Test your Blog

I’m in a testing mood tonight, and put together a list of tests that you can run your blog or web site through if you feel up to learning more about your pages…

1. See what grade level your blog is at with a Readability Test. (The original link has been replaced with a more informative one. The older one kept on becoming unavailable, and there were some issues involving possible web spam associated with it.)

2. Find out if the Gender Genie can predict the gender of your blog’s author.

3. Gauge how well the HTML or XHTML of your blog validates with the W3C Markup Validation Service.

4. Discover whether your site is available behind the Great Firewall of China.

5. Check out how accessible your website might be with the Wave Accessibility Tool.

6. Take a peek at how your site might appear on an iphone.

7. Explore your site to see if you have broken links.

8. Let Microsoft Adcenter determine how much commercial intent your site seems to have.

9. Make your site render in grayscale.

10. Get an estimate of how many visitors your site gets a day.

11. See how your site looks in different browsers.

12. Extract the Colors and their names from your site.

13. Catch people who might be plagiarizing your words on the Web.

14. Convert your site to text only (no longer available) to make it easier to read on a phone or other handheld device.

15. Translate your page into another language (I liked how mine looked in Traditional Chinese).

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73 thoughts on “Test your Blog”

  1. That’s a cool list. I tried the iPhone one – you’d be amazed at how things either look the same or totally messed up. I’ll have to check out the other things.

  2. That’s a nice list, thanks for sharing it Bill! I did know about a few of these – but many others come as a nice little helper. Did the readability test work for you? – seems to be down for me for some reason.

  3. Thanks, Bill.

    Some of these online web site testing tools are fun and others are really useful.

    The link checking tool from w3.org is very useful. I used to have a Firefox plugin for link checking, but it doesn’t seem real reliable.

  4. Nice list. I was surprise when I saw this post on seobysea.com. No doubt this is a good list for testing your blog (website).

  5. G’day Bill. As usual, great post! Thanks mate. I’ve bookmarked in Delicious so I can come back and play when I have a little more time. Nice to have all these tools referenced in one place. Glenn (@divinewrite.com on Twitter).

  6. Hi Gerald,

    I’m not sure I expected too many blogs being blocked in China, but it would have been interesting to see if someone had been.

    Hi Michiel,

    It was fun finding these. The Arabic and Hebrew translations are worth looking at because they shift the justification of text from left to right, which can mess with designs in some interesting ways.

    Hi SEOsean,

    Reformatting for small screens can mess up a design pretty well sometimes. It’s worth looking since so many people are starting to look at the web on phones.

    Hi Affiliate Money Maker,

    You’re welcome. The readability test was working fine for me. I hope you were able to get back to it.

    Hi People Finder,

    Thanks. I tried to find a mix of fun and useful tools. I think all of them can help to look at sites in slightly different ways.

    Hi Web Design Beach,

    There were a number more that I didn’t include, but I think these were a good start.

    HI Agent SEO,

    The link checker is one that I spend a lot of time with. I like using Xenu’s Link Sleuth program to check links as well, but it’s not a bad idea to use more than one tool for something like that.

    Hi Imran,

    Thank you. No patents or overt SEO in this post.

    Hi Glenn,

    I hope you have fun with them.

  7. 1. Doesn’t work now. You can check the readibility for a particular text using Google Docs by going Tools-Word Count

    2. Lol, tested it on this blog post look what it told me:
    Female Score: 628
    Male Score: 233

    Not accurate enough maybe hm…what about I try it on one of my blog posts:

    Female Score: 383
    Male Score: 425

    Don’t know what it uses…but it is a fun tool lol

    3. Yeah it’s great tool.

    4. Interesting although no much use to small sites but still good.

    5. Seems like good analyzer although I don’t know what would be the use of that.

    6. Neat

    7. Google Webmaster Tools can check the whole site but for long articles this might come handy.

    8. Very inaccurate sometimes. It says that everything that contains “buy” has very high value. I still don’t think there’s a substitute for a first hand experience to see if a particular keyword converts by TESTING IT…not relying on tools.

