is questioning the standards by which that site was included for the awards. The exeption to this of course is the category for "Best Web Design Agency Website" for these are the companies who should, by nature have the highest possible standards. What we are questioning is the criteria by which sites are shortlisted for awards. We are claiming that the selection process is arbitrary at the very least. We are questioning the fact that judges are also entrants. In short, we are questioning the entire concept of the Golden Spiders and why they are being taken as a benchmark. I would go one step further and say that there is absolutely no compulsion on any website owner to create valid or accessible code. None whatsoever. There should be, however, some compulsion on any award ceremony showcasing the Internet industry’s top achievers to ensure that those websites represent industry best-practice in standards and accessibility. I apologise to any site owner who feels victimised by what I have presented – it is not my intention to create a witch-hunt. Part 3 is now available for your pleasure. It’s not getting any better, and the e-business and online retailers are perhaps the worst offending sites coding-wise thus far. Golden Spiders Take #3 | Search Engine Optimisation Ireland .:. Red Cardinal Rgds Richard __________________ .: Search Engine Optimisation Ireland | Catering Company Dublin :. [...]

    Pingback by Golden Spider Awards? - Page 2 - Irish SEO, Marketing & Webmaster Discussion — November 6, 2006 @ 10:01 am

  2. Hi,
    I find the research here fascinating, our site http://www.prosperity.ie has been nominated 3 times as Best HR site, for us the awards do give us a focus to improve our site. Our designers are Metronet, we are delighted with their work. We are up against some pretty heavy weight sites, ie Irishjobs, Recruitireland, Monster, all who do massive campaigns on and offline. The advice you are offering here is very interesting and gives plenty of food for thought.

    Comment by Pros — November 8, 2006 @ 9:44 am

  3. Hi Pros

    I’m glad this research is of some use to you. I hope to get around to reviewing some of the most common problems and issues I cam across during the testing.

    Thanks for your comment.



    Comment by Richard Hearne — November 8, 2006 @ 9:52 am

  4. the whole standards / validation thing is something we are only getting to grips properly these days as a company!

    should be a wee bit more evident in the next few sites that are lashed out – i hope!!

    Comment by LT — November 8, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

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