UKOLN RSC Wales Workshop - 26 November 2003

Brian Kelly facilitated a Benchmarking Web Sites workshop for RSC Wales. The workshop was held in Swansea on Wednesday 26th November 2003. The workshop was facilitated by Brian Kelly together with Simon Ball from TechDis.


This event will provide an opportunity for participants to benchmark their college (or other) 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. The event will conclude by a group discussion of possible follow-up actions.



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]


A number of surveys of Web sites have been published.


The 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 Discussion
14:30 Accessibility (Simon Ball)
15:30 Conclusions
15:45 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 <>
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 <>
  Freshwater's 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: <>

Next Generation Validation Tools

Freshwater Software <>
WebKing <>


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? <>

Rolling Demonstrations

Rolling Demonstration of UK University Web Entry Points <>
Rolling Demonstration of UK University 404 Error Pages <>


The RSC Wales evaluation form asked delegates to state what they regarded as the best feature of the event, and similarly, which feature they enjoyed the least. Further, it asked delegates to grade their satisfaction level, out of 'Very Satisfied' to 'Satisfied' to 'Dissatisfied' to Very Dissatisfied' on the following aspects of the event:

There was space on the form for delegates to note any further comments they may have, and to suggest further types of training they may be interested in.

Out of the fourteen delegates attending the event, fourteen evaluation forms were returned.


Out of the fourteen evaluation forms received, the following were stated as being the most enjoyable aspects of the day:

The elements delegates regarded as the least enjoyable aspects of the day were:

All other delegates either left this option blank, or stated N/A.

Out of the fourteen responses, all graded every aspect of the event at either 'Very Satisfied' or 'Satisfied' with six respondents grading every aspect as 'Very Satisfied', and nine of the respondents giving an overall satisfaction grade as 'Very Satisfied'. Three respondents graded every aspect as being 'Satisfied'.

Other Comments:

Comments received regarding the day: