The Web Inspectors: Standards of Practice

Revision date: August 1, 2022

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions & Scope
  1. Website inspection
  1. a visual examination of the areas of your website that are made publicly accessible. The inspection is designed to identify areas of your website that do not follow current best practices or may negatively impact the usability or performance of your website.
  1. The website inspection is based on observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
  2. The website inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those observed on the date of the inspection.
  1. Current best practice
  1. a current and common method or system that is accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.
  1. Publicly accessible
  1. refers to the portions of the website that any Internet user can access or utilize without additional permissions or tools.
  1. Website inspection report
  1. a report that shall identify, in written format, observations within specific components defined by these Standards that are both observed and not following current best practices. The report may include additional comments and recommendations.
  1. Limitations & Exclusions
  1. Limitations
  1. A website inspection is not technically exhaustive.
  2. A website inspection will not include components of the website that are not visible to the public.
  3. A website inspection will not include any testing method that requires login access or access to any related account.
  4. A website inspection will only deal with aesthetic concerns when relating to current best practices.
  5. A website inspection will not determine the suitability of the website for any use.
  6. A website inspection will not determine the marketing viability or future financial potential of the website.
  7. A website inspection does not determine the market value of the website or its marketability.
  8. A website inspection does not evaluate the security posture of the website or any mechanisms in place to thwart malicious activity.
  9. A website inspection does not determine the underlying software, software versions, or the need to update any software being utilized on the website.
  10. A website inspection does not determine the need for any third-party applications or services.
  11. A website inspection does not evaluate pages other than those deemed to be primary website pages. A website inspection may include, but is not limited to:
  1. A primary Homepage
  2. Contact page
  3. About Us page
  4. Services page
  5. Products page
  6. Privacy Policy page
  7. Terms page
  8. 404 “Page not found” page
  9. FAQ page
  10. Blog page
  1. Exclusions
  1. The inspector is not required to determine:
  1. ownership of the website, domain names, hosting accounts, software, or related services.
  2. the condition of any area of the website or system of the website that is not readily accessible.
  3. the life expectancy of any designs, best practices, or software implementations currently in use.
  4. the size, capacity, performance or efficiency of any software or system in use.
  5. the hardware or software being used to operate the website.
  6. the cause or reason of any condition or observation.
  7. the cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any software or system in use.
  8. future conditions or future best practices.
  9. the overall usability of any software, system, or service.
  10. compliance with coding practices.
  11. compliance with any Internet, business, or government regulations.
  12. the operating system or other software used to operate the website.
  13. the presence of malware, spyware, or other malicious software.
  14. the presence of outdated or unsupported software.
  15. the presence of pirated or illegally obtained software.
  16. the presence of copyrighted or illegally utilized material.
  17. the presence of spelling or grammatical errors.
  18. the condition or effectiveness of website content or website marketing material.
  19. the presence or effectiveness of third-party advertisements present on the website.
  20. correction, replacement or repair cost estimates.
  21. estimates of the cost to operate any given software, system, or related services.
  22. the use or effectiveness of any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) systems, procedures, or practices.
  23. compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) rules or regulations.
  1. The inspector is not required to operate or inspect:
  1. any system that is not available or publicly accessible.
  2. any system, component, or element that does not function properly.
  3. evaluate implemented security systems and practices, such as, but not limited to:
  1. denial of service protection;
  2. password complexity or adequacy;
  3. username complexity or adequacy;
  4. vulnerability management;
  1. third-party services made available on the website.
  2. website hosting performance or connectivity issues.
  3. data transfer methods and data transfer compliance.
  4. any administrational function normally performed by the website operator or owner.
  5. any client-side software or system.
  6. every visible or not visible element, function, tool, system, software, or implementation made available on the website outside of those inspected for compliance with current best practices.
  7. additional website pages outside of those listed in these Standards.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. predict the effectiveness of the website or the effectiveness of implementing current best practices.
  2. offer additional recommendations on the layout, design, or implementation of website elements other than identifying observed deficiencies in the use or lack of current best practices.
  3. identify, troubleshoot, or report on the cause of any issues or deficiencies observed during the inspection.
  4. examine or evaluate any underlying source code or page source.
  5. access any area, system, or software that requires user credentials or is not otherwise publicly accessible.
  6. access or download any content or software that may be deemed unsafe or not readily accessible
  7. inspect or report on website software, plugins, add-ons, or any third-party services or implementations.
  8. do anything that may, in the inspector’s opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to him/herself or others, or damage the website, such as, but not limited to:
  1. making any modifications to the website.
  2. conducting invasive scans.
  3. conducting activities that do not comply with the TWI (The Website Inspectors) Standards.
