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Spending lots of dosh will improve your site - maybe

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aj. column

Recently I urged you to get hold of the Tetrarch booklet on website design.

Now Tetrarch has released the results of research it has done on more than 70 construction industry websites, ranging in cost from less than £5K through to £60K.Before you have a fit at that last figure, there were only a few at that cost.

The average price of setting up the sites in the study seems to be between £5K and £15K.

It is a big spread, but the figures were provided by site owners, and in-house input, such as data entry, could up that quite a bit. The interesting conclusion Tetrarch comes to is that spending lots of dosh probably means you get a better site - but not all that much better.

But what does better mean? Tetrarch has developed a 54-criteria checklist under 10 major areas. Although some of these are weighted, there are so many of them that a certain degree of objectivity is introduced - unlike this column which goes on touch, feel and my watch's second hand. There are some limits to this objective assessment stuff because one site, which shall remain nameless, gets top Tetrarch marks but low dot. col grades for its serious dullness. Still, I can see this column reporting the Tetrarch Index for a site before pointing out that the colours suck.No, sod off, I'm not going to do any 54-criteria checks. But you could do it on your fiercest rival's site, and certainly your own office site. Visit www. tetrarch. co. uk.

Disappointingly it is not, visually at least, the liveliest of sites and its people have this bizarre affection for spider graphs, which have to be the least userfriendly method of describing not very complicated information.All right, they are totally useless. Unhappily for Tetrarch, its assessment system gives lots of points for using hyperlinks. Sounds reasonable, you say, because that's one of the big items about the Internet. But it means that the sublimely simple onepage site of Adrian James would get a low Tetrarch rating.

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