How to test and check a web page for errors
There are dozens of services available that are capable of checking your website for errors and finding ways to improve various webpages. Below is a listing of some of our favorite free online services.
General website and HTML checks
- W3C markup validation - The official validator of the World Wide Web Consortium. An invaluable resource for checking HTML, XHTML or other markup languages you use on your web page for errors.
- Google Webmaster Tools - A must for any Webmaster. With this free service, you can identify any page or links with errors, scan for malware, find pages with short or missing titles, find duplicate meta tags, and much more. It should be noted that you'll need a Google account to use these tools.
- Silktide Nibbler - A fantastic free online service that gives you a good complete overview of your website with an overall score.
- Woorank - Another fantastic free online tool that gives you a quick and easy-to-read overview of problems you may have on your site.
- HTML Tidy - A simple and easy-to-use online tool that allows you to identify any HTML errors you may have on your page.
- Feng-GUI - Upload a picture of your homepage or other pages and generate a heat map of where the visitor's eyes are most likely to go first.
- W3C CSS validation service - Displays any issues errors or compliance warnings you have within any CSS code.
- CSS Compressor - Although this service cannot check for errors, it is a great tool to use after your CSS code is verified. Using this tool, you can shrink your CSS file to help the overall load time of every page that links to it, as well as decrease the overall amount of bandwidth you use.
- WebPagetest - Our favorite tool for testing a web pages load time.
- GTmetrix - Speed test a web page as well as optimize versions of images, pages, and scripts.
- Pingdom Tools - A fantastic service that gives you a good and easy-to-read overview of how long it takes for something to load on your webpages. Most website visitors only spend a few seconds waiting for a page to load, so fast loading times are essential to a successful website.
- WebSiteOptimization - A service used to find how much time it takes to load your web page and what you can do to help it load faster.
- Web Page Content Compression Verification - Test an individual page or element on a page (such as a .CSS or .JS file) to see if it's being compressed before being sent using gzip.
- Global load time performance test - Test your web page load times around the world.
- HTTP archive - Provides the complete history of the speed of a website that can go back several months.
- Load Impact - A great online test for verifying your website will perform well under high traffic volumes.
- WhichLoadsFaster - If you're updating or revising a website, this is a great place to quickly test and compare the load times between two different pages.
- Browsershots - Test how accessible your web pages are in all of the Internet browsers.
- Colorblind filter - See how your page appears to those who have color blindness. Using this page ensures that if someone visiting your site has color blindness, won't miss something because your color scheme is bad.
- HERA - Verify that everyone, regardless of any disability, can view your pages.
- html2txt - A great method of converting your HTML page into a text document. This page is helpful because many accessibility tools for the blind will convert pages to text. By using this tool, you can get a good idea how someone who's blind may read your page.
- The Readability Test Tool - Test the readability of your website and get a better idea about how many people would understand your content.
- IE NetRender - IE NetRender is a great online service that allows you to see how your page is displayed in different versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. This tool is helpful if you need to test your web page in an older browser, such as IE6, which is known to have compatibility issues with CSS.
- mobiReady - Check how compatible your website or blog is when being viewed on a mobile device. It not only gives you detailed information on why your website may or may not work, but also live demos on how the page will load on different mobile devices.
- Google Analytics - Gives you full details your website's visitors, which browsers they're using, the pages they're leaving, what they've searched for, and much more. This service can help identify problems other services may have missed.
Checking a blog
If your page is a blog, consider using Is My Blog Working? to check and see if everything is operable and get additional details about your page.
Testing a site's usability
Having friends, family, and coworkers view your website is a great way to make sure your website not only works, but works on different computers. Other services like the UsabilityHub Fivesecondtest may also test the overall appeal of your site.