6 elements to validate on the website before going online. [website developer and owner guide]
Don’t take what your developers say for granted. Indeed, with over one million and eight hundred websites active online, you need to do more than have a visually correct site to distinguish yourself. For example, you need to reassure yourself that your website takes less time to display. In addition, you must validate a website’s ergonomics and security.
Problem faced by business owners.
As a business owner, it is sometimes complicated to validate a website. Indeed, in most cases, people rely on what they see (ie the design). From time to time, if they are able to access their site via their computer or tablet, they validate that everything is perfect. However, an unverified website occasionally has three major risks: the possibility of being hacked in the near future, reduced performance and difficulty in reaching its target. Today, I will give you tips that will allow you to validate your website. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a developer to do this.
1 – Validation of the performance of a site
There are several online tools that can help you validate the performance of your website. We can cite among others: GTmetrix, Pingdom, or Google Page Speed insight or even your Chrome browser. Each of these tools have one thing in common; namely to tell you how quickly your site is accessible on different types of screens. You will also have a summary of the impacts of each resource on your site. The principle of use is the same, namely:
- Visit the site,
- Add your URL,
- Click on the analysis button,
- Wait a few seconds and you will see a performance report.
Example of using GTmetrix to validate a website
Do you want to improve the performance of your website? GTmetrix can help you with this. Indeed, the GTmetrix platform gives you the possibility to generate an error report of your site. It is a tool that allows you to have a report of the different problems and tips for solving them. In this article, we will see how to improve performance in a few steps. At the end of the article, you will be able to fix some problems, have a faster website and know some best practices.
How do I get started with the GTmetrix platform?
If you want to use GTmetrix software, to improve the performance of your website, you can follow the following steps:
- Visit their website. You need to visit the GTMetrix website.
- Enter your URL in the form
- Click on “Test Your Site”
- GTmetrix will generate a performance report of your website.
You have the possibility to download a PDF report (subscribed members) that you will use to improve your website. Alternatively, you can use the tips that appear on your screen for your analysis.
Interpret GTmetrix results to improve your website’s performance
When you use GTmetrix to analyze your site, the platform generates a problem report for your site. If you don’t have computer skills, the recommendations may seem complicated. We’ll tell you how you can take advantage of recommendations to improve your website’s performance.
Structure of GTmetrix Recommendations
GTmetrix recommendations are divided into several parts:
- Your Performance Grade. (GTmetrix Grade). Via this section, you can see the classification of your score, the percentage of performance and the percentage of the structure of your website. You can click on the question marks for more details.
- Information crucial to your online performance (Web Vitals) – Its information represents data that indicates whether your website is easily accessible or not.
Other tabs that can help improve your website’s performance
In the GTmetrix recommendation report, you also have the information such as:
- The performance report summary – With the list of things to fix on your website
- One tab – Performance. It shows the summary of the various parameters that affect your website.
- Structure – With information grouped by different structures of your website
- Waterfall – It shows the impact of each resource on your site and the time your site takes to make each of these resources run.
Example of using your Chrome browser (Light house)
LightHouse is a free, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can access it directly from your Chrome web browser. It can be useful for both developers and website owners.
- For a developer LightHouse can allow you to make validations and see elements to improve in order to design a quality website.
- For a site owner, it’s a great decision-making tool. You can, for example, use it to understand sticking points on your website.
How to use the Lighthouse tool
You can use Lighthouse directly on your Google Chrome browser as an extension. The advantage of the Chrome version of Lighthouse is that the updated version of the tool is always available. Also, the command line is accessible for all Lighthouse users.
The steps to launch the audit
- Go to your Google Chrome browser and open the website to analyze
- Then, right-click your mouse and select the “inspect” option in the dialog box that appears. The development bar will appear on the left or at the bottom of the page.
- After the Memory tab, there is the Lighthouse option, click on it and a window will open.