    9. Seems nice.

    10. Tested it on my site. Was a bit high but close-to-accurate.

    11. Very nice tool one of the better ones.

    12. No idea how this would serve lol.

    13. Oh copyscape…the best.

    14. Nice too :)

    15. Google Translate rulez…like this post :)

  8. Great list of tests. I did pretty well on most of the tests. The statbrain site is a little off that it predicts my site to get a lot more traffic than it is currently getting. I wish I was getting as much traffic as it predicted :)

  9. Some nice tools there. The gender one is quite impressive. It got me.

    I was also wondering what my site might look on the iPhone.

  10. LOL this seems to be fun, I will test it using my Blog URL and see what coming result will i get afterward

  11. That’s a great list of tests. The iphone test is particularly interesting – I’d never come across that before but as its popularity increases it will become increasingly important to ensure that your site displays properly on iphones and other mobile devices.

  12. Hi Mark,

    Interesting scores, and observations on the tests. Thanks for sharing them. I tested this post with the gender genie, and was surprised to see that result as well. As for # 5, I’m a big believer in trying to build as accessible sites as possible.

    Hi pays to live green ,

    Thanks. The statbrain result gives you something to aim at now, doesn’t it. :)

    Hi David,

    Glad that you enjoyed the tests. Interesting seeing how sites look on the iphone. I think more people will be visiting web pages on phones in the future than we may ever imagine…

    Hi Ricky C ,

    Glad to hear that you had fun with these tests. :)

    Hi cmcridland,

    My thoughts exactly on phone usage and the web…

    Hi Homer

    Appreciate your kind words and the information on the readability test I was showing. I just checked it, and it was down, so I replaced it with one that I’ve been using for a couple of years that provides more information and more detailed scores. I hadn’t heard about the link scheme aspect of that page before, so thanks for letting me know. The link that you provided is pretty good as well.

  13. Have any of you guys tried the new Iphone bar coded app? Take a picture of the code and iphone takes you to a webpage.

  14. Great tools. Thanks for the post.

    Another one that is very useful is a website test, which shows the download speed of the website and each web page component. Recently Google announced that if a website is too slow to respond and does not open within certain time frame, they will drop it from the index.

  15. Hi tpletch,

    I almost added one barcode application in the list above, but ended up not including it. I do think that barcode applications for mobile phones are very interesting, especially when they are used offline in print publications or on product labels or in other ways, and can provide quick access to online information through a web enabled phone. I hadn’t seen the iPhone bar coded application, but I suspect that we will see bar codes for moble devices more frequently.

    Hi George,

    You’re welcome. I don’t recall any such statement from Google about dropping pages from its index based upon whether or not it was too slow to respond, and I would be surprised to see that. If you have a link to that announcement, I would appreciate it if you would post it.

    I had seen Google mention in that in May of 2008 that the speed of download of a landing page may be considered as part of the quality score that they calculate for paid advertising. See: Landing page load time now available on the Keyword Analysis Page

    Starting today, load time evaluations will be displayed on the Keyword Analysis page, for your review. We suggest taking some time to evaluate and understand this information because, starting mid-June, landing page load time will be incorporated into your Quality Score.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the loading time of a page will impact organic search results. It is something to be concerned about, but I’m not sure that we can state with any certainty that a slow loading page will be dropped from Google’s web index.

  16. I’ll have to give this a test on a couple of my sites. I do the majority of your tests but could probably start doing the the grayscale test.

  17. I will say that the estimate of website visitors is spectacularly wrong. Its high by a factor of 50+.

    I wish I got that many visitors.

    I suspect that the biggest single factor is the alexia traffic rankings, which is not accurate for the lower traffic sites, especially when the most common visitor, me, has the alexia toolbar installed.

  18. Hi Martin,

    I like the grayscale test, too. I was thinking of the Gray Box Methodology that Jason Santa Maria describes using in designs when I read it.

