How to check website quality reports for free
Successful website developers check website quality regularly to ensure the success of a project, and while there are a whole host of amazing tools available for people with large budgets, most of what a great designer needs to check website quality are also available for free. Here are some of my favourite ways to check website quality without spending a dime.
Check website quality for structural errors
If you’re looking to test your website for technical and structural errors, there’s nothing better than the W3C’s free online validator service. The validator will run your webpage against standardization tests to ensure that the HTML code meets modern browser standards and can be viewed effectively across most devices.
In addition to the standard tester, there are also special tests for:
In my experience, passing these basic tests in the first step to developing a search engine friendly website. By checking the website quality for errors at a basic code level, you’re ensuring that the website is compatible with search engines as well as any browsers designed to meet global standards.
Website design quality check
Presuming that your website writes good quality HTML, you’ll also want to ensure that it looks great and that’s where Browser Shots comes in handy. This free web service is a little advertisement heavy, but allows web site designers to quickly check website quality across multiple browsers and operating systems.
The website quality check performed by Browser shots is a fairly accurate indication of how a website will appear in a multitude of browsers, and helps designers check website quality for glaring errors in a single batch.
Accessibility check for quality
Although it has a fairly limited free version, the tool at accessibility report at http://try.powermapper.com/ is a great place for web designers to check website quality for common accessibility errors, as well as a host of other free tests such as:
Use Pingdom Tools to check for website quality
One of my favourite ways to check website quality is with Pingdom Tools free online quality checker. It runs a website through it’s paces, running performance tests that should make most IT departments envious. The reporting tools include a beautifully functional waterfall display with a complete breakdown of what files are being loaded as part of your website, as well as the order, and time each is taking to load.
The results are formatted into easy to understand graphics, with a colour coded breakdown to indicate each stage of the load process to help website designers check website quality against load balancing and potential hosting issues.
For example in the report generated below I’m able to immediately see several CSS and JS files that I don’t need to load, and remove them from my website to improve load times and ensure a smooth experience for users.
Check website quality for SEO
Search engine optimization is of course the goal of many website owners, and there are a couple great tools designed to help meet Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. The first is SEO Worker’s free tool for reporting on a webpage performance. What I like best about it is that the tool automatically includes video links from Google explaining why certain practices are best.
The second tool that I use to check website quality for SEO purposes is the Google Webmaster suite, another free tool by Google that is designed to help website owners improve how Google sees their website, and improve the data Google includes in their search engine result pages.
While there are a lot of great tools out there designed to check website quality for a price, there are also a lot of really powerful free tools for web designers to use. If I’ve missed any that you think should be listed, please let me know in the comments below.