Tools for Webmaster

This is a selection of best online tools for webmaster job you can use to check, improve and enhance your website for performance, accessibility, compatibility.

1. Xenu

Useful feature is to check your website for broken links or list all outgoing links.

2. CleanCSS

Before you move on to some more complex validation, you might want to clean, optimize and compress your CSS code. This simple and powerful tool will allow you to do just that, and in the process can fix errors. Just paste your CSS code into the box or type an url to your stylesheet, and in a moment you will be presented with a clean and optimized version of your CSS. This is a must before going to the next step. After processing CSS of this site I have manged to get rid of most of css errors and compress the code by about 25% resulting in faster loading times. Experienced web designers will probably write the proper code from beginning but for all of us others it's a really great helper.

3. W3C CSS Validator

This tool will check your CSS files for any errors. Different browsers interpret stylesheet code differently so even if your browser shows everything the way it should be, it does not mean that others will. So use this great tool to fix your CSS code before moving on.

4. W3C Markup Validator

This is the Big Daddy of validation tools and if you pass this one without any errors, you are pretty sure that you have a website that complies to everything in the universe. I will only tell you that google.com has 31 errors according to this test. I have used it to remove some simple errors. There are some pretty technical things that you will get in this report so you may need an experienced website developer to fix it all.

5. TAW3

Next you will want to try this tool, that will present you with a validation report in a visual way, "drawing" things over your site display. This tool is also very detailed in the amount of information it gives about your website accessibility and errors. You should not focus on fixing every single bit as most of the information TAW gives is little "over the top".

6. WAVE

WAVE is another visual tool and it will allow you to watch the flow of your site, for example monitor your headings, divs, keywords, alt text, javascript calls and much more. Use it to quickly fix errors in your theme, assign heading according to your keywords etc.

7. BrowserShots

If you thought the all work is done you are wrong. Remember the browser differences mentioned at the beginning? Well thanks to this tool, you will not have to install all the commonly used browsers to check your site in everyone. You only need to go to this site, type in your website URL and select all browsers that you are interested in. It supports Firefox 1.5 and 2.0, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, 6, and 7, Opera, Safari and some others and all that on both Linux and Windows platforms. Best things is you get actual screenshot from an actual computer using that actual browser! Here are the screenshots of my website seen in different browsers:

browser shot of www.prelovac.com

Using this tool I have for example noticed that my site does not load properly in MS IE6. It is really convenient and easy to use. A truly fantastic tool.

8. Ready.Mobi

With mobile phones and hand held devices being more and more popular, it is a growing trend (and a necessity) to make your website compatible with mobile phones. This usually means using as little advanced technologies as you can (java, flash etc.) and keeping the file sizes down as mobile bandwidth is still rather expensive. This site will give you a report of your website optimization for mobile devices.

9. Pingdom

Let not this site's rather simple name fool you. It is a very powerful tool that allows you to get information about the loading speed of your site in a very nicely laid out graphical way. Give it an address and it will output loading times time line for each and every file loaded, be it an image, javascript, external object, css or whatever. You can sort the information by type or size and easily find possible bandwidth problematic files. I have used it to remove some of the unnecessary external javascripts. Also as a way of decreasing loading times I set the default number of blog posts displayed to 5 instead of 10 (but I increased the number of 'recent posts' displayed to 10). I also optimized header images by converting them to jpeg format. These simple changes almost halved the total transferred bytes while not changing the functionality of the site.

10. Readability Test

All checks passed, you still are not finished if the content you write is understandable to you only. Using the readability test you can get a lexical grade for your content. There are three figures to check. Gunning Fog Index and Flesch-Kincaid Grade will show you roughly how many academic years are necessary to process and understand your content. You will typically want to have these indexes lower if you want a broader audience. Third one, Flesch Reading Ease, is scale from 1 to 100 with higher the grade the more understandable to text is. You want to have between 60 and 70 on this scale.

Bonus feature

If you are a Firefox or Flock user, then Firebug extension will be priceless for your web development needs. It allows you to inspect and change your web site design in real-time. Complement that with YSlow extension which displays performance stats and you have a powerful webmaster tools built in right into your browser.

23 Comments

  1. Apr 23rd, 2009 8:01 PM

    Great List. I'll be using some of these tools.

    Thanks

  2. Apr 7th, 2009 4:27 AM

    odličan ti je sajt vladimire. samo tako naprijed.

  3. Jan 30th, 2009 11:33 AM

    thanks for the list

  4. Dec 29th, 2008 4:46 AM

    Very, very useful list. Currently Browsershots does not appear to be working, although this may be a problem with my computer, but otherwise very useful and informative. As you may have noticed, I have spent much of today going through your blog and posting comments. I have found it very informative and very helpful. I appreciate everything you have done here.

  5. Nov 12th, 2008 8:38 PM

    Very useful! Thanks for the links!

  6. Oct 18th, 2008 6:46 AM

    very useful post.

  7. Ripose
    Aug 29th, 2008 11:26 PM

    Did you know that WEBXACT has not been publicly available since Feb. 2008?

    So your link to that site redirects you to an IBM page and WEBXACT is nowhere to be found.

  8. pastcaring
    Jun 27th, 2008 3:14 PM

    Here is link to Firebug that does work with Firefox 3.....

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1843

  9. pastcaring
    Jun 27th, 2008 3:08 PM

    Appears that Firebug is not compatible with Firefox 3....

  10. rai
    Apr 25th, 2008 8:12 PM

    Very helpful! i learned new stuff and it will really help a lot. thanks for sharing! more power

  11. Apr 12th, 2008 4:55 PM

    Hey Vladimir,

    Thanks for the really cool list. Bookmarking it.

    Also thought you would like to know Webxact is no longer available. You should remove the link or mention so :)

  12. Mar 4th, 2008 10:14 PM

    Great website!! Keep up the good work!!

  13. Feb 24th, 2008 2:39 AM

    Great list. Bookmarking this for future reference.

  14. Feb 21st, 2008 5:44 PM

    Very nice list

    Have used it on my website: Aviation Earth

  15. Jan 30th, 2008 4:22 PM

    Great selection of tools, personally i prefer the tools on offer by seomoz.org some more great free tools =)

  16. Dec 28th, 2007 8:09 PM

    I think you can add this one to the list:

    http://tester.jonasjohn.de/

  17. Dec 21st, 2007 2:35 AM

    Greats tools.
    Realy thanks for you

  18. Dec 12th, 2007 3:01 PM

    Hello

    Great piece of information. These are very essential for websites. Nice compilation, I saved it too.

    Thanks for the effort

  19. Nov 15th, 2007 9:20 PM

    Great checklist.

  20. Nov 14th, 2007 4:47 PM

    Very cool resource. Thanks for this. :)

  21. Nov 13th, 2007 4:31 PM

    Nice list of resources. Browser shots look real handy for checking those IE5 problems.

  22. Nov 13th, 2007 4:32 AM

    Very good article. I already use most of these sites, and I will surely checkout others too.

  23. Nov 13th, 2007 2:57 AM

    Hi Vladimir, I came from DP forum...great you have here...definitely check it to my blog...subscribe to your feed...

Have your say

You must be logged in to post a comment.