Give Your Site a Tune Up with this List of Online Tools
A lot of SEO “experts” will send you on your way with tools which amount to a red herring: meta data, keyword density, word-counts, etc. A plugin like Yoast SEO is good at what it sets out to do, but if you take the “green light” SEO score too seriously, it can make good content and ideas demonstrably worse through stilted, robotic language.
What people really need are tools which assist them in making sites quicker and easier to use for people, not robots. To this end, we’ve curated a list of just that. These are tools which we use regularly in our day job or have used in the past when the need arose.
Disclaimer: some of these tools may not play friendly with certain varieties of HTTPS and services such as Cloudflare, so you may need to disable/suspend them when using these tools.
“What is this website built on?”
These tools, along with detecting a theme, are used primarily at the beginning of a new website project. A good approach to web design and development is to identify websites you like and use elements that you think work well for it. Knowing exactly what you like is built on is even more helpful. That’s where a CMS detection tool is useful. If something you like is built on WordPress and you happen to also have a WP site, there’s a good chance you can use that plugin or theme for your own ends.
A general guideline for these tools: if one doesn’t work, the others may have better luck. WordPress Themes can also be discovered if you know how to look at the website source and view the stylesheet.
Theme / Plugin Detection
“Is my site secure?”
Implementing HTTPS on your site isn’t as simple as typing “https://” in your browser. Any resources that your site is pulling in needs to be called in securely as well. There are plugins out there for WordPress which replaces ‘http://’ with ‘//’ meaning it will automatically adopt a secure setting when asked to. Even so, sometimes things can slip through the cracks and leave your site only partially secured, which may as well be not at all.
Sometimes the issue can be with your server / server provider not updating their encryption technology. We’ve seen high profile examples of this recently with the Heartbleed and Logjam bugs where browsers like Chrome and Firefox simply dropped support for older methods of encryption, leaving many sites in the dust.
S0 if you’re struggling to get that padlock to appear on your site, check out these tools. If the issue is determined to be with your server provider, you should contact them to receive the proper support and updates.
Securing Insecure Content
Check for Outdated Technology
“Is my site up?”
Sometimes the issue seems black and white. “My site won’t load.” “I can’t send email.” Rarely is it so cut and dry as it appears and can be quite frustrating to troubleshoot. A good starting place would be to determine if you are the only one experiencing this issue and where exactly your domains taking you. If something is down for just you, it may be helpful to know your IP address in the event of a firewall block. Your server admin will thank you if you did your research ahead of time.
Site Status Checker
IP Address Tool
“Is my site easy to use?”
Beyond the typical statistical analysis to determine ease of use and engagement on a page, you can also figure out if a site follows modern standards of a useable website with the following tools. Google Webmaster Tools is a great resource that does not fit in a single-use category.