F: Is the site FRIENDLY to the eyes? Is it easy to read? Did the creator take time to make a well designed website? Is the site free of lots of flashy things that distract you from the text? If someone doesn’t bother to present the information in a neat fashion, the information may not be worth using.
A: Does the AUTHOR have AUTHORITY? Is he an expert on the issue? Does the author identify his/herself and give you a way to contact him/her and ask a question? Does the author provide FACTS free from bias/opinion? If someone doesn’t bother to take credit for his work, that may be a sign that he doesn’t want to be connected to it.
R: Is the information REPEATED elsewhere? Does the author cite his/her sources so you can verify the information? Are their links to footnotes or other relevant/reliable sources? If you find the most fascinating tidbit of information, but only one person claims to know it, and he/she can’t tell you where he/she learned that fact, and no other source confirms it, it’s probably not a piece of information you want to use.
T: Is the information TIMELY? When was the information published? Is your topic time sensitive? Has the website been updated recently? Old information doesn’t help with current issue research, and websites that have been abandoned may not be the best sources.
Other things to consider when evaluating website:
Be aware! These questions are not a checklist. Some credible websites will not meet all of the criteria AND other unreliable websites may include some of the credible criteria.
Wikipedia isn't ALL bad. It can be a good place to start your research and get a general overview of your topic before diving into further research. Here are some Wikipedia DO's and DON'T'S.
Compare and contrast these two versions of Britannica. Which one is better for your needs? Why?