You can evaluate website quality without having to access the code as an IT professional has a variety of scanners and tools available. This article will show you the cheap and free tools we use internally at Your Next Agency. To run the scans, I will use the homepage of our agency website.
Before you start, make sure to check Your Next Agency Amsterdam so you can see which site we will be looking at.
Disclaimer: Automatic scans can be a great way to identify potential areas for improvement. However, it is important to understand what you are doing, as improving has many benefits. Yes, just like in real life. You can add caching to make it more difficult to delete the cache when content changes.
Although this article may seem a little technical, if you have a good knowledge of the scanners you should use, you can open a conversation with your developer to discuss optimization possibilities.
This scanner is the most used and most important. This scanner is often confused with Google PageSpeed Insights which only tests one of the five categories. Lighthouse tests for Performance, Accessibility and Best Practices, SEO, and PWA (Progressive Web Application).
I think the first indicator is the most important and difficult to obtain. This requires optimizations such as page caching, fast server response, modern image formats, and page caching. It is important to prioritize the Opportunities section, even though Google claims it doesn’t directly impact the score.
Screaming Frog SEO spider
Screaming Frog can help you fix any technical SEO mistakes. These audits are performed for clients by Your Next Agency regularly. Screaming Frog is a great tool if you are involved in a site redesign or content-rich website.
Although it isn’t free, the free version may be sufficient for small websites. However, its price of PS149/year is significantly lower than other SEO tools like MOZ, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and MOZ.
This tool analyzes HTTP security headers and is probably my favourite. Some prevent XSS attacks, while others stop malicious websites from loading your website in an iframe. Many scanners focus on SEO and performance, while security is often overlooked. When these headers are taken care of, I believe it will show the developer or agency’s skill in evaluating the website’s quality.
However, remember, especially when tightening up your security while your website is still in active development, some headers like Content-Security-Policy can become a source of frustration. This could be frustrating if your marketing team uses Google Tag Manager and the script does not load.
SSL Testing From SSL Labs
In 2020, it was no surprise that all websites must use secure connections. Modern browsers mark websites that do not have a certificate as unsafe. Even though all websites are now secure, it is still possible to tell a good website apart from a bad one.
It can lead to serious consequences if you don’t check that the website sends emails correctly. This can lead to emails being tagged maliciously by Google and ending in the spam or even not being delivered.
I experience that dealing with user complaints about not getting email is one of the most frustrating tasks for a programmer. It isn’t easy to troubleshoot it if you don’t have access. It is important to set it up properly. This service allows you to send an email to a specific email address, and they will tell you if there are any problems. You can think about DKIM, Dmarc, and SPF. You can also find out if you have been denylisted by certain providers. Some extra tips:
- SMTP is slow and inefficient. Use services such as Mailgun, Postmark, or SendGrid.
- To track down problems, ensure you have at least one day of the retention period.
- Send website emails from a different domain than your real provider. Use a subdomain.
Marketers who send a lot of newsletters often use this service. However, the transactional emails for a website must follow the same rules. So give it a shot!