These days, from looking at a website only, it is difficult to determine if a company is truly reputable. In other words, even a really great looking website might actually be a home-based operation (which may not be appropriate for your organization's classified document scanning needs).
The following list offers two tips in terms of spotting a reputable company based upon the website only.
The website archive.org maintains a feature called "The Wayback Machine." This feature incrementally archives all webpages on the internet. Simply enter a domain name (e.g. softfile.com) and you will be able to see; (1) how many years the domain has been on the internet and (2) you can actually view its earlier pages (e.g. 1999).
So what are we looking for?
First, you might not want to call upon a company that has only had a web presence for a short period of time.
Second, for those that have a longer-term web presence, what was the content of the same domain name, say ten years ago? While in general, websites esthetically look more advance today, are the sites products and services fundamentally the same as they were then? If not, this might be a red-flag.
(2) Advance Detecting
For the more technologic advanced, consider the page source of the website you are browsing, the html code. Let us look at the 'Contact Us' page for our domain, softfile.com.
Here, the customer can use the webform to communicate with someone at SoftFile. What can we learn by looking behind the Contact Us webpage, at the page source's html?
In Microsoft's Intern Explorer 8 click on VIEW then SOURCE and look for the code that submits the contact us form, it looks like the following:
form name="contact" action="http://www.softfile.com/contact/write.asp" method="post"
What does this tell us? It tell us that the form is being submitted and processed somewhere on the actual softfile.com domain.
Let us look at a website I found randomly on Google, http://www.mekiplaw.com/contact_us.html. Again, looking at the page source we see the following:
form action="http://www.bluehost.com/bluemail" enctype="multipart/form-data" method="POST"
In other words, even though the company's domain is mekiplaw.com, the form is being submitted and processed through a "bluehost.com." This fact is probably irrelevant if the consumer is searching for Attorney Services. However, it is extremely relevant if we are searching for Information Technology services. In other words, an IT company should be able to know how to use web technologies, such as online forms, without having to reply upon a third party. Such a scenario should make one wonder, 'what else will this company outsource without our knowledge?'
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