Your website before publishing should take into consideration some essential aspects. i.e. the security, the quality of the code, the performance and also the responsiveness. Here we suggest a simple approach to validate your website before going live.
As a business owner, it can be difficult to validate a website. Indeed, in most cases, people rely on what they see (i.e. the design). Sometimes, if they can access their website via their computer or iPad, they validate that everything is perfect. However, an unvalidated site sometimes has three main risks: the possibility of being hacked shortly reduced performance and difficulty in reaching its target. Today, I'm going to give you some tips that will help you validate your website. Don't worry. You don't need to be a developer to do this.
Validating the performance of a site
Several online tools can help you validate the performance of your website. These include GTmetrix, Pingdom, or google Page Speed insight. Each of these tools has one thing in common; they can tell you how fast your site is accessible on different types of screens. The principle of use is the same:
- Visit the site,
- Add your URL,
- Click on the scan button,
- Wait a few seconds, and you will see a performance report.
Example of how to use GTmetrix to validate your website's performance
is an online tool that you can use for free to validate performance. With GTmetrix, you can, for example, get an idea of how long your site takes to run, compare performance by region, or evaluate the elements that slow down your website. With a free account, you can assess performance by city or country. Just because your site is fast on your devices, doesn't mean it will be fast on your users' devices. As a Business Owner, you finally have the data you need to validate your developer's work.
To use GTmetrix, you must
- Visit GTmetrix.com.
- And on the home page, enter your page to analyze in the form: for example, https://www.prositeweb.ca/a-propos/.
- Once this you copy the link, click on "Test Your Site."
After about a minute, you will see a report on the performance of your site. You also can download this report in PDF format.
HTML Syntax Validation - W3C Validator
The web development world is changing, and so are coding. Hence, you can't use some coding syntaxes any longer due to outdated features. Moreover, there are rules or standards from W3C that you need to follow to make your site better. So, if in the process of developing your site, you use obsolete syntax or do not respect the W3C rules, you may have three problems:
- An increase in the load time of your website.
- Security risks.
- A high bounce rate. It is a direct consequence of the load time.
W3C is an organization that defines standards on the web. It has made available to developers a platform called w3C Validator that allows us to validate HTML syntax. You can, therefore, use it to check if your site uses popular tags. You can also see via the results if some labels do not affect the performance of your website.
How to use the W3C website?
Using W3C is simple:
After a few minutes, you will have a report on the page you have analyzed.
Check if the website is SEO ready.
Nowadays, a website alone is not enough to position oneself on the web. It will undoubtedly take time to be visible on search engines. However, if you don't take the time to validate that everything is in place to speed up the SEO process, you risk getting frustrated in the short term. Here, we propose some elements to take into account, namely, the critical tags for better positioning, meta elements, the performance of your site, and other aspects.
For this, you can use the https://www.prositeweb.ca/seo/ platform. The principle is similar to the two other cases (GTmetrix and W3C), namely: enter your URL, click on the "analyze
" button and get the results.
Remove all unused pages and broken links.
Usually, with website development tools such as WordPress, Magento ..., your developer may need to use a theme or create test pages. Once you complete the development process, make sure to remove unnecessary, 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 browse through it, you may find that there are pages that are not supposed to be there. An example of a tool that I can recommend for producing your sitemap is https://pro-sitemaps.com
. With Pro Sitemaps, in addition to the XML file of your sitemap, you will have the list of non-existent pages.
Check your code with the "display errors" setting.
Before deploying your website, you can use your server's functionality to activate and view backend development errors. Several web servers give the possibility to display the mistakes, and this can help to fix hidden bugs and validate the quality of the code.
Cross-check Browser compatibility.
The compatibility of the site with browsers is another critical aspect that you should not neglect. Indeed, it is almost impossible to predict which browser a potential customer is using. And sometimes, even if the browser is validated, the version may not be compatible with your site. Validating browser compatibility can help :
- Ensure that the site is functional on the most popular browsers.
- Verify that performance does not change depending on the browser.
- Fix any possible compatibility problems.
Below are some tools that can help in this regard:
Several frameworks or content management systems (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 screenshot is similar to the capture below. The site health feature can provide tips and details on some best practices in WordPress development.
The security centre - Magento
Magento offers the possibility to analyze its site for free via https://magento.com/security. The principle of use is straightforward:
- Create your account,
- Add your URL,
- Validate permissions,
- And run the site analysis.
Once you analyze your site, you will have a security report in PDF format. The screenshot below is an example of a scan result.
Several tools can allow you to validate that your website has been well developed. However, you can take the suggestions into account to establish the basics. If you would like to have expert input for further analysis, you can contact us. We will, for example, draw up PDF reports on the performance, security or SEO of your site.