  4. modifying or creating user accounts or credentials.
  5. conducting an inspection on a site that appears to have malware, pirated content/software or a spoofed security certificate.
  1. inspect or report on the overall aesthetics of the website.
  2. inspect content or elements that do not function correctly or load correctly.
  3. inspect the adequacy or accuracy of written page content.
  4. inspect additional websites, subsites, or subdomains.
  5. inspect or report on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods, tactics, tools, and effectiveness.
  6. inspect or report on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) methods, tactics, tools and compliance.
  7. inspect or report on website security features and implementations.
  8. offer guarantees or warranties.
  9. perform any web development or design services.
  10. perform any trade or professional service(s) other than a website inspection.
  11. research the history of the website, or report on its potential for alteration, modification, extendibility or suitability for a specific or proposed use.
  12. determine the age of website or installation of any software, system, or component of a website.
  13. differentiate between original website construction and subsequent additions, improvements or redesigns.
  14. inspect any portion of the website that is not included in these Standards.
  1. Standards of Practice
  1. Foundation (Website Essentials)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the existence and condition of essential website elements in relation to current best practices.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. missing website elements that are deemed to be recommended by current best practices.
  2. existing implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  2. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any policy made available on the website.
  3. determine or report on the accuracy of contact information listed on the website.
  4. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of user testimonials or user reviews.
  5. determine or report on the accuracy of social media links and accounts.
  6. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any professional certification listed on the website.
  1. Exterior (Homepage)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the homepage.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. homepage implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Doors (Contact Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the contact page.
  2. the elements of the contact page in relation to current best practices.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. a missing or difficult to locate contact page.
  2. contact page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Windows (About Us Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the about us page.
  2. the elements of the about us page in relation to current best practices.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. a missing or difficult to locate about us page.
  2. about us page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Heating (Services Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the services page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. services page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Appliances (Products Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the products page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. products page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Roof (Privacy Policy Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the privacy policy page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. privacy policy page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  2. review or inspect any policy or terms content or verify the validity or capacity of the statements contained within.
  3. determine compliance with any Internet, business, or government regulations.
  1. Siding (Terms Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the terms page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. terms page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  2. review or inspect any policy or terms content or verify the validity or capacity of the statements contained within.
  3. determine compliance with any Internet, business, or government regulations.
  1. Fencing (404 Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the 404 page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. 404 page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Fireplace (FAQ Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the FAQ page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. FAQ page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Library (Blog Page)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. the application of best practices on the observable aesthetics of the blog page.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. blog page implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  1. Electrical (Website Performance)
  1. The inspector shall perform a non-invasive website performance test to assess website characteristics pertaining to the homepage’s:
  1. page load speed.
  2. technologies and protocols in use.
  3. compression and optimization implementations in use.
  4. overall loading behavior.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. performance implementations that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website performance or usability.
  2. performance test results that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  2. determine the cause or reason of any condition, test result or observation.
  3. validate or verify performance test results.
  4. troubleshoot or validate conditions that may have impacted the test results.
  5. perform a performance test on pages other than the homepage.
  6. predict future performance results.
  7. perform additional or future performance testing.
  1. Plumbing (Website Usability & Continuity)
  1. The inspector shall visually inspect from a website visitor’s point of view:
  1. header, footer, and navigational consistency of pages covered by these Standards.
  2. a representative number of clickable buttons.
  3. contact form functionality, if available, using normal operating controls.
  4. the on-site checkout process usability, if available, using normal operating controls.
  5. the on-site scheduling process usability, if available, using normal operating controls.
  6. the on-site search functionality, using normal operating controls.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. implemented systems, processes, or practices that are not in line with current best practices and could negatively impact website usability or performance.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  2. verify receipt of any information created or transmitted during any usability test.
  3. determine the cause or reason of any condition, test result, or observation
  4. validate or verify usability of tested systems, procedures, or processes with any method other than using normal operating controls.
  5. troubleshoot or validate conditions that may have impacted system or process functionality or usability at the time of inspection.
  6. make a purchase during the checkout process usability test.
  7. schedule an appointment during the scheduling process usability test.
  1. Caution (Web-Destroying Organisms)
  1. The inspector shall:
  1. determine if any of the pages covered in these Standards contain or use elements or technologies that could be detrimental to the performance or usability of the website.
  1. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
  1. the existence of elements or technologies considered detrimental to the performance or usability of the website.
  1. The inspector is not required to:
  1. determine or report on the accuracy or adequacy of any page content.
  2. determine the cause or reason of any condition, test result, or observation.
  3. determine the current or future impact of using any specific element or technology determined to be detrimental to the inspected website.