5 helpful steps to check the quality of your website
14th April 2017
When you choose a web company to design and build a website for you, how can you check if it has been done well or not?
We often get asked this question. So here are a few of the tests a non-programmer can run to check the quality of your website.
Quality of code – look at web standards
Without checking every line of code on a website it is difficult to see if everything is OK. However you can run a couple of tests to validate the code. This is important as code that does not validate could have problems indexing in Google, or displaying in some browsers.
W3C validation – this checks the code of your site. All sites should be W3C validated. To use it simply paste the URL of your site onto the W3C page.
W3C CSS Validation – this is a bit more tricky as you have to know the location of your CSS file. But if you do know you can upload it here.
Design – browser compatibility
Not everyone uses the same browser as you. People use IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and tablets and phones to access your site. You will need to check your site looks good and functions in every browser. The best way is to look in every browser paying specific attention to IE8 if you need it to work in older browsers. However there are a few free tools to check multiple browsers at the same time.
There are of course many other options which you can find with a quick Google search.
Design – Mobile device compatibility
It is likely that over 50% of your visitors will be from phones and tablets it is therefore essential nowadays to have a site prepared for mobile devices. So check how your site looks on various devices.
Doing SEO for a website is notoriously difficult as Google keeps its algorithms very secret, however there are a few best practices that all websites should follow. Have a look at the following links but main points include:
- Have an XML sitemap.
- Have an HTML sitemap for your users.
- Make sure your URLs are SEO friendly i.e. normal words and not composed of symbols.
- Make sure every page has H1 and H2 tags to help define the content of that page.
- Make sure you have a Meta title and Meta description for each page.
If you have a large audience it is important that it is accessible to all. This includes making sure there is enough contrast between the text and background, alt tags on images etc.
There are some standards docs to help you here: www.w3.org
Your website will most probably not pass all the tests, the accessibility test for example is very strict. But all web companies should deliver all their sites W3C and CSS validated and tested in all browsers. They should also make sure the site is set up properly for SEO.
If you require any advice on checking your site don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll have a quick look at your site.