- Finally, click on the blue button “Generate Report” or “Generate a report” to launch the analysis of the website. You will see the large titles of the expected results are to the right of the “Generate report” button
2 – Validation of HTML- W3C Validator syntaxes
The web world is changing; and the codes too. That said, there are syntaxes that are only supposed to be used in the web development process. Or, there are rules or standards proposed by W3C which are strongly recommended for better performance. Thus, if in the development process of your site, you use obsolete syntaxes or do not respect W3C standards, you may have 3 problems:
- First, a reduction in the execution time of your site.
- Second, security risks.
- A higher bounce rate – which is the consequence of reduced page load times.
W3C is an organization that defines standards on the web. It has made available to developers a platform called W3C Validator which allows HTML syntaxes to be validated. You can therefore use it to check if your site is using up-to-date tags. You also have the possibility to see via the results if certain tags do not affect the performance of your site.
How to use the W3C site to validate a website?
Using W3C is simple:
- Visit the W3C site
- Enter your URL in the form,
- Click Check,
3 – Validation of errors related to natural referencing (SEO)
Nowadays, a website alone is not enough to position yourself on the web. It is certain that it will take time to be visible on search engines. However, if you do not take the time to validate that everything is in place to speed up the SEO process, you may be frustrated in the short term. Here, we offer you some things to consider, namely, important tags for better positioning, meta elements, the performance of your site and other aspects.
Use our SEO analyzer
For this, you can use our solution . The principle is similar to the other two cases (GTmetrix and W3C); namely: enter its URL, click on the “analysis” button and obtain the results.
Use pro-sitemaps to detect error pages
Generally with website development tools such as WordPress, Magento …, your developer may need to use a theme or create test pages. Once the development is complete, to ensure that these pages are removed, you can generate a sitemap and analyze it. The sitemap usually gives you a list of all the pages on your website. So, if you take the time to go through it, you may realize that there are pages that are not supposed to be there. An example of a tool I can recommend for producing your sitemap is Pro-Sitemaps. With Pro Sitemaps, in addition to the XML file of your sitemap, you will have the list of non-existent pages.
Enable locally the display of errors on the site (During development)
Before your website is deployed, you can use your server functionality to enable and view backend development errors. Many web servers provide the ability to display errors and this can help fix hidden bugs and validate code quality. If you use a content manager such as WordPress, you can change the value of the WP_DEBUG constant to true.
4- Validation of compatibility with browsers.
The compatibility of the site with browsers is another important aspect that should not be overlooked. Indeed, it is almost impossible to predict which browser a potential customer is using. Sometimes, even if the browser is validated, the version may not be compatible with your site. Validating a website’s compatibility with browsers can help:
- Make sure that the site is functional on the most popular browsers.
- Check if the performance does not change depending on the browser.
- Fix any possible compatibility issues.
Below are some tools that can assist in this regard:
- BrowserStack Live
5 – Validation of the security of your website
Solution security plays a vital role in any online business. Whether you have a blog, a business website, or an e-commerce platform, you need to secure your website. It is essential to protect your website to avoid losing your data or putting your customers’ information at risk. Today I am going to give you some tips that will help you improve your website security. To improve your website security, apply these tips on your website.
Use Captcha to protect your forms from spam
A captcha will protect your website from spam. One of the most popular captchas is Google Captcha. You can go to Google platform and get the right one for you. For example, reCAPTCHA v3 protects your website from spam and unpaid abuse. Based on a scalable risk analysis engine, it prevents automated software from damaging your site while allowing identified users to surf with ease. To enable reCaptcha v3 to work on your website I should note that you can run reCaptcha for unlimited time with different actions on the same page. If you use a CMS such as Magento, WordPress or PrestaShop, you can get an extension that will help you add Google Captcha to your site. You can also opt for an integrated captcha depending on the platform you are using.
Use an SSL certificate to encrypt communication
It will encrypt the communication between your users and your server and it will add an extra layer of security of your solutions on your website. In addition to that, it helps encrypt connections to protect sensitive information provided by customers while authenticating the identity of any organization. Here are the steps to follow to install SSL certificates on your server: – Generate a certificate signing request (CSR), containing information about the public key and the server, – Request the SSL certificate from a secure source on the Internet according to your specific needs. – Install the SSL certificate after receiving it by email or via the Customer Dashboard. – Associate SSL with your website. If you want to get SSL at an affordable price, you can try this link. The starting price is $16.5
Enforce the type of password that users enter on your website.
