Last year, 130 websites were submitted to DC for review. The top 20 sites were singled out and presented with the "ChiroMaster -- Best Chiropractic Website" graphic for prominent display on their websites.
This year, Dynamic Chiropractic has revised and upgraded its awards contest to increase the quantity and quality of the competition, Instead of limiting the award to just the top 10 or 20 websites, there will be no set limit to the number of websites that can receive the award. Those sites that the website committee considers of exceptional quality will be given the ChiroMaster.
Sites that win the ChiroMaster will be presented in Dynamic Chiropractic and highlighted for their individual strengths, such as "most visually appealing," "best patient education" and "best layout."
The judging of chiropractic sites also promises to be more selective than last year's contest. Sites will be judged on these criteria:
- Practice information. Does the site contain contact information about the practice, such as: phone/fax numbers, an e-mail address, office hours, a map, driving directions, insurance information, etc.? Does the doctor provide any personal or professional information about themselves or their practice? Are there any pictures of the office and staff on line?
- Patient information. Does the site include information about what chiropractic is and what chiropractors do, or the conditions chiropractors treat? Are there links to, or copies of, any important chiropractic studies? Does the site tell a patient what to expect on the first visit and subsequent ones? Can patients schedule an appointment on line?
- Telling the chiropractic story. What does the site say about chiropractic? Is the information objective and something the profession can be proud of?
- Download time. How fast does it take for your site to load? Graphics add flavor to a page, but too many of them can drive users and potential patients away.
- Ease of use. Can users navigate the site and find what they're looking for? Are the links clear and concise?
- Browser compatibility. Does the site look the same way in Netscape Navigator that it does in Internet Explorer? What about in the AOL or WebTV browsers? If your site doesn't display correctly in each browser, it may turn people away from the site.
- Layout. Is the site visually appealing? Does the site combine ample amounts of images and text? Is the text easy to read? The best sites blend both text and graphics in such a way that they draw users to all sections of the site, without being so plain as to lose a user's interest, yet without overloading the user on cutesy graphics or animations.
- Miscellaneous. Is everything spelled correctly? Does the site have a title? Do the links to other pages or sites all work? There's nothing more frustrating than being directed to a dead or incorrect link.
To apply for the ChiroMaster, please send an e-mail to "> . Title your message "ChiroMaster Award submission," and make sure to include the following information:
• your full name;
• title of your site;
• the URL of your site (e.g., http://www.chiropractic.com);
• brief (30 words or less) description of the site;
• why you think your site deserves a Chiromaster award.
The deadline to submit your site is July 31, 1999. All sites will be reviewed by Dynamic Chiropractic's website committee between August 1-31. Winning sites will be announced in the October 4, 1999 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic.