Evaluate your YWAM website

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Evaluating a website is something every leader needs to make sure is covered when a website is part of a communications strategy. See Leaders guide to managing a website.

The following evaluation is offered as a process that a YWAM Leader can ensure is followed to ensure that any YWAM website that is published meets the highest standards of professionalism. A high standard reflects well on YWAM as a whole just as a poorly designed and implemented website can robs confidence in YWAM as a whole from the supporters, partners, potential staff and students and the general public. Consider even those who are not Christians - how are they influenced by seeing a missionary website?

The Evaluation

The questions below need to be answered. You might seek an impartial person, but there is no reason it can't be done in house. Some sections might need brief written answers, that can be scored by someone else.

  • For each question,Yes, totally is maximum score, Not at all, is zero. If a question doesn't apply to your situation, feel free to give maximum score.
  • If you're having trouble to evaluate a question, click on the reference to view more background information.
  • Add up your score for each section.
  • For an example, see an evaluation of this site (ywamkb.net)

MOST IMPORTANTLY - when looking at the evaluation results, see where you can make improvements and create an action plan (with a completion date) to implement changes. Acting on the easiest 80% of possible improvements can be quick and gives vital progress. More details to this process can be found in Steady Improvement.

For the future we might need to incorporate some way of testing the degree to which a YWAM site implements then Mind The Gap principle. Mind The Gap Test is a page with a testing methodology that can help diagnose the ease of access of a website for people with low bandwidth connections.

Essential Information

General Information

This information should be visible on the Main Page (i.e., the first page the visitor will see, here http://www.ywamkb.net).

If it takes more than 5 seconds for an visitor to find one of these informations, reconsider the layout. [1]

  1. Name of Site[2] (5 points)
  2. URL of Site[3] (5 points)
  3. Goal of Site[4] (5 points)
  4. Target Audience[5] (5 points)
  5. Responsible Organisation[6] (5 points)

Legal Information

This information should be present somewhere. Most users won't read it, but if an lawyer takes an hour to find these informations, he may charge it to you.

  1. Responsible Person[7] (5 points)
  2. Postal Address of Responsible Person [8](5 points)
  3. National legal entity government body [9] (5 points)
  4. Disclaimer concerning liabilities [10] (5 points)
  5. Privacy Policy [11] (5 points)

  • Maximum score for this section: 50
  • "Good" score: 45

Your Site's Relationship to YWAM

This section has the goal to reinforce the corporate identity of YWAM.

  1. Does it explain in great clarity what YWAM is about and what YWAM is doing? [12] (10 points)
  2. Does your site display the YWAM Logo?[13] (5 points)
  3. Is the logo unmodified (not customised at all)? [14] (10 points)
  4. Does the site contain a link to http://www.ywam.org and the words "X is a ministry of YWAM International"[15]? (10 points)
  5. Does the site have a clear link to the next tier up [16]? (10 points)
  6. The site does not display any sensitive information unsuitable for the general public. Is this the case? (5 points)

  • Maximum score for this section: 50
  • "Good" score: 35

The Quality of Your Site

The tool below leads people through an evaluation of a churches website (but very clearly applicable to YWAM) in areas of technical and artistic good practice but also with aim to make the website people (esp. non-Christian) focused. It takes some time to fill in, but it is HIGHLY recommended. If some aspect doesn't seem relevant to your site, it may well not be! But why not consider this point of view anyway, there could be something to be gained.

Take the free website self evaluation tool test.

