What’s this all about? Well, you know those afternoons when the work dies down, and you have just about everything wrapped up? You still feel like working…but on your stuff. You want to take care of your website. Not your great clients, but your website. You want to let your ‘inner’ geek come out, and have some fun!
So, where do we start? What do you want to test? You’ve looked over your design and SEO a 100 times, and you’re writing… well, it’s just about as good as it’s going to get. So, what should we ‘pick’ at?
Here are a few toys I think you will enjoy…
I didn’t think much of the Link Checker, until it showed me that some of my Affiliate links were wrong, and giving out a 404 page! Bad. Bad. Bad….How did that happen? The only thing I can see is this had to do with a certain Affiliate plugin I removed…Not a good thing.
OK, I know some of you may find this a bit Geeky – but you know what? Give it try. Get your website’s home page link and have fun. Try out some of these tests. They’re not that complicated, and they do give some interesting results!
Inform yourself about the health of your website. It’s your time out. It’s your ‘geek’ time. It’s your website. Your creation. And, why not mention some of these tests to your clients? They most probably would be interested…It’s to their advantage!
Site Speed – that’s something to get geeky about! I have a few friends that just get so neurotic about these results… You have to be careful here. Let’s take this with a grain of salt.
Now, if for some reason you find that your website doesn’t load fast enough, make sure that you have a cache plugin like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache installed. (I’m not taking into account other errors that may be slowing down your site, just stating that these plugins will help to considerably speed your website). Set the plugin of your choice as per their recommendations, clear your browser, then go back and test again. You’ll see what I mean…
What Does Gtmetrix Say?
Get answers on how well your website loads, and recommendations on how to optimize it. Analyze the loading of your site from different regions around the world.
The GTmetrix’s Report Page neatly summarizes your page performance based off key indicators of page load speed.
- Analyze your page with Google PageSpeed and Yahoo! YSlowrulesets
- Get your page’s Page Load Time, Total Page Size and Total # of Requests
- See your page’s performance relative to the average of all sites analyzed on GTmetrix
Another Website Speed ‘Checker’ – This one will test your website performance in the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and IE. You can also choose from worldwide regions to test from your user’s location. Well worth it.
They also offer other tools such as:
Website Speed Test – Check your website speed in Chrome, Firefox, and IE, with rich waterfall charts.
Free Website Monitoring – Create a free website monitoring account. It’s free forever, yours to keep!
Uptime Check – Is your website up around the world? Perform an ad-hoc check.
Traceroute – Identify network bottlenecks by tracing paths across the network.
DNS Report – The free DNS report tool will ping your DNS to see if it is online.
What’s my IP? – View the IP address of the device you’re using to access our website.
What is Nibbler?
Nibbler is a fun/free tool for testing your websites. Enter your website address and Nibbler will give you a report, scoring the website out of 10 for key areas, including accessibility, SEO, social media, and technology.
What Nibbler says:
Nibbler is a ‘bot’ – an automated computer program which tries to find webpages by looking at the first one and following links from that to other pages. If a website doesn’t link its webpages to each other in a way that a bot can see, then Nibbler will not be able to explore it fully.
Here’s an overview below of the type of scoring that is done. Important note: As explained, this toy is limited to only three reports. So, make sure you keep your tab open after your first report, so you can refer to it, and make whatever corrections are necessary.
Another thing, make sure you have some free time on hand…you may need it!
Last note: remember, it also only analyses the first 5 pages…
Here’s are some of the different types of reports they will analyze. In my point of view, some of them can be overlooked… All depending on how much importance you give them.
Printability – Social interest – Internal links – Popularity – Facebook page – Images – Amount of content – Twitter – Headings – URL format – Meta tags – Incoming links – Page titles – Analytics – Server behavior – Mobile – Freshness – Domain age
Great tool if you don’t want to add another plugin to your website. (I.e. too many plugins, or plugins of poor quality, will slow down your website)… Also, this online goes a lot deeper than any plugin. Have a good look at the results…and fix whatever needs to be fixed!
I would keep that link in my favorites, and check my website at least every 2nd week – Or, depending on how much content you’ve been adding. Remember, broken links will damage your website ranking and usability. There’s no getting around it – error 404 pages are bad for business.
Dead Link Checker crawls through your website, identifying broken links for you to correct!
Another interesting fun tool – Yes, I say fun, because unless your website is a total mess…Take some of these results with a grain of salt.
In other words, don’t freak out. Fix what you can. Outsource what you can’t and move on…Tests are as follow – website performance, including page size, page requests, page speed, and more. It also evaluates responsive design, SEO, and security.
They give you the choice of sending your results either by email or/and view them in the browser.
Great tool – Yes, the ‘look’ is vintage, but it works. What does it do? I lets you see what your website looks like in different browsers and operating system. Interesting.
I wouldn’t sweat too much over it, and stick to the main browsers like FF, Chrome and yes, IE. Look at it this way. It’ looks good on tablet and mobile? Looks ‘generally’ good in the above results – you are doing a great job. (Or your web designer did!)
Note: It takes a few minutes to get the results.