Website healthcheck tools
Website healthcheck tools
As a website owner, it can be difficult to tell whether your site has been well built, but there are some fantastic tools around which can help you to understand whether your site is solid, or if there’s some room for improvement.
Page speed test
Page speed is a key metric for both site visitors and search engines. Your website is competing against hundreds of very fast, optimised websites, and site visitors simply won’t stand for slow page load speeds – they’ll reach for the back button and go elsewhere.
Check your page speed here: Google page speed insights.
Google mobile test
Mobile browsing overtook web based browsing a couple of years ago (by any metric used to measure them), so there’s now no excuse for a site which doesn’t perform well on mobile – you’ll be alienating the larger portion of your potential audience. Additionally, Google will now lower your page ranking for mobile searches if your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
Check whether you’re mobile friendly here: Google mobile friendly test
A very common attack vector for websites is what’s known as ‘brute force’ attacks, which use a trial and error method to attempt to find your password. This is why easy passwords such as ‘1234’ and ‘password’ are inviting trouble, as these will be among the first tried by the algorithms. Having strong passwords is an absolute must to protect all your data, not just your website. If your website is run on a Content Management System (CMS), it’s important to ensure all CMS passwords are strong ones. You could also try a password generator which makes life easier by creating a strong password for you to prevent hackers and unauthorised users from figuring out your password easily. Never use the same password in multiple places, and try to change them every once in a while.
Check whether your passwords pass muster: password security checker.
Find out how long it would take a computer to crack your password, or whether it's been leaked before: password check.
Broken links are a hindrance to both visitors and search engines. It’s very simple to check for and fix broken links in your site to improve user experience.
Check for broken links here: broken link checker
How many versions of your site?
Something comparatively simple but often overlooked is that websites can be found either with or without the www at the start – so http://yourdomain.com or http://www.yourdomain.com. Ideally, both of these should work, and enable visitors to find your website. But for best practice, one should redirect to the other. This avoids search engines perceiving multiple versions of the same site. Try pasting both addresses into your browser, and see what happens!
DNS is the service which ensures that web traffic knows where to find your site. For most sites everything is well configured, but it’s worth running this quick test to ensure there are no problems with sending traffic to your site.
Check your DNS here: Pingdom DNS check
Lastly, given that so many sites these days run on WordPress, a quick word on WordPress security. WordPress unfortunately suffers a relatively high degree of security vulnerability, simply because it is becoming ubiquitous. Lots of implementations of a standard codebase enable hackers to develop a number of attacks against known vulnerabilities.
Two key things to watch for with WordPress. Firstly, always ensure that you have updated to the latest version. WordPress is continually updated against known threats, but if you have an outdated version you won’t have the latest fixes. The easiest way to do this is to set it to auto-update.
Secondly, use a plugin which prevents repeated login attempts, and one which moves the default login page – these simple steps make it very much harder for someone to gain access to your WordPress site.
If you have any questions on the checks above, or would like help with any aspects of your website’s performance or security, please give us a call.
Tel: 01202 847160, or email firstname.lastname@example.org