There is a huge number of excellent, free resources you can use out there – they can help you keep your site secure but scanning for pesky vulnerabilities or malware to give you vital SEO insight to really help grow your brand and more, but with the internet being a rather crowded place, finding these gems can often be a case of luck – so today’s article gives you some of the finest tools iv come across on my virtual travels which iv found invaluable in all aspects of creating and running a website.
Search Engine Optimization and Marketing
Nibbler is a fantastic website analyzer which scans up to 5 pages of your site and provides a ranking for how it performs in five key areas to give you an idea of how your site is performing in terms of marketing, code quality and more.
What has helped this become one of the few domains I visit regularly is the detailed feedback and actionable tip Nibbler provides, so you can set your self clear goals based on your results and really kick things up a notch.
Despite looking like something from the 90’s, this little gem scans any URL you provide and gives you quick and accurate insight into things such as Moz rank, backlinks etc.
This tool can also be used to sniff out useful information for any domain, such as host IP, host name all with a very simple interface, so if you want to checkout some of stats for your site its well worth a look.
Keeping tabs of the backlink’s driving users to your site can be a pain, with the very best tools being reserved to premium only offerings, however thats doesn’t mean you cant find some useful info without shelling out the cash.
MonitorBacklink’s provides the top 300 (ranked by quality) links, so you can gauge where your audiences is coming from and alter your marketing accordingly.
Security and Malware Scanning
Although having a good local security setup is essential, keeping an eye on things via regular use of a tool such as Virus Total can give you a much needed ‘heads-up’ should something sinister be lurking around your site.
Virus Total is a popular site which scans your domain for commonly used malicious files and dubious URLs (which can occur if your site has been hacked and). It can also alert you to issue within certain browsers too, so if your not a Chome user but Chrome/Google has deemed your site to be malicious, this can help you get on top of the problem.
In a similar vein to Virus Total, SiteCheck by websec aficionados Sucuri is another fine tool for altering you to any malware/blacklisting issues. The main extra value added here however is the marvellous blog where you can learn about the latest nasties set to threaten your site.
Should you find you have been infected with malware, Sucuri also offer a (paid) service to help clean things up, which if you dont have the technical know-how (or simply want some peace of mind) you can let there team of experts take care of everything for you.
Its no secret that in this day and age, site performance and loading times are crucial – with the big search engines often penalising poorly performing websites. Keeping on top of your sites resources and performance can be a pain but GTMetrix’s awesome tool lets you see all the information you could need, such as server responsive times and page loading speeds, as well as much more advanced information such as the status of your caching (if you have such a thing setup) and more.
Once you have an idea of your sites overall performance, why not check out our handy guide on Speeding Up WordPress to help your site become lightning quick.
Much like GTMetrix above, this awesome little freebie lets your quickly check how your site is performing from a number of data centres around the world, however what Pingdom offers is much more concise, offering up a handily ‘waterfall’ interpretation of your sites loading down to each resource.
This is ideal for locating bottlenecks (such as large, un-optimised images) with ease, so you can trim precious bytes from your page size and boost loading times in no time.
Almost all hosts seem to offer 100% (or close) uptime for anything they host, however in reality, this is very rarely the case, but you may not be aware as who surf’s there own website all day long? This is where Uptime Robot saves the day.
Uptime Robot is an excellent free monitoring service which can actually email you the moment your site goes down, and keep track of any downtime for you!
Do you have any tools you swear by? Why not spread the word by dropping a comment below.