Website credibility is important as it contributes to the type of relationship the user will have with the website. If a website is credible, users are more likely to return to it and feel safe spending their time and money. If a website is not credible and possibly fraudulent or untrustworthy, users are not likely to be willing to return to the site. It is vital to be aware of web credibility so as not to spread misinformation, view illegal or copyrighted material and to avoid scammers or viruses. There are four types of credibility: presumed (intuitive), reputed (heard from another source), surface (appearance) and earned (via personal experience) (Fogg, 2006).
A website can appear more credible if:
- The overall design is appealing and comforting; no jarring visuals or conflicting colours.
- Correct use of language. This adds to the professionalism of the website.
- Low amount of advertisements. More adverts or pop-up windows make the user feel they may get a virus (Laja, 2012).
Misinformation can be a big issue with web credibility. As a student, if I were to use information from a website that was not credible for an assignment, it could be false and this could affect my mark. Alternatively, if this information was copyrighted and copied illegally, I could get reprimanded for plagiarism.
Fogg, B. J. (2006). Web Credibility – BJ Fogg – Stanford University. 2015, from http://www.slideshare.net/bjfogg/web-credibility-bj-fogg- stanford-university
Laja, P. (2012). 39 Factors: Website Credibility Checklist. 2015, from http://conversionxl.com/website-credibility-checklist-factors/