In this post, I will share with you five free online website testing tools I used during my recent redesign for testing my website. This may ultimately improve how search engines view and index your website pages.
Online Website Testing Tools Used
Online Broken Link Checker
I actually use this online tool, Broken Link Check, every once in awhile, particularly if I have made a lot of changes. When you have an active blog where you write a lot of content and visitors leave comments, it’s a good idea to check often. Links in your posts could change over time and become broken. While running the check I found that people who comment on my posts, had broken links in their website information and links within posts that I created. The link checker will run a check on all your public pages. It can take some time, so be patient. After my redesign I had several pages with broken links that needed correcting. For really outdated blog posts, I just removed them rather than keep them active on my site.
XML Sitemap Generator
After changing up many things on my latest redesign, I needed to update my sitemap so that search engine bots could index the correct information for my website. I used XML-Sitemaps.com for the purpose of generating a sitemap.xml file to download. After the file is downloaded you place that file within the root folder of your website so that the search engines will know where to find it. I’ve used other tools over the years to create the sitemaps, even hand coded them, but using an online generator is super easy and fast to do.
Pingdom Website Speed Test
If you are like me, a photographer, you’ll have lots of images on your website that can slow down the loading time of your website. I’m currently using Imagify WordPress plugin within my site to optimize the images. After using that plugin I wanted to test the speed on Pingdom’s free online tool to test the speed. Since I used the tool before and after optimizing images, I saw a jump in the grading outcome. Since the website tool lays out several areas it checks, you’ll be able to know what you can work on to improve load time.
Google Webmasters Tools
If you have a Google account, you can sign up for the Google Webmasters set of online tools. Google offers some nice tools to check your website to make sure it’s accessible to the search engines and to the general public. If there are any problems you need to change, you’ll find out here. I start with their Testing Tools, Other Resources, and Search Console once I’m logged in. There are some more complicated tools, which I won’t get into here. The Search Console portion is very useful as you’ll be able to get information on search traffic and see if Google is crawling your site’s pages. Google will alert you in these tool sets of any problems you’ll need to address. Under the Crawl portion of the Search Console, you’ll need to add a link to that sitemap.xml file you added to your website. Once you’ve added that link, you’ll see some real changes in what Google is indexing.
If you’ve used the Webmaster Tools, Other Resources, you’ll see a link to Google Analytics. You’ll need to login again to access it. I highly recommend using Google Analytics if you’ve not used it before. It can tell you a lot about your website and your visitors.
When using any Google tool, keep in mind they are known for retiring services from time to time. Technology changes quickly. It seems like every time I log in to Google Analytics, there are feature changes.
These are just some of the online tools available that you can use that are free. I’d be curious to learn what you use for your website. In a future post, I’ll share my favorite WordPress plugins that I use.