    Hi Kelvin,

    Thanks. The traffic estimation tool might be off a bit, but I thought it was interesting enough to include. There are a number of browser test tools online, though it’s nice to be able to actually look at designs in other browsers rather than just through one of those. I like to try to do that.

    Hi Fava,

    The Alexa information may be skewing the traffic data more than it should, and I suspect that you’re right that it is off more that it should be. I’d recommend that anyone with a site interested in seeing more accurate information about their traffic should use a web analytics program or log file analysis program to get a better sense of how many visitors are actually coming to their pages.

    Hi Peter,

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed these tools as well.

  19. I have already book marked this site. Looks like a lot of fun test for your blog. Thanks for the post

  20. Hi CAP,

    Thank you. I put this list together when I couldn’t find one that included a lot of different tools like the ones I listed. I hoped that it would provide people with some tools that they might not have considered using before. It sounds like I succeeded from your response, and the other comments I’ve received.

  21. These are some cool tests – I’ll run my blog through them tonight. It took me hours to get my site W3C compliant but it’s worth it for SEO. I would mention though that the http://www.statbrain.com/ one doesn’t seem to work?

  22. Hi Justin,

    Thanks. I’ve seen a good number of other online tools as well. The website grader shows some interesting information.

    Hi LebSEO Design,

    You’re welcome. Hope you enjoy using them.

    Hi Adam,

    Thank you, too. I like working towards having sites compliant with the W3C standards. Think I need to do some work on this site since my recent updates.

    I’ve run statbrain a few times, and it worked for me. I wonder if they were having problems when you visited.

  23. Great list William, I have noted all the points. First I will check the blog on my web site then distribute to friends. Testing the blog on all points seems to be little bit difficult for me and other new bloggers. Is there any easy way to do this?

  24. Hi Agra Indian,

    Thanks. I hope that you enjoy running the different tests. The tests are all offered by different providers, and there’s no easier way to run them than to visit all of their pages.

  25. Hi David,

    My inspiration behind this post was to find some fun tests for web sites that might also be informative. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the post.

  26. Hi Mark,

    You’re welcome. I think sites that have been working on preparing their sites for mobile devices are a step ahead of the crowd. It’s a good place to be.

    I agree with you on broken links, especially on old blog posts. It’s worth spending the time going back and checking those.

  27. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the list, good to see that you are thinking ahead to the future of mobile blogging. With the advent of the iPhone it wont be long before web/mobile accessibility is any developers number one priority on the checklist.

    Nice to see you also included my number 1 pet hate, broken links! there is nothing more annoying than an error page, even if its a custom one!

    Thanks again

    Mark

  28. Nice to see you have spent some time documenting this checklist. Not every web design firm or designer takes the time to test thoroughly their work on a constant basis. Like a previous comment testing for broken links is an absolute must

  29. Hi Sydney Website Design,

    Thanks. It was fun putting this list together, and some of the tools are more helpful then others – but they can be very useful.

  30. I ran my blog…here are the results…

    Gunning-Fog Index…9.91…Similar to most popular novels
    Flesch Reading Ease…61.51…Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70.

    I am actually a little proud…:)

    Thanks for the tools Bill!

  31. Been spending the afternoon jumping site to site and found this blog, came across this post and thought I’d try the blogger gender one. Well not to sure how I feel about it but the programme thought is was male. Shhhh don’t tell my husband or the kids. lol

  32. Hi Mark,

    I ran the Gunning-Fog and Flesch Reading Ease tests on my homepage here after seeing your comments, and they are actually very close to yours. I’m happy because of that as well.

  33. Hi Pippa,

    I’ve had some posts I’ve written show one gender and other posts show the other, which leaves me with some mixed feelings about that test as well.

  34. Hi Bill,

    The WAVE accesibilty tool is pretty cool, a great way to visualise different elements on the page. I must admit to finding a few silly errors! Better get fixing right away!

