Tennessee Promise

Evaluating Websites

Finding Good Sites

Anyone can publish on the Web. It is best to approach information on the Internet with caution. Evaluating Web documents becomes a critical task. The basic evaluation criteria of quality, credibility, accessibility, scope and cost are still issues, but must be viewed in new ways. Here are some guidelines to assist you in evaluating Internet-based resources.


  • Does the website have a clearly stated purpose - to educate, to inform, advocate for a position, stimulate discussion, entertain, etc?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is it substantive or just a collection of links?


  • Who is the sponsoring institution? [Check the ending suffix of the site: edu, com, net, gov]
  • Is it maintained by an established authority?
  • Is a contact address provided?
  • Is the information copyrighted?


  • Is the information accurate, current and unbiased when checked against other sources?
  • Is the information primary or secondary in nature?
  • Is the information well-researched and valid?
  • Is the page well-documented?
  • How detailed is the site's coverage of its subject?
  • Does the information fill a curricular need?
  • Are descriptive summaries provided for links?
  • Do the links guide users to the best sites?
  • Do the images enhance the content?
  • Is this the best medium for this information?
  • Is advertising present on the page?

Technical Quality

  • Is the site user-friendly?
  • Is it easy to navigate around the site?
  • Is the home page concise and quick to view?
  • Do layout and design help the user to find information?
  • Is the site interactive?
  • Is it accessible?
  • Is this a stable, reliable site?
  • Are Unified Web Accessibility Guidelines followed?
  • Is a search engine provided to search the sites' content?
  • Can the browser being used take advantage of all features available at the site?


  • Has the site been reviewed by a professional publication or rated by a commercial rating service?