With all the editing sites available online, it can be difficult to choose the best site to meet your needs. When it comes to choosing between editing sites, half the battle is determining which sites are credible and which are not! You don't want to grant access to your documents—many of which are the result of hours and hours of hard work—or give your money to sites you can't trust. Here are some things to look for when assessing different editing sites. Keep in mind that these tips can also be useful for assessing other types of sites as well, especially those you're considering purchasing a service or product from.

1. Accreditation

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) holds its accredited members to a high set of standards. BBB-accredited businesses must comply with the BBB's ethical business practices or risk losing their accreditation. Additionally, customers or clients who have had bad experiences with BBB-accredited businesses can file complaints to be handled through the BBB.

Please note that there are some editing sites that claim to be BBB-accredited but do not in fact have this accreditation. BBB-accredited businesses should have the BBB logo on their sites, and this logo should be clickable. When you click on the logo, it should take you directly to the editing company's page on the BBB website. Alternatively, you can search for individual businesses directly.

Another type of accreditation that some editing sites may have is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification. An ISO certification means that a business follows certain processes and maintains certain standards with its work. Please note that ISO does not issue certifications itself. Regular audits are completed on all ISO-certified businesses to ensure that they are adhering to ISO standards. An ISO-certified company must handle all of its processes—such as quality assurance, customer payment, and completion of services—in the same way each time. An ISO-certified editing site, for example, must follow the same procedure for accepting your order, processing your payment, and completing and returning your order, as well as for addressing any complaints or follow-up questions you may have.

2. Website Security

Any site you are planning to purchase a product or service from should be secure, and editing sites are no exception to this rule. How, then, do you know when a website is secure?

There are a few signs to look for when investigating website security. First, the site should have an SSL certificate. This certificate means that the site's connection is encrypted. You'll be able to tell if a site has this certificate by looking at the URL. If it starts with https instead of just http, it has an SSL certificate. The site should also have an Extended Validation (EV) certificate; if the site has such a certificate, the site's name will be in green in your browser bar. You should also be able to click on this certificate to see who runs the site as well as where it is based. This certificate indicates that the company is legitimately what it says it is.

SSL and EV certificates are verified through different companies, such as GoDaddy and Symantec. Most editing sites with these certifications will also include icons on their pages stating that their sites are secure. Like the accreditation icons, these security icons should be clickable. When you click on an icon, it should open another window that gives you information about that site's certificate. If you can't click on an icon, the certificate is probably not valid. To be sure, use a tool such as DigiCert's SSL Certificate Checker to verify the certificate.

3. Reasonable Pricing

Online editing sites should offer reasonable pricing.Everyone wants to find the best bargain when shopping for any type of product or service, but when it comes to editing sites, any pricing that sounds too good to be true probably is. Though prices may vary slightly, most credible editing sites use a few common factors when pricing their services: document length, turnaround time, and the type of service. Some sites use page count, but most sites rely on word count to price their services. Faster turnaround times generally cost more than longer ones, and the type of service—such as proofreading versus editing, or English as a second language editing versus regular editing—can also significantly affect the cost of an editing job. These factors affect the price of the document because they can significantly affect the amount of time needed for an editor to complete a document. Be wary of any sites that claim to edit all documents for one low flat rate. They may be out to take your money, or they may just provide extremely poor service.

4. Online Samples or Free Sample Editing

Most credible editing sites will offer free online samples or a sample editing service so you can see the quality of the work they produce. Free online samples may show you how in-depth you can expect the editing of your work to be. Free sample-edit services allow you to submit your own document to be edited. Based on the sample edit, you can decide whether you want to pay to have an editor from that site work on your document. If a company is not willing to give you some idea about the quality of its work, it's probably because (a) it is trying to scam you or (b) it does not produce high-quality work.

5. Access to Customer Service Representatives

Access to Customer Service RepresentativesCredible editing sites are companies that are based out of real locations. These companies should have the addresses of their offices listed on their websites, and it should be easy for clients or prospective clients to contact customer service representatives from these sites. Phone numbers and email addresses should be easy to find. If you do get in contact with a customer service representative, that person should be knowledgeable about the services the site provides. If customer service representatives do not seem to know what they are talking about, that is a good indication of the editing site's credibility (or lack thereof).

6. Availability of Information

Lastly, you should not trust any editing sites that do not offer information about things like pricing, turnaround times, website security, or their editors' credentials. Reputable sites with credible editors have nothing to hide, and as such, they will provide their users access to any information they may need to make their decision. The company's policies regarding quality assurance should also be available and easy to find. If these policies are not listed on the site, and if the site is not ISO- or BBB-certified, there are essentially no standards for the company to be held to if it produces poor-quality work. Service descriptions should also be detailed. These questions should be answered by each service description: Who is this service for? What types of documents should be submitted for this service? Will the document be proofread only for errors, or will it be edited for content and structure? And lastly, will the editor provide feedback about the document?

Conclusion

Choosing the best option from the variety of editing sites available may be tough, but arming yourself with the proper information will make things easier. You want what's best for your work, and that might mean doing a bit of shopping around. We hope that once you've done your research, you'll find Scribendi to be a great choice for your editing and proofreading needs.

Image sources: Spiltshire.com, Martin Vorel/Stocksnap.io, Foundry/Pixabay.com

Scribendi.com's free sample edit offer.

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