Frequently Asked Questions - WebAwards

Below you will find information regarding the Internet Awards competition, WebAwards.


Which category should I enter? 

We designed the industry categories to be very broad in order to allow participants to choose an entry category that best fits their organization.  There can be overlap in some of the categories and it is up to the nominator to choose which category is most appropriate for that particular entry. 

Can I enter more than one category? 

Yes, each year many sites enter multiple categories to increase their chances of winning Best of Industry honors.  The WMA reserves the right to remove entries that are clearly not appropriate for a particular category.  In the past several sites have won multiple categories, for example 2003’s Best of Show winner Disney’s Hot Shot Business, also won Best Education Web site and Best Game Web site.

What is the difference between the IAC Awards and the WebAwards? 

The IAC Awards were developed to evaluate and recognize innovation and excellence in online advertising which includes a category for Websites.  The WebAwards focus on the entire Web site, with particular emphasis on the creativity and functionality of the overall interactive experience.  Websites entered into the Website category of the IAC Awards will be judged based on their advertising merit.  A site can be entered in both the IAC Awards and the WebAward Competition.

What is the difference between the Mobile WebAwards and the WebAwards? 

The MobileWebAwards are designed to specifically recognize mobile websites and apps. The WebAwards has a category for mobile sites, but uses a different set of criteria to review the sites. Sites entered into one of the competitions are still eligible to be entered into the other competition in the same year.

Do you have to be based in the United States to participate in the WebAward Competition? 

No,  competition entries and judges have come from more than 52 countries around the globe, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Spain, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Turkey, Israel,  Saudi Arabia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Greenland, and many others.  The Web is truly global and so are the WebAwards. 

If you work outside the United States, you can help us by telling others in your interactive community about the WebAwards so that it will continue to be an international award.

Does the entry need to be in English? 

Not necessarily, but it helps. All entries will be judged in English if it is an option.  If not, a secondary language can be selected on the entry form.  Each year we receive entries in multiple languages and work hard to match non-English language entries with judges who speak that language.

How much does it cost to enter? 

The entry fee for the WebAward Competition is $275 USD per category entered.  The non-profit category has a reduced entry fee of $240.  The entry fee serves two purposes.  First and foremost, it supports the operation and marketing of the annual WebAward Competition.  Second, it creates a barrier to entry for many sites that simply do not belong in a award competition of this caliber.  Our expert judges volunteer their time and cannot review sites just looking for a free icon.  We are truly dedicated to judging and help promote the best of the web!

If you enter after the deadline date, your entry will also be subject to a $50 late fee. So make sure your entry is submitted before May 31st.

Can I enter my non-profit into any other category for the reduced entry fee? 

We encourage you to enter which ever categories you feel are appropriate.  Unfortunately the discounted entry fee only applies to the non-profit category, not to all non-profits entered into the competition.

How are the award levels determined? 

Each site is judged on seven different criteria, earning a score between 0 and 70 points.  The highest score in a given category wins Best of Industry for that category. If the remaining entries received a score of 60 or greater, they received the Outstanding Website award.  If the site score is below 60, but equal to or higher than the average score for the industry, then it will receive the Standard of Excellence WebAward.   Winning a WebAward is truly an honor, as a large number of sites do not win any award.

What do I get if I win a WebAward? 

Beside the respect, recognition, and admiration of your peers, receiving a WebAward creates a marketing opportunity for the site that is recognized and the firm that created it. To help promote your win, the WMA provides:

1. An icon and social media posts to display on your Web site, social media or publications to promote your award-winning website.

2. A handsome statue or certificate for display can be purchased for your award case. Best of Industry winners are represented by an impressive 10-inch WebAward statue representing sculptural art with our iconic W in a flame motif, our trophy is a symbol of achievement for our industry. Outstanding Web site and Standard of Excellence award winners can purchase certificates of achievement or other awards to display their achievment.

3. Inclusion in the WebAward winners' database which is extremely helpful for SEO efforts.

4. A personalized award page to highlight your website award and the individuals who made it happen with links back to your sites again to help in your SEO efforts. This page also recognized the individuals and teams that worked on the project.

5. Ability to post a press release on our highly ranked site.

6. Valuable feedback from the WebAward judges, including comments, site scores in all seven criteria and industry benchmarks to provide perspective.

7. If you are an agency, you will be listed in the Web Marketing Association’s Award-Winning Agency Database at the Premium level for one year at no charge.


My company won a WebAward, can I order a plaque or certificate? 

Statues, plaques and certificates can be personalized and ordered at the end of the competition. Participants can also order plaques and certificates from past awards by using the online order form.  The first line of each plaque or certificate can be personalized with the name of the company or individual to be recognized. The second line of the award will be the official name of the entry and the third line will be the award level won.


Do you hold an event that we have to attend to receive our award? 

Since winners come from all parts of the world, we do not host an “event”, or an award ceremony, to announce the winners.  We announce the winners to the media and on our Web site.   We have discussed putting on an event (we do love a good party), but we are a volunteer organization and it would be difficult for our already overcommitted associates to devote the time and resources to planning and hosting an event.  Besides we never really like attending long drawn out award ceremonies, even ones with short acceptance speeches.


Can you explain how the sites are judged? 

Each site is assigned to three or more expert judges for evaluation.  The judges are informed of the mission statement and prospective audience for the site and provided a link with password, if needed, to enter and review the site.     Judges are not told who submitted the entry or which category it is entered into.  They then visit the site starting with the URL provided on the entry form and assume the role of a target user.  After reviewing the site, they enter their scoring and record their observations and comments before moving on to the next site.  At the conclusion of the judging, the two highest scores are averaged for the final score.  Any lower scores are dropped, although the comments are retained and provided to the participants.


How do you pick the judges for your competitions? 

We are fortunate to have a loyal group of judges who participate each year.  In addition, we post a call for judges on each competition Web site during the call for entry period.  Web professionals who are interested in participating as a judge may nominate themselves for consideration. 

If you are interested in becoming a WebAward judge, please visit the Judge's Nomination page and complete the application.

Will I receive judge’s comments for every site I enter? 

We highly encourage judges to provide comments and feel it is one of the major things that set us apart from other competitions.  But, since, we cannot require judges to comment on each site, not all sites receive comments from the judges. If you did receive specific comments, they would be published on your entry edit page.

We feel strongly that it is important for a judge to offer comments, particularly when they do not score a site well.  It is our goal to help each entry understand the judges thought process and to provide comments to assist the entrant improve for the future.  We have made several changes to the judging instructions and systems this year to focus the judges on this important issue.

Every site entered will receive feedback in the form of actual scores for their entry on each of the seven judging criteria and industry benchmarks by which to evaluate them.


How do I become a sponsor of the Web Marketing Association? 

Each year, the Web Marketing Association hand picks a group of influential companies to be invited to become a sponsor of the WebAward Competition. Our sponsors support our efforts in promoting the highest standard of excellence in Web development and marketing.  We are grateful to our current sponsors  iContact,, IRCE, and Webmaster Radio FM.  Each of these organizations has provided expertise and services to promote and support the annual WebAward Competition.  Please give them your support.

If you are interested in being considered as a sponsor, please email


Can I rent the list of WebAward participants? 

The Web Marketing Association does not rent our lists or provide them to outside third parties. Please see our privacy policy for detailed information on how we protect your privacy.