If you'd prefer to see these guidelines laid out by goal and explained, check out our criteria for submission.

Main Points

This is our checklist for all webpages. Before anything is posted to the site it has to meet all criteria on the checklist. Therefore it's also important to review it before you submit anything to us. If it does not meet these criteria, then it will take longer before the page is actually posted. Pages should also be checked for cross-browser compatibility, ideally in Internet Explorer 6 & 7 (IE), Firefox (FF), Opera (O), and Safari (S). The Criteria page includes details explaining all points here in the checklist. However, for convenience, our procedures for completing the checklist quickly and accurately are included.

Checklist 1: Keyboard and Accessibility

Procedure 1: Javascript and CSS Off

  1. Examine webpage visually. The webpage should function without apparent defects with CSS and Javascript off. (IE, FF, O, and S)
  2. Test links using the keyboard, they should all work including intra page links. (In IE, FF, O, and S)
    • The link should "behave" properly, and go where it's supposed to.
    • If the target page of a link is missing, create a Holding Page for the link and add the holdingLink class to the link.

Procedure 2: Javascript On and CSS Off

  1. Examine webpage visually. The webpage should function without apparent defects with CSS off and Javascript on. (In IE, FF, O, and S)
    • The clock should tick and the nested nav lists should disappear and appear for the mouse.
    • The blue / purple default link text stands out vividly with CSS off. Check that link text accurately describes where the link goes (What's the topic? What's the format?).
    • Ideally, the first word of the link should be the topic. Alternatively, if it just can't, the first word should alphabetize closely with the topic.

Checklist 2: HTML & Code Checks

Procedure 3: Review the Webpage Code

  1. Review webpage in a good webpage editor. We recommend Notepad++.
    • The webpage should be properly commented: special features, code, or unusual syntax.
    • Pages which appear in PageSpecific.css should include their filename as a class in the <body> tag.
  2. Open all pages in Editor. "Find All in All Opened Documents" on =", and search results for easy access. This identifies every attribute used in HTML code.
    • All variables should be lowerCamelCase for consistency across the major languages and technologies.
    • The code should be linear for text browsers.
  3. Search <img, which identifies all images.
    • All alt attributes should be descriptive or empty "". If possible move images with empty alt attributes into the stylesheet as background images.
  4. Search <table, which identifies all tables.
    • All tables should be accessible; most importantly each column and row should begin with a <th> tag and have the requisite scope attribute which specifies a value of either "col" or "row" as appropriate.
    • Also, include the summary attribute for the <table> tag, and use the <caption> tag to title the table.

Checklist 3: Beauty Pass

Procedure 4: Javascript Off and CSS On

  1. Examine webpage visually.
    • The webpage should function without apparent defects with CSS on and Javascript off. (In IE, FF, O, and S)
    • Check pages in narrow browser. (Note how much more difficult navigation is. The Page Links and Recommended Links sections are critical for making the website somewhat navigable.)
  2. Use Opera's fake mobile setting (Shift+F11) to mimic the look of it's popular mobile browser.
    • The webpage should appear satisfactory in small or narrow browsers.

Procedure 5: Javascript and CSS On

  1. Examine webpage visually.
    • The webpage should function without apparent defects with CSS and Javascript on. (In IE, FF, O, and S)
    • The webpage design should be attractive. (In IE, FF, O, and S)
    • The webpage should demonstrate good user interface design. (In IE, FF, O, and S)
    • The special features, if any, should work. (In IE, FF, O, and S)

Procedure 6: Final Edit

  1. Do Ctrl+A in the web browser to select all text and Ctrl+C to copy. Switch to a good word processor and Ctrl+V to paste.
    • The webpage should be spell checked.
    • The webpage should be edited. Don't forget the changes must go back into your webpage editor!

Checklist 4: SEO Issues

Procedure 7: Review for keywords and proper implementation.

  1. Review the webpage as completed and determine its golden keywords.
  2. Optimize document <head> tag.
    • Insert golden keywords into the meta keywords tag.
    • Write short one or two sentence summary of the web page for the meta description tag with golden keywords.
    • Choose <title> tag text with golden keywords.
    • Copy <title> tag text to level one heading, <h1>, tag.
  3. Optimize all headings.
    • Choose primary keyword text for the webpage. Insert it into the title attribute for the <h1> tag. (Note: Title attributes appear as tool tips in all browsers. Ensure they're readable.)
    • Search "skip". Copy the title attribute from the <h1> tag into each skip link.
    • Search "<h". Enrich heading text with primary golden keywords and insert title attribute with secondary keywords.
      • If level two section heading, copy heading text to Main Points Section link text.
      • If level two section heading, Copy heading title attribute to corresponding Main Points Section link tag.
  4. Optimize links.
    • Search "<a ".
    • Insert primary golden keywords into link text.
    • Insert secondary golden keywords into title attribute. Use primary keywords if no secondary keywords exist. (Note: Title attributes appear as tool tips in all browsers. Ensure they're readable.)
  5. Optimize content.
    • Word count should top 300. Low word count content text is not recommended by SEO professionals (250-300 minimum).
    • Review page specific golden keywords. Each one should appear at least three times in the content.

Procedure 8: Final Prelaunch Checks.

  1. The subjects for the webpage should be decided.
  2. Review authorship and posting date sections. Make any needed updates or corrections.
  3. Search webpage name (to locate all files with links to it). Insert title attribute of <h1> tag into title attribute of all links to the page.
  4. Remove "/webroot" from absolute path references.
    • Two references in the ECBeta/CSS/ecBetaPrimary.css

Checklist 5: Live Server Test

Procedure 9: Go Live Check

  1. The webpages should validate on the W3C Validator. Correct all fixable problems.
  2. The webpages should check out on the WAVE Accessibility test. Correct all fixable problems.
  3. The links should work.
  4. The link text should match the target.
  5. Any special features should work.

If you'd prefer to see these guidelines laid out by goal and explained, check out our criteria for submission.