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Why Website Auditing Conflicts With Website Owners & Designers



Convincing of the benefit

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Even though it would benefit them both, website owners and web designers have different reasons for not wanting a website audit.

As someone who does website audits I sometimes spend a great deal of time convincing a website owner and/or web designer of the value in conducting an audit of their website design and web business model.


Website Owner

The website owner who generally understands less than they should about their website sees no need for an audit.

They trust or assume their web designer has taken care of all that’s required during the web design process.

Download PDF PreviewIn addition the site owner sees the website audit as an additional expense they can do without. In the short-term they are looking to get a website launched for the least possible cost.

At this stage they have not even thought about the long-term cost of this decision and the impact it will have in producing a less than optimal performing website. This may ( if ever ) only become obvious to them much later, months or even years after the site is built and launched.

Sometimes they also don't realize the poor results they are getting are due to design issues with their website which often leads to failure of their ambitions on the web.

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Many website owners also have a limited understanding of how to interpret or make use of their website hosting statistics. These web stats do in some cases, show not only the problem, but where the problem lies.

Conflicts can also occur during the web audit when we want to make use of these web stats.
Very often the website owner doesn't understand them, sometimes they have never seen them, and sometimes they don't even have access to them.


2010 website owner survey

In a November 2010 Survey of 1,000's of website owners carried out by Intellimon, one of the questions asked was:

"Have you ever undertaken a detailed analysis of your traffic statistics ?"

64.9% said No !

This is very much in line with our own experience with website owners who don't use already available web stats to get valuable information about the performance of their website.

As well as not monitoring their traffic statistics many website owners don't do much in the way of even simple split-testing. They prefer instead to make multiple change on a whim with no means to objectively measure the results of individual changes.

Many site owners are also not aware of the impact one change has on something else and it can cause conflict and be time-consuming explaining to them the implications of their actions.


Web Designer

The web designer can often view a website audit as a personal attack on their ability, their decisions and on their finished design. We understand it can be unsettling to have your own hard work dissected and critiqued.

The designers who resist a website audit the most, frequently have an ego to sustain and fear the most from any form of web design analysis. This is because their designs do not meet the users needs and in the medium to long-term will also be shown to fall well short of satisfying the website owners needs.

In our experience it's the web designers with the least confidence in their skills and ability that will resist a website audit the most.

The web designers who grasp the opportunity to have an independent audit of their design understand the web audit is not meant to reveal some personal weakness or limitation on the part of the web designer/s.

They understand the website audit represents a commitment to making the website as successful as possible for site visitors and the web site owner.

More information on a full website audit can be found at taking a website audit or for information on a scaled down web audit review mini website audits

Website Auditor
Tony Simpson
Website Audit Expert