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Testing is arguably the boring side of software development, but for anyone who takes pride in their work, (and their final creation) it is a necessary evil. When it comes to testing a website for display to the public, there are a number of different areas worth focusing attention on before going live, but I know deep down, you all want your website to be a real champ. A finely tuned <body> of HTML and CSS that eats <h1> tags for breakfast and <strike>’s at its opponents without taking any <br/>’s. This collection of tools will trim the fat off your site, and get it in tip top shape before you pit it against the competition.

Load Testing websites

One of the often forgotten area for testing is how well a site will stand the test of traffic.

It makes sense to prepare your site for a wave of viral visitors incase your new masterpiece gets picked up by major blogs, or becomes an overnight success on social platforms. This collection of website testing services ensure that before you flick the switch, you’ll know quickly how your server is going to hold up to the pressure of fight night.

URL: http://loadimpact.com/

Load impact lets you quickly determine whether your site will cope with a large influx of traffic, and breaks down where the bottlenecks are. For example, are your stylesheets too heavy, or is it images which is making your site sluggish?

URL: http://blitz.io/

Blitz enables you to instantly burst up to 50,000 concurrent users against your app in seconds from multiple points of presence around the world. There is built in support for multiple languages so application developers can integrate Blitz testing into their build process right from the get-go.

URL: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dieseltest/

Dieseltest is an easy-to-use load testing tool for simulating hundreds or thousands of users on a website. It has a facility for recording scripts, playing them back, and showing the results in real time. Results can be exported for further analysis.

Speed benchmarking

URL: http://loads.in/

Brought to you from the people at MouseWatch (an uptime montioring service) Loads.In delivers speed benchmarking from over 50 locations around the web, giving you instant feedback on just how much fat you need to trim from your website underbelly.

URL: http://whichloadsfaster.com/

Want to pit your homepage load time against your competitors? Course you do. With Google taking page speed into account as part of their algorithm, and users hating slow pages, it makes sense for you to at least measure yourself against your peers. Which loads faster is a clever application which lets you simply pit two websites head to head in the battle for information delivery. (Rocky soundtrack not included)

Marketing Prowess

URL: http://marketing.grader.com/

Released by the awesome team at HubSpot, the Marketing Grader tool provides real insight into your social media marketing, and sales funnel. With magic insight available after putting your site through its paces, the tool offers hints and tips for social media improvement, and gives a grading score for several areas of performance, including some tips for SEO. Goes down the hatch 10 times easier than a raw egg with milk.

URL: http://www.seoquake.com/

An excellent Seo plugin for Chrome, Firefox and Safari that lets you see your SEO performance over a number of different keywords and search engines including data from the Google index, Alexa and many others.

URL: http://tweetreach.com/

It’s not always macro content that packs a punch online – measuring how far your tweets reach is an important metric in analysing how you are shaping up overall. Tweetreach lets you easily see just how effective your marketing is. TwitAlyzer or RetweetRank offer similar metric based services.

Content Kudos

URL: http://www.read-able.com

No point having a website which pounds the competition into submission in terms of its code clarity and beauty, and yet have content which no one can make any sense of! Read-able provides content readability scores based on some clever science algorithms that are way over my head. Still, for any blogger they provide a much needed line in the sand from which to rate your own content clarity, and improve on the user experience in the ring.

URL: http://afterthedeadline.com/

After the deadline takes care of the minuta of content quality, and whips your spelling and grammar into shape. I’ve hinted before that taking care of your content in this way provides a quality signal to Google, and I still firmly believe that to be the case. If you don’t have the time to install on your blog, or indeed don’t use WordPress – Grammar Check.me uses this same technology under the hood.

Code Testing

URL: http://seleniumhq.org/

Repeat exercises makes your web application fitter, which is where selenium comes in. It is an open source end to end testing tool that allows you to automate browser across multiple browsers for greater code integrity and resiliance. For cloud based Selenium platforms, take a look at TestingBot or SauceLabs.

URL: http://validator.w3.org/

Goes without saying really. Worth running your code through this playboy upon final output from your server side code before you can really stand over it with pride and announce that your production is fighting fit. Same goes for CSS.

Viewport Testing

Anyone that tells you that the so called ‘fold’ doesn’t matter, is frankly, full of crap, at least for call to actions. You only have to examine the click report inside Google Analytics, or do any quantifiable test to work out for yourself that the further down the page you put something – the less likely it is of being clicked on. Whether or not people scroll down or not is irrelevant.

Google have also recently introduced a page layout algorithm which counters the problem of too many ads above the fold. Working out where your viewport is across different resolutions therefore is a necessity.

URL: http://quirktools.com/screenfly/

Quirk tools lets you see what your design looks like across multiple different devices easily, and there are presets for Tablets, Browsers, Televisions and Mobile devices.

URL: http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/

Figuring that a number of users couldn’t see the download button for Google earth, Google developers created this tool to show exactly where the cut off point for call to actions is for multiple resolutions.

Accessibility Tests

Are you excluding an audience, but don’t know it?

URL: http://wave.webaim.org/

WAVE takes a friendly approach to accessiblity testing, and overlays icons indicating problem areas on your site in relation to accessibility standards, rather than bamboozling you with a more technical report.

URL: http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/complete

The only list you’ll need. The Web Accessibility Initiative maintain a comprehensive selection of tools that will help get you site and content in front of everyone who uses the web.