Site health assessments come in two forms. First, there are site health appraisals. Then there are deep-probe investigations.
Both are revealing and useful. The differences between them are mainly a matter of degree.
Here at Valet, the starting point is always the appraisal type of site health assessment.
Of what does that consist, you ask? Well, here’s the answer.
But first, some background.
Layered Approach to Site Health Appraisals
If you’ve been following our series of posts about healthy websites, then you may recall that Valet sees your website as a hierarchical structure. (OK, if you haven’t been following our series, this notion of your website being a hierarchy may be news to you; but trust us, it is a hierarchy.)
This hierarchy consists of five stacked layers, each one above smaller than the one below. Together, these layers form a pyramid.
Into the foundational layer—the one at the very bottom—we place everything related to your website’s security.
Into the next layer up goes all dealing with site speed.
Next come everything tied to your site’s usability.
In the course of conducting site health appraisals, we examine these layers, one by one. And we perform this examination using the site health appraisal tools described in our previous installment of this series.
We assign points to each layer’s mechanisms and operations. The maximum number of points any individual facet of your site can achieve is 100. The lowest: zero.
The more points awarded to each facet of each layer, the better.
From these point tallies we develop a score for each layer. Together, the scores help tell us whether your website is in good health or in need of recuperative attention.
Please note the operative word in that last sentence: “help.” The scores produced by our site health appraisals do not by themselves tell you what you need to know. In fact, they yield little in the way of value until placed in a proper context.
Context is Essential
That’s the next thing we do after figuring out the scores—we provide the context.
This supplied context grows out of two site health appraisal philosophies Valet embraces.
The first one holds that while you want your site to improve, it needs more than one-time or sporadic improvements. At Valet, we believe your website needs to be constantly improving. It needs to be better today than yesterday. Of course, it may not be possible to daily improve your site. But at least that should be your mindset, that your site must never remain stuck in the status quo.
The second context-supplying site health appraisal philosophy deals with your competitors. Yes, your competitors. You should want your site to continually get better. But you should also want it to be continually better in comparison to your rivals’ sites.
That’s why we do site health appraisals not only of yours but also of your competitors’ sites. We need to know how your rivals’ site health stacks up to yours. For example, we may discover that your competitors’ homepages load in 3 or 4 seconds while yours takes 10. That would be a sign your site isn’t as healthy as it should be.
Accordingly, the site health appraisal score you receive from us will always be placed in the context of continual improvements versus status quo, with a sharp eye toward your competitors’ site health.
Hopefully, at the end of it all, our site health appraisals will reveal the shortcomings of your website and provides a roadmap for improvements. Not just improvements that delight your visitors, but improvements that keep you ahead of the pack.