    Thanks

    Mark

  35. Wow great list. The only ones of those I’d ever used (or even heard of) before was the W3C validation. These other ones look extremely helpful too–particularly the readability, accessibility, and browser shots links. Will definitely check them out! Thanks for posting!

  36. Hi jhz,

    Thank you. Some of them are more useful than others, and some are more curiosities, but hopefully all of them get you to think about your website a little differently. That was my idea behind posting the list.

  37. I don’t know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing but our site is accessible behind the Great Wall of China. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Fraser

  38. Hi Barry,

    Some of these tests are more for fun than anything else, but I think others can be useful. Of course, there are many other ways to test your website, and some of those are definitely worth the time. A better site may mean more visitors, more business, and possibly even less time to have to spend on work (your website should be doing a lot of your work for you.)

  39. Some usefull tools. Found out that I write like a girl. LOL.
    On a serious note. I found a couple of link warnings. I made one of my pages, parent to two existing pages. Haven’t gone in to fix it yet but I’m thinking that WordPress used a couple of permanant redirects when I moved them. Something I shall have to look out for in future.

  40. Hi Steve,

    I pretty much intended this blog post as a fun post pointing to a number of different tools that someone could use to explore their sites in different ways. But many of those tests are pretty useful, too.

    I think WordPress has been set up so that if you do make some changes to the locations of page that they will put some redirects in place for anyone from outside of the site who might have linked to those pages in the past. That’s not a bad thing.

  41. I’ve just started my first web sit for my mobile car mechanic business, finding it all abit technical at the moment so it a result finding your website Bill. Had great fun with your tools above.Like one of your other readers i too write like a girl.

  42. Hi Richie,

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the tests linked to from this post. The Web can seem a little intimidating, but if you try to even just learn a little something new everyday, you’re going to surprise yourself by how much you have learned in a few months or a year.

  43. Bill,

    I have noticed alot of people “scraping” my content and other article related stuff and using it on their own websites. Is there anything you can actually do to prevent this and to take action for those who have already done it?

    Thanks

  44. Hi Steve,

    There are a number of steps that you can try to take.

    One is to not publish a full feed of your RSS if you are doing that. Unfortunately, people sometimes scrape your content from your RSS feed.

    If you see people copying your content, send them an email asking them to remove it, if they have a contact form. If they don’t, see if you can find a contact for their site through whois, and send them an email that way. If they refuse to, or ignore you, see if you can find their host and send an email to them. Most hosts have an acceptable use policy that doesn’t allow people to copy other people’s content without permission or license. If that doesn’t work, you could send a DMCA notice to Google, asking Google to remove their content from search results.

    Here’s a link to where you can learn more about removing copied content from Google’s search results (and other Google services):

    http://www.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1114905

  45. Good points – bit of updating now that it’s 2012 – plagiarism has hopefully been handled by panda now – also, microsoft don’t offer the ‘commercial intent’ anymore – try looking at your adwords and if the bid is over say $2 dollars then the commercial intent ‘should’ be there.

  46. Hi David,

    Sorry that the commercial intent test from Microsoft is no longer available.

    I’m not sure that Panda was aimed solely at Plagiarism, though duplicate content may be one of the issues that impacts it. Google’s authorship markup also seems aimed at helping the search engine attempt to find the original sources of content on the Web, and help provide better attribution for those sources. Google’s syndication meta tags for Google News also seems aimed at making sure that the original sources of content get credit, at least within Google News.

  47. Thanks for a great list of tests. I was actually just looking for a dead backlink checker but lots of more fun things on this list.

    Using the Gender Genie I was very pleased to see that I am a man and I write like a man. Masculinity affirmed! Grunt, Grunt!!

  48. Hi Gary,

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed going through this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I had to try out each of the tests before I wrote about them (for the ones that I hadn’t tried before). I meant to go back and try to understand better how a gender test for language like that works, and never did.

  49. I agree that iPhone / mobile testing is crucial nowadays to the success of a blog site. Many WP themes now have responsive elemnents built in, so in theory mobile design should be within reach of anyone.

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