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.

12 Comments

  1. Oct 8th, 2014 2:11 PM

    I use a lot of these already but there are few I've not come across before so thanks for the list.

  2. Jun 29th, 2014 9:43 PM

    Nice list, I checked all the tools that you have listed here, good work.

  3. Jan 23rd, 2012 11:55 PM

    Wonderful lists. You are really an helpful person. I really got some important tools from your site to use for my own blog. Thanks for your share. I really appreciate your effort.

  4. Dec 9th, 2011 8:13 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful list of sites! There is nothing better than having a great list like this, all in one place. I have bookmarked this and will be returning often.
    Erin :)

  5. Oksana
    Oct 29th, 2010 7:29 PM

    Gretings Vladimir!

    Thanks a lt and very useful tools, wil recomend and share withmy friends.
    Cheers

    Oksana

  6. Aug 22nd, 2010 9:30 PM

    ty for this and the two 'top' posts.

    john d

  7. Jun 10th, 2010 7:56 AM

    No one has mentioned the Firefox plugins, and I wonder why? When asked what tools do you use to develop and maintain websites? Most of the answers are Dreamweaver or some other editing tool such as Textpad.

  8. Apr 29th, 2010 5:10 PM

    Thanks for sharing all those useful sites!
    I very like the last 10, check our content if it is readable or not, very useful for non english people like me. ^^

  9. Apr 24th, 2010 3:27 PM

    Thanks for the list. It is extremely useful.

  10. Mar 17th, 2010 6:04 PM

    Very useful tools.
    Tks
    -----------
    Google pageSpeed: http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/

  11. Sep 25th, 2009 11:00 PM

    Looks like the first link does not work anymore.

  12. Jul 20th, 2009 1:43 PM

    Thanks for this list. I was looking around to compile a checklist to help streamline my tasks and get things done sooner or more efficiently. I checked your link for WEBXACT and it appears it is no longer available. I searched through the engines and it appears to have been taken down. Is there an alternative?

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