How to Check Reliability & Reputation Of a Commercial Website

Want to Shop Online and Purchase From a Commercial Website? Check the Reliability & Reputation, First!

Buying online is phenomenal. Millions of people spend more and more huge amounts of money on the Internet and do their shopping every single day. On the other hand, the reports about scam websites and fraud companies have been increased over the past few years and many people unfortunately become victims of such dishonest websites. So, checking a commercial website is vital for every body who wants to shop on the world wide web.

Here are some of the tips that may help you check the reliability and reputation of a commercial website:

1. Search the Name

The very first step is to search for the name of that company or website. Just go to a search engine like Google and start your research by entering the name. See how many results will come up and read some of the first ones. Also, you can combine your search query with words like “Review”, “Feedback”, “History”, or even “Scam”. If you read a lot of negative stories or feedbacks about that particular website, then you should think about it again. Don´t hurry!

2. Whois Lookup the Company

As you may know, there are some reliable resources that can tell you about the history and whois records of a specific company. You only enter a web address and they will provide some useful information such as the website title, the registrar name, administrative info, technical info, status, creation and expiration date of the domain name, etc.

Well, it is not the only method for checking the reliability of a website by itself. But, for example, the creation date of the domain name can get a better judgement if the company is serious and professional or not. So does the expiration date. Therefore, it is a good idea to find out who is behind the website.

Another benefit is getting contacts information. It would be a great idea if you can call them right away or send them an e-mail message and see how fast they reply and what their response is. Remember, a good website offers great support all the time.

3. Browse the Forums and Discussion Boards

Maybe another powerful method for finding about a commercial website is hanging out in the forums and discussion boards. Don´t forget, if a company has a bad reputation or negative feedback, the unhappy customers will announce it somewhere on the Internet. So, check out popular forums in that particular topic and see what other people are saying about the website. Just type your topic or industry in the search engines with additional words such as “Forums”, “Discussion Boards” or “DB” and check out the results!

Bear in mind that if you can´t find any thread or post about the website, it doesn´t necessarily mean that there isn´t currently any feedback. Go and post your thread and then see what people are replying. Get in touch with the website´s clients or customers and ask about their opinions!

4. Ask Your Questions in Networks & Communities

Well, forums and discussion boards are not the only places for your questions. There are tons of other resources and communities where you can go and ask your own questions or get them answered by ordinary or expert people. Yahoo! Answers, Google Answers and JustAnswer are some real examples.

Besides, there are literally hundreds of Groups and Networks out there full of different people with similar interests, passions and activities. As long as you can join them and get in touch with real people, you have chances to get your questions asked.

5. Find Out Verifications by Trusted Organizations

Finally, another important point for judging the reliability of a commercial website is to check if there is any verification made by some trusted companies on the website itself. Normally, there are a number of web trusted organizations that evaluate and confirm applied companies to meet the program requirements and allow the websites to display those confirmation or verification seals on their own web pages.

These organizations have different criteria and various requirements. They cover important features such as privacy policy, security, disclaimer, trust, confidence and so on. Believe it or not, getting verification from some of those organizations is really a tough job. Resources such as BBBOnline, Verisign, TRUSTe, UPS, HackerSafe and OnGuardOnline are some examples in this case.

So, next time, if you see a sign or a seal from a trusted organization, it could mean that the website is reliable. But, don´t take my word for it. Always check out the company history and customer feedback in the market, as well.

The list goes on. I´ve just mentioned the most important points for checking the reliability and reputation of a commercial website. Combine it with other factors that I had stated in my previous post. Elements such as Google PageRank, Alexa Traffic Ranking, The Website Appearance & Its Accessibility. All of them may give you a better feeling for your judgements. So, let your heart & brain work together!

To Your Success!

Hooshmand Moslemi

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