  • Maximum score: around 400
  • "Good" score: 250

The Quality of the Management of Your Site

  1. Do you have frequent reviews of the site[17]? (5 points)
  2. Are you making sure it has fresh and good new content? Do you keep date-related articles up to date (e.g. recent events)? [18] (10 points)
  3. Are all back-end server hosting/domains paid for and to date?[19] (5 points)
  4. Are all used web applications (CMS's e.g. Drupal) up to date[20]? Is the server and the server software up to date[21]? (5 points)
  5. Are all the server details, domain details and site details documented so others can easily take on the management of the site? [22] (5 points)
  6. Do you have a plan for backup and data recovery in place?[23] Have you tested it? (10 points)
  7. Do you have staff in place with the right skills to maintain the site? Is there a list of trained staff?[24] (5 points)
  8. Does it do what you want? Does it reach your goals? [25] (5 points)

  • Maximum score: 50
  • "Good" score: 35


  • If in the four categories above your site is scoring well then keep up the good work.
  • If you are only scoring well in one or two categories then some urgent attention to your website is needed. There is a lot of help out there in YWAM, EuroCom and the U of N communication and website schools. They would love to help!


  1. More than half of the sites that are visited are not looked at for more than 5 seconds. It is really important that these basics, describing the context, are visible at "first glance", i.e. without having to search rigidly.
  2. Every Document has a title. Does your website has one, also? This means that the main title need to be clearly distinguishable as such, and that it is really text (not in an image, and not in a flash presentation - as google won't be able to read that.)
  3. The URL should not only appear in the address bar, but also somewhere in the mainpage. This can become important when seeing a printed / screenshot / version (or local copy) of your site, or when your site is include in a frame.
  4. You could call it "vision statement", also. At first glance, can a stranger tell what your site is about? Presentation of the base? Teaching? Promotion for Schools?
  5. Try to be specific here. For example's sake, "Christians and Non-Christians" means 0 points (no target audience perceivable), "YWAMers" 3 points, "Youth from 15 to 25 living in Australia" 5 points.
  6. Who is writing these texts? E.g., are they from the base, or about the base? Every document has to have an author, otherwise it's value in research is near zero.
  7. Even if the whole base is allowed to write content, there has to be a legally responsible person that oversees it.
  8. May not be necessary in some countries.
  9. Reference to a national charity number or non-profit registration.
  10. The exact content depends on your specific country.
  11. Which informations about the users will be stored? For which purposes these informations will be used? Will this information be deleted after some years? E.g., a contact form: will my address be used for promoting mailings?
  12. The general vision of YWAM (5 points) and your specific vision and work (5 points).
  13. If the logo isn't found without scrolling, deduct 2 points. If the logo is rather small (say, 50x50 Pixel), deduct 2 points.
  14. For more information, see the official YWAM Logo Guidelines.
  15. Of course this text can be translated into your site's language. However, the words "YWAM International" should be left as-is.
  16. e.g. the National work, if an Op loc for example or the international site for a transnational ministry
  17. At least once a year, redo a evaluation like this one to measure progress.
  18. If your site "smells" dusty, the reader is not very likely to trust its content. A website that is publishing a new article every week is attractive for both reader and Google.
  19. This may include, depending on your setup:
    • Domain name
    • Web Space
    • Internet Connection of Server
  20. All security updates should be installed. If you can't exactly tell what is a security update, then all updates have to be installed. To put it another way: if a high-critical security flaw arises, do you notice and fix it within a week? If the software isn't maintained any more, you will obviously have to put a clear "No" here.
  21. If you manage the server yourself. If nobody can manage your server, prefer to let others do that work - a server on the internet should never be let alone.
  22. Don't forget that the site is backed by humans ...
  23. You will need a backup of:
    • SQL Database (if any)
    • HTML/PHP files
    The backup plan should contain steps to do how to manually do a backup, and how to do a recovery. All possible stumbling blocks (that is, things to keep in mind that you know about, but that are necessary for a succesful recovery) should be documented.
  24. Does every action (Backup, Technical Maintenance, New content, Layout change) has at least one backup person who could overtake the work? See Bus-Factor.
  25. How do you measure it? Hits on specific content/emails/applications?


If you want to print this test, you can use this PDF.

25px-Pdf.png Evaluate your YWAM website (print version)