Website design tests your webmaster won’t show you.

website design testNothing beats the insights you will get from a paid #seo service. If you are busy bootstrapping and you have time, you can test your website on your own.

Something to think about: If you know how to test your own website design you can just as easily test your oppositions website and get insight to what content you need to create.


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Website Test

The idea of this post is to supply you with different tools you can use for free to test your website. The tests covers different aspects of your website and when you place all together you will have a good idea of how well your website really is.

NOTE: Not all the available tools give 100% accurate evaluations. There is many reasons like site age etc. Using various tests will give you a better overall insight.

We will be looking at the following sections and how to test them:

  • SEO ratings
  • Domain details
  • Responsiveness
  • Test programming
  • Broken links
  • Readability
  • Page speed
  • Cross browser compatibility

Website Design Tests

 Seo Checks

Nibbler – http://nibbler.silktide.com/
Search engine optimization comes in many forms. A quick way to get a rating on your site are with free online website testing tools. Nibbler is an online app that checks various important criteria on your website and give you a rating out of 10. Nibbler takes it further and allows for a profile and awards “Badges”.

GTMetrix – http://gtmetrix.com/
GTmetrix is a free website analysis app that offers very detailed insights about what negative influences it finds on your website. This is one of my favorite online tools for many reasons. The results show up in comparison, page speed and YSlow. GTMetrix offers WordPress specific information.

GTMetrix Test

 

Website Design Domain Details

Domain Details 
For local .co.za domains you get all the information directly from UniForm that is in control of local domain registrations at http://co.za/ Use the Whois (Registration Details) link. Type in your .co.za domain name to get the details on your website. This is handy if you want to see if the domain name belongs to you or your webmaster and other technical information. The site whois.com supplies domain information on various extensions and offers hosting and registration services.

Website Design Responsiveness

What is a responsive design?
Because the term “responsive” is relatively new, at this time it is not always interpreted or applied correctly. Many examples of attempts to make websites responsive is visible on-line.

A website that consists of a single column that made to fit the smallest screen does not mean the website is responsive. A recent social media post indicated that Google is looking into displaying a warning in the search results if a website does not prove compatible on mobile devices.

At this time many people still not believe that responsiveness is important. This is a big mistake, mobile devices are slowly but surely growing to a major cut of the pie. Mobile devices are not going anywhere. In fact it will continue growing for a while and branch into places you never imagined.

Firefox Responsive Design View
Firefox browser comes with a handy responsive design view tool that allow you to scale pages, using a slider and seeing how responsive your page elements are. To use the tool you simply click: “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “M” and the page will shrink with handles on the right and bottom that you can drag to alter the size.

firefox responsive test

 

Website Design Programming Test

HTML Qualityhttp://validator.w3.org/
One of the many best practices pointed out by google is w3c compliance. W3c checks to see markup validity. Your website may have good scores on seo test sites and tools but still contain errors in the HTML (markup language), this often originate from plugins. Make sure to run and fix these validation errors as far as possible.

You can also test Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), links and feeds. It does not mean if your site is fast and looking nice that the code is valid according to w3c standards. you do get browser extensions for Firefox (Firebug) and others that test HTML validity as you browse.

W3c Site validator

Website Design Broken Links

HTML Qualityhttp://brokenlinkcheck.com/broken-links.php
It is easy to test for broken links. Broken links affect your website in a negative way, fixing this is very important. The chances for broken links grows with the content on your site. The more you trash and move posts around or manual edit navigational links, the better the chances of finding broken links.

broken link checker

 

Website Design Readability

Not only grammarhttp://read-able.com/
This will be easier for a person with keen writing skills, but if you are not English or not a master at writing, how do you know if your posts at least sounds like English?

You may even think your writing is good until you run the test. A test quickly points out indexes and levels for testing and maybe things you never even though or heard of before. Some examples are:

  • Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade Level
  • Gunning Fog Score
  • SMOG Index
  • Coleman Liau Index
  • Automated Readability Index

To name a few. You will see to the top of your results, your tested content will get an estimated age. Try and get this estimated age group as low as possible.

In addition to the indexes above and grammar etc. you need to keep in mind the ratio between normal text in to the character count of the programming on the tested page. In plain English this means that more text less code is better. Readability of your content plays an important part in ranking your pages.

readability test tool

Website Design Page Speed

Pingdomhttp://tools.pingdom.com
I use Pingdom tools because it offers full-page test, DNS health and ping or traceroute tools. “No one likes a slow website” 2 Main factors influence your website design.

  • On-site elements like images, scripts etc.
  • Server or Hosting speed.

You can optimize your website as much as you like but if your host is slow your website are slow. And you guessed it, it is bad for ratings.

Pingdom speed test

Website Design Cross Browser Compatibility

More compatible, more people sees your sitehttp://browsershots.org
Something not always made clear is how compatible your website are with the hundreds of different browsers. You can use one to view your site, but how does it show on the other browsers?

Text browsers are often not considered. If your website consists out of image links, formatted incorrectly, your website will get a negative rating.

Website Design Text Browser

 Conclusion

Always make sure you understand what you will be paying for when signing up for website design with a website designer or website design company. This ties up to the price of your website. Cheaper websites receives less attention.

 Happy testing and remember if you get stuck, I can help.

Renier van den Berg
Working alone, providing digital services to businesses in different sectors, comes with an advantage. I get to see the similarities in businesses operating in different sectors and will gladly help you to implement the right digital strategies and applications to save money and generate more business leads.