Articles › BT Websites Review

You have listening to the adverts and maybe purchased a BT Website package but is it worth the money compared to a custom development.

BT currently offer 3 types of packages from Managed , Bespoke and eCommerce pricing from £15 per month + set-up *source BT websites October 2012.

Things we noticed on some of the live stores 

Minimum Coding Standards

BT Websites example http://www.decorhom.co.uk ( Validation Test )

– Websites that are designed in HTML should be designed to meet todays web standards. Poor coding can impact your search engine position. You can test your website coding standards by clicking here .

HTML5 Incorrect Markup

BT Websites example http://www.decorhom.co.uk ( View Source ) ( Pastebin )

 – According to the website source code we found no HTML5 elements which are the basic foundations of a HTML5 website the <header> , <main> or <footer> tags had not been included on this design which doesn’t qualify this website as a HTML5 development.

This is like building a house with no foundations , everything may look in order from the outside but remove a couple of bricks and cracks start to appear.

Inline CSS Style Sheet Issue

BT Websites example http://www.richardsonsluxurypreserves.com ( View Source ) ( Pastebin )

The basics of web design will teach new beginners how to use CSS Style Sheets. A CSS Stylesheet allows separation between code and design which should always remain separate for many reasons.

A review of the source code displays the CSS styling inline with the rest of the HTML code and Javascript. We cannot understand why BT  would do this other than the designer has used a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) application and has had no care or knowledge on how to correctly use an external CSS stylesheets.

Bespoke Design ? More like a modified Template.

BT Websites Example http://www.orientation.co.uk ( pastebin )

We found little evidence that BT Websites provide a total custom ” bespoke ” solution , we do agree that the visual layouts have been modified stock image replacements and colour scheme changes but beyond the stock photos is the same coding standards we have seen before.

Our Opinion on BT Websites

BT have the marketing power to sell any product or service it wishes and ask any price to a large audience which we feel is the cause of the above errors and many more to mention. BT will have a higher operation cost than any web design agency in the country and it will need to pay for those bills by selling packages at premium prices.

A lot of the features being advertised such as  Facebook Business Pages , Google Places Listing and Search Engine Submission don’t cost anything at all and the ability to update your own website is usually free anyway if it has been designed in WordPress or Joolma which is also free.

The use of the word ‘ Mobile Optimisation ‘ by many professionals would suggest that the site has multiple CSS style sheets , which depending on the device being used e.g phone , tablet or browser would adapt to the correct viewport ” size ” , our review on 30+ BT sites didn’t have this capability within the source code. Just because your website will display on your phone doesn’t class it as ‘ Mobile Optimised ‘.

If you have a BT Website and wish for us to review your site for you please contact us and we will analyze and validate your site against today’s web standards and also offer you some advice on how to improve your design and search engine rank.

Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the BWD Group only and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BT.