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Am I guaranteed an award?
Not every website will win this award. If you have not heard from me within 14 days, you can assume you have not qualified for an award. This does not mean your site is not a deserving site, but only that it failed to meet something in the criteria section for the award.
What do I look for?
Navigation should be straight forward and simple to follow, no long one page sites or excessive use of the back button to navigate around the site. I look for at least 5 pages of original content.
Design does not have to be "flashy", but should be unique, neatly laid out, and pleasing to look at. It does not have to be high tech but good use of white space is important.
Main page load times should not be excessive and should be 30 seconds or less at 52K. I will allow longer times where graphics are the main theme of the page and necessary to make the page interesting or informative. Load times in excess of 2 minutes for these will not be considered. I'll be bored no matter how pretty it may be.
Originality in design and content is important. I'm not as interested in the graphical scheme of your site as I am in the fact that site shows you created it and it has content that is unique to you, reflects your personality and interests, and has something of interest to learn about. (sites full of only links elsewhere are not acceptable)
A general common theme is desired but not mandatory.
Most of all, the site should be interesting, useful, and fun for your visitors.
No music I can't turn off, or Java script that repeatedly crashes my browser.
The site must be "family friendly". No adult (pornographic or nudity of any kind, (this includes semi-nudes or any modeling that isn't appropriate for all ages), inappropriate language, racist, and/or abusive sites will not be considered. I'm a prude, so don't offend me in any way or I'll leave. If a 5 year old shouldn't view or read it, neither can I. Secret phrase is "I want to win".
Copyright information - give credit where, credit is due. If you know who the author is, give them credit. If you use someone else's graphics and have their permission, give them credit. If it's your own work, give yourself credit! If you don't know but it is not your work, state "author unknown" where needed.
There are 4 potential levels for this award - Gold, Silver, Bronze & Merit (see scoring for particulars). If you don't win the highest level the first time around, make some changes and submit again later. Note the improvements you have made since your previous submittal. Re-submittal may be done after 30 days.
If a certain browser and resolution is required to view your site properly, it must be stated.
If for some reason you don't qualify for an award you will be notified and will be able re-apply in 60 days.
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