Instead of allowing your users to enter a password, you can set something a little more secure. As such, you secure your website against password guessing. You can, for example, use templates or require users to enter specific character types. If possible, you can further strengthen security with two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication will require users to enter their password and validated with a code sent to the phone. For users with access to your server, you can use secure authentication such as SSH keys. The steps to configure SSH key authentication are as follows: – You must place the public key on the server in a unique directory. – When a user connects to the server, the server will ask him to prove possession of the associated private key. – The SSH client will use the private key to respond in a way that demonstrates ownership of the private key. The server will then let the client connect without a password.
Improve server security.
You have some features on your servers like IP blockers or some tools that can protect your website from brute force attack. Here are some security measures of your solutions that you can apply: In the case of the IP blocker, you will be able to stop any attack after a certain number of attempts. Some servers also offer the ability to force users to change their password after a certain period of time. You can force users to change and use different passwords if they already use it once. You can also restrict server access to only authorized users using IP addresses.
Regularly scan your code and update your website
Scanning your code periodically and receiving the alert in case of a potential attack will help you to always be on the safe side. We can never 100% control our solutions. By using automated tools, you can act quickly before something alarming happens. Sitelock is one of the software you can use to scan your website regularly. Sitelock automatically scans for known vulnerabilities and malicious code and automatically removes them from your website. If you use a CMS like Magento, registering your site for a security scan can help. This way, you will know which aspect of your website needs extra protection. To install your SiteLock security seal: You need to register and access your SiteLock dashboard. After, you need to follow the wizard’s instructions to complete your verification. Once the registration is complete, you will be able to access the code you need for your site.
Automate your website security scan if possible.
Many automated solutions can allow you to scan your website weekly. Some of them are free and for some you have to pay. If you are using Magento and want to know how to improve Magento security, please read this article. “How to improve the security of your Magento open source website.” Resources to secure your website. SSL Certificates SiteLock Website Security If you need help improving your website security; contact us today.
Filter all data sent through forms on your website.
Another doorway for hackers is the forms on your website. Many spammers or hackers will automate scanning your website for signup forms. Whenever they find one, they will try to send information from there. If a signup form to email web administrators, in such cases you might get a lot of spam. They can also send a script that can damage your site.
6 – Validation of the adaptability of your website to all types of screens
The number of users browsing on mobile phones are increasing every day. That said, if your website is not suitable for mobile phones or tablets, you will lose a good part of potential customers. On WordPress, to improve adaptability to mobiles and tablets, you must:
- Either use a responsive theme, or
- Work with a developer to improve your current design.
Google Offers several tools that you can use in the course of your activities
- Mobile optimization test
- Google Search Console
The purpose of the mobile optimization testing platform is to assess whether your pages are mobile-friendly. You can also use the report to improve your website. Google Search Console quanta is a statistical tool to improve natural referencing.
Validation tools by solutions
Several frameworks or content managers (CMS) offer validation or optimization tools. Below you have some examples.
Site Health – WordPress
The “Site Health” tool is a recommendation tool that globally analyzes your WordPress installation and tells you if your site is safe or not. The screen is similar to the screenshot below. This tool is able to provide advice as well as details on some best practices in WordPress development.
The security center — Magento
Magento offers the possibility to analyze its site for free via the magento security website . The principle of use becomes very simple:
- Create your account,
- Add your URL,
- Validate the permissions,
- Start the site analysis.
Once your site has been analyzed, you will have a security report in PDF format. The screenshot below is an example of scan result.
There are several tools that can allow you to validate that your website has been well developed. However, you can consider the suggestions to establish the basics. If you wish to have expert input for a more in-depth analysis, you can contact us . For example, we will establish PDF reports on the performance, security or SEO of your site.