7 free SEO tools to analyze and optimize your website for speed and compatibility

When you first started blogging, you probably used to spend a lot of time refining the design and making sure your site loaded quickly. You basically made sure that is was technically sound and working well for your visitors. However, after some time, your concentration may have shifted to other important tasks such as writing good content, marketing your blog, commenting on other blogs, writing guest posts, etc.

Here’s a list of free tools you should definitely check out to make sure that your website is running at an acceptable level compared to your fellow bloggers. If your site is not running optimally, then you’re probably not getting the your full potential of traffic.

  1. Website Grader – I wrote about Website Grader a few months back as a free search engine optimization tool that you should be using if you’re a webmaster. Website Grader will give you a report of many aspects of your site and a final grade out of 100. When I first ran it on my site, I was at 56, now I’m up to 98. And my traffic has gone from 100 visits a day to 5000. I’m not saying it’s because of Website Grader, but it helped me determine problem areas.
  2. Xinu Returns – Another web site I had written about a couple of months back that lets you quickly check things like your pagerank, rating, backlinks, and indexed pages. It’s a great tool to get a quick overview of your the status of your site in the blogosphere. It also gives you tips for your title tags and meta keywords.
  3. BrowserShots – This site is really awesome for webmasters. You type in your web address and then choose all of the browsers and OSs that you would like to see your website shown in. You can see how your web site looks on Linux, Windows or Mac and in all of the different browsers, including Firefox, IE, Safari, and Opera. You can also choose the screen size, color depth, etc. Really great tool.
  4. YSlow – YSlow is a Firefox only addon, but it is an amazing tool for analyzing a website in terms of performance and speed. It checks 13 different factors for a web page and generates a final score for the site. It also lists out the improvements that need to be made to ensure the highest possible grade. I wrote two articles on YSlow, one about how it helped me reduce the load time of my site by 50% and another on how to setup YSlow. Make sure to read them and install Firefox just for this purpose.
  5. WebSiteOptmization – Another tool you can use that is similar to YSlow, but no need for Firefox. It gives you a breakdown of various aspects of your site, including HTTP requests, DNS lookups, etc and gives you recommendations on how to make it load faster, etc.
  6. BuiltWith – BuiltWith is a very cool site that creates a profile of your website based on what technologies your site is running on. This site really focuses on the actual technologies that your site is built with, i.e. PHP, Apache server, Google Analytics, etc. It also gives you a score out of 5 stars depending on how good those technologies are. Microsoft.com has a rating of 2/5! IIS sucks!
  7. CSS Optimizer – Just about every website uses CSS in some way or another and each call to a CSS file takes time to download. If you can shrink the size of your CSS files, even by a little bit, you’ll save a lot of time on page loading. You can also go to the W3C CSS Validation site to make sure your CSS is valid.
  8. Minify – A very powerful tool that will take your JavaScript and CSS files and combine them together and remove all unnecessary comments and whitespace. I have used this tool before to reduce the size of my Javascript files by almost 40%. You can imagine the savings in load time because of that, especially if you use WordPress where each plugin usually has it’s own Javascript file.

Going through these websites for a few hours and really analyzing your website will help you improve the overall user experience with your website. I learned many things that from these sites that would have been impossible for me to figure out myself. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: