First time visitor? The tutorials start here.

Website Review: bestbuy.com

I have to say, I was pretty disappointed when I ran bestbuy.com through w3c’s markup validator and it displayed 1223 errors and 1185 warnings.

I’ve always liked my local brick and mortar Best Buy. Their staff are always friendly and knowledgeable, and they’ve never steered me wrong. They even have their famous Geek Squad (ouch, I might have to review their site next), who specialize in computers and networking. So why can’t they find and hire someone who will code their website properly?

Judging by most of the HTML on that page, I would say the easiest way to clean up most of their errors is to change from an XHTML 1.0 Strict doctype to a transitional one, because they do a lot of things that just aren’t allowed in XHTML. Then again, I’m not so sure that XHTML transitional would be lenient enough with some of the code soup they have in that page. I do know, however, that the few places where they do use XHTML, it wouldn’t validate with an HTML doctype.

Markup errors

Here are just some of the errors they make over and over again in their HTML:

  • Their <link> and <meta> tags aren’t properly closed
  • They put tag names in ALL CAPS when they need to be in lowercase
  • They use & in their urls instead of &amp; … interestingly enough, they did use &amp; in an <h1> heading when they didn’t need to.
  • They put an HTML comment in place of their meta keywords, which isn’t allowed in XHTML or HTML
  • They omit quotes around attribute values
  • They define a language attribute for <script> tags but not a type
  • They link to at least one style sheet from inside the <body>, which is a big no no.
  • There is at least one error where it looks like something was accidentally deleted in the code

With 1223 errors, I’m sure I could find more if I kept looking. But this website is coded so badly that the bottom line is, they really need to fire the person who coded it, and would be much better off hiring an 8th grader to redo it.

Get with the program, Best Buy. Your brick and mortar employees seem to know what they’re doing. Now you just need someone who knows the difference between HTML, XHTML, and complete jibberish.

By outlining all of those errors, I am stating the facts. Now for my opinion, which I’m sure many others will share… get rid of that inline CSS! That’s what external style sheets are for!

Speaking of CSS…

  • BBStyles.css has 4 errors, which would be so easy for anyone to fix.
  • bby2.css actually validates, but upon closer inspection…
    • There are only 9 lines of code in it.
    • Line6 refers to a class name of “botomline” and has no attributes defined for it (it has empty { } brackets). Looking at the HTML for the page, I see a class named “bottomline” but no “botomline,” as I expected to see.
  • ghp_v4.css has 2 really stupid errors: underscores before the “height” attribute in two different places.

One point in their favor

At least they have alternative content for their flash, although with the laws the way they are and their apparent lack of coding knowledge, they were probably forced to do that.

Ok, another point in their favor is that their brick and mortar store is excellent, and it’s my favorite place offline to shop for electronics. But, since we’re talking about the way their website is coded, I have to give them a big “F” for that. 🙁

If you found this article useful, please spread the word:
Stumble it! Digg! Tweet it!



Comments (4)

pastor rickMay 8th, 2009 at 12:47 am

Good Lord! The BB site makes ME look like a genius!!!

LesaMay 8th, 2009 at 7:21 am

You could put them to shame, Rick. Maybe you should offer to clean up their code for them. 😀

pastor rickMay 9th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Nah, I’ll go with MS and see if Bill still remembers me (they only have 54 errors on their site) 😀

LesaMay 10th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Knowing how their own browser doesn’t comply with web standards, I wonder if those 54 errors at least comply with that one. That could make for an interesting review. 😆

Questions or comments?

Please log in to post a comment. Sorry, but it prevents this from happening. If you're not registered yet, you can register here.