UKOLN "Benchmarking RSC Web Sites" Workshop

Brian Kelly facilitated a Benchmarking RSC Web Sites workshop for JISC Regional Support Centres (RSC). The workshop was held in Edinburgh's Telford College on Friday 26th September 2003. The workshop was facilitated by Brian Kelly together with Randy Metcalffe from JISC's Open Source Software Watch.


This event will provide an opportunity for participants to benchmark their RSC Web site by making use of a range of Web-based tools. Delegates will compare their findings in order to try to identify examples of best practices and areas in which improvements may be made. Following the hands-on session there will be a presentation outlining some of the issues associated with this approach to benchmarking. Staff from the new JISC Open Source Software Watch advisory service will give a presentation on open source software relevant to the provision of Web services. The event will conclude by a group discussion on possible follow-up actions, including quality assurance techniques which can be deployed in order to ensure that RSC Web sites comply with appropriate standards and best practices and strategies for disseminating such approaches across FE colleges.


The workshop will consist of presentations, hands-on exercises and group discussions.


The workshop will provide an opportunity for delegates to make use of a variety of tools for evaluating their Web site. Comparisons will be made with the findings obtained in order to identify examples of best practices and areas in which improvements can be made. Delegates will learn about quality assurance procedures which can be deployed in order to minimise the occurrence of errors. Delegates will also learn about open source software which can be used to provide Web services, and have an opportunity to discuss the potential of open source software and the challenges in making use of such software.



Benchmarking Web Sites
[HTML format] - [MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format]
QA For Web Sites
[HTML format] - [MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format]
What Next?
[HTML format] - [MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format]


Benchmarking Exercises
[MS Word 97/2000 format]
QA Exercises
[MS Word 97/2000 format]


Rolling Demonstration of RSC Web Sites
Rolling demonstration
Rolling Demonstration of RSC Web Site 404 Pages
Rolling demonstration
Survey of HTML Compliance
[HTML format]
Survey of CSS Compliance
[HTML format]
Survey of Compliance With Accessibility Guidelines
[HTML format]
Link-checking Survey
[HTML format]
Survey of Server Software
[HTML format]
Survey of 404 error pages
[HTML format]
Survey of Search Engine Software
[HTML format]
Survey of Internet Archive
[HTML format]


The draft timetable is given below.

Time Topic
10:15 Registration & Coffee
10:45 Welcome and Introduction
10:50 'Introduction To Benchmarking Web Sites' - Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus
11:00 'Benchmarking Web Sites' - hands-on session
12:30 Lunch
13:15 'Benchmarking Web Sites' - hands-on session (continued)
13:45 Report Back
14:15 Open Source Software
15:00 Discussion
15:30 Conclusions
16:00 Workshop ends

URLs Used During Workshop

The following URLs will be used during the workshop.

Exercise Service URL
1.1 NetMechanic <>
1.2 Bobby <>
1.5 UK University Web Entry Points <>
2.3 W3C HTML Validation Service <>
2.6 Link Alarm <>
3.1 Link Popularity <>
3.4 Statistics <>
4.2 Browser Emulators <>

Other URLs

The following URLs may also be useful.

Browser Extensions

  Service URL
  Bookmarklets <>
  Cacheability Engine <>
  Extending Your Browser <>
  WebWatch Services <>

Checking Web Site Performance

  EchoEcho <>
  Entuity <>
  e-TEST Suite <>
  SiteScope <>
  Keynote Systems <>
  MercuryInteractive <>
  MercuryInteractive <>
  Prutsman <>
  Somix <>

Evaluating Different Browsers

  Anybrowser <>
  DejaVu (Browser Emulators) <> (archive of old browsers) <>
  Lynx Emulator <>
  Test display <>
  Wapilizer <>

Evaluating Link and Search Engine Popularity

  AltaVista <>
  LinkPopularity <>
  NetMechanic <>
  Searchenginewatch's Guidelines I <>
  Searchenginewatch's Guidelines II <>

Evaluating Site Accessibility

  Bobby <>
  Color Readability Test <>
  Web Metrics Testbed <>
  Wave 3.0 <>
  Vischeck <>
  Web Accessibility <>

Evaluating Your Organisational Home Page

Dr HTML <>
NetMechanic <>
InternetSeer <>
NetMechanic Monitoring Service <>
Watchdog <>
Alertsite <>
WebWatch Services <>
Dr Watson <>
LinkAlarm <>
NetMechanic Maintenance Service <>
SiteValet <>
This Old Mouse <>
Webmaster-Toolkit <>

Link Checker

Netmechanic <>
Nodeworks <>
Site valet <>
Xenu <>
LinkTool <>
Usable Web <>

Realtime Monitoring

Software in Use: <>


A Survey Of Links to UK University Web Sites <>
A Survey Of Numbers of UK University Web Servers <>
A Survey Of Web Server Software Used In UK University Web Sites <>
Showing Robots the Door <>
UK University Search Engines <>
Web Watch: 404s - What's Missing? <>
WebWatching UK Universities and Colleges <>
What's Related To My Web Site? <>