Nowadays, having a website is absolutely essential for any flourishing company.
We need to get notified immediately if the website is down, slow or unprofessional.
Here are some useful and free tools!
For impatient visitors, please check the table in the bottom of the page.
Check Site’s Basic Info
Alexa tells some fundamental metrics of a website: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo.
- Global Alexa ranking
Normally a well maintained personal website may rank within top 5,000,000.
Congratulation, if yours rank top 1,000,000.
Admire you, if yours rank top 100,000.
- Bounce Rate: How likely visitors tend to leave
- Daily Pageviews per Visitor
- Daily Time on Site
Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by users in Alexa’s global toolbar panel over a rolling 3 month period.
checkpagerank tells more metrics: http://checkpagerank.net
- Page rank in google
- External Backlinks
- Referring Domains
- Domain age: How long the website is maintained.
Google analytics is a must: http://www.google.com/analytics/
It may takes an hour to setup for the first time, and it definitely pays for the effort. I have to admit that I consistently check Google analytics every two hours. And the favorite part is to see how many active users are visiting my website right now, at the right moment.
whoishostingthis tells where it’s hosted: http://www.whoishostingthis.com
Check If Your Website is Down or Up
It may look super easy. Here are problems you might ignore:
- Caching of web browsers may mislead you.
- It’s possible some visitors can open your website, while some can’t.
- The website may go down for hours or days, before you notice it.
Check it locally.
The most usually way is to start a web browser, and open the url. To get rid of the caching problem, you need to clean cache or simply restart the web browser first.
Another fancy way would be using command line of curl or wget. If you’re not that favor of cli, try http://www.isup.me.
Check it automatically. uptimerobot can check your website every 5 minutes for free: https://uptimerobot.com. All you need is to register by your email, and do the proper setting. Some alternatives of uptimerobot: monitor.us, internet seer, montasic, site24x7
Check it from different location. hyperspin enable us to perform the test from over 30 different cities in the world. And it also tell how fast it take: http://www.hyperspin.com/en/index.php
Test How Fast Your Website is
The the average loading time of your website is crucial, especially for the landing page.
If it is less than 3 seconds, you shall be happy; if over 10 seconds, you’re doom.
Usually loading a webpage takes below sequential stages:
- Dns lookup
- Initial connections: tcp connect
- Receive data: such as css, js, images, etc
- Render the page: build up html DOM elements
- Async loading: ajax or some parallel download
webpagetest is my favorite test tool: http://www.webpagetest.org
Though it might look a bit ugly, it’s powerful. It supports:
- Choose test location
- Choose user agent: simulate mobile visitors or computer ones, firefox or chrome, etc.
- Detail breakdown for how time spends in different stages.
- Performance review and tuning suggestions
pingdom is a bit similar like webpagetest: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
It has a much better UI, while less powerful.
Local test by GUI: Firefox Add-on YSlow from Yahoo should be a treasure for you.
It not only show how time is spent, but also detail suggestions for how to improve.
Local test by CLI. Below are some command lines to get a rough performance statistics.
wbench https://www.dennyzhang.com time wget -E -H -k -K -p https://www.dennyzhang.com ab -i -n 100 -c 5 https://www.dennyzhang.com
The most accurate tool above is wbench: https://github.com/desktoppr/wbench.
wbench will automatically launch chrome multiple times, to figure out how time is spent.
Note: chromedriver in CentOS6 or before is no longer supported by google.
You may need some extra effort, if you want to try wbench in that kind of server.
Detect Link Problems
You should prevent the link of your website runs into below http code:
- 5XX: An error happens in server
No normal page is present to visitors but a scaring error.
What worse, visitors will judge you unreliable and unprofessional.
- 404/403: Page not found/Access denied.
Slightly better than above. And it’s definitely wrong.
When some links of your page is 4XX, it shall result in penalty of the page loading.
- 302: Page redirect
Visitors may not notice this, but still penalty of loading, due to the extra redirect.
Free services to check link problems:
WordPress Plugin: Broken Link Checker
If your website is built by wordpress, you can try this plugin. It will automatically check the link problems in your posts. And send you alert emails, if it finds something wrong.
For your reference, here is a table of links
|9||Detect link problems||http://www.websitegoodies.com/tools/linkcheck.php|
|10||Broken Link Checker Plugin||http://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/|
For wordpress users, below link might be useful to you: Why WordPress Site Speed Matters
Original URL: https://dennyzhang.com/free_tool_check_website