Easy-to-use website testing tools for developers

coding v3

When a website that you have developed goes live, there may be a lot of guesswork involved as to whether the site will be functional. Yet there are many tools available online that will aid you in giving the best product to your client that you possibly can. These tools mentioned below are great for either freelancers or employed developers.

Load impact (http://www.loadimpact.com)

When designing a new site one can never be sure if it will be able to handle a large amount of users at once until the site goes live. But there are tools that can help you emulate any type of scenario. A site like Load Impact can aid you in simulating the logging on of hundreds of thousands of users at a time to see whether the site can deal with it. Different user types can also be simulated and different geographical locations can be tested.

More features of this site include real-time reporting on testing, session recording, scheduling of load tests and the emulation of different popular browser types. There is a fee involved for use of this site but you get 5 credits free for registering.

Webpage Analyzer (http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/)

Here is a site that will speed test your site’s performance by looking at page size, composition and download time. It calculates each individual element’s size and then summarizes each component’s characteristics. This information will then give you a report on what is not doing so well and how one can improve it.

Screenfly (http://quirktools.com/screenfly/)

Screenfly Icon Transparent

Screenfly allows you to enter a URL and then measure how that particular site looks on various mobile phone, tablet, television and desktop screen sizes. There is also the option of entering your own custom screen resolution size. The amount of possible sizes available under each category (for example, mobile) are not as large but it is great for when you quickly want to view what it will look like to users.

Browser Shots (http://www.browsershots.org)

Browser Shots is a cross-browser testing site that is similar to Screenfly but focuses more on individual browsers and it has a greater variety to choose from. One can check compatibility with all of the major internet browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome), browsers that are less used by the masses (such as Konqueror and SeaMonkey) and test on much older versions of each browser. It takes screenshots of your site as it was rendered on each of the browsers you choose to test.

Similar to Browser Shots and Screenfly: Responsivepx (http://www.responsivepx.com)

This uncomplicated site simply requests you to enter a URL and then you can adjust the screen width and height to measure the breaking point of that particular site.

mobiReady (http://www.ready.mobi)

Visualization mobiReadyHaving a mobile version of your site is of utmost importance seeing as so many people have smartphones in lieu of having desktop PCs or tablets. MobiReady enables you to enter your site’s URL and it gives you a score out of 5 based on industry practices and standards. It can do a page test, site test and markup test.

Some of the features that the (free) report will look at include dotMobi and W3C compliance, whether a page has frames (if it does, points are subtracted), the size of the page, image sizes, page titles, caches, redirection and so forth.

Similar: DotMobi Emulator (http://www.mtld.mobi) and Gomez (http://www.gomez.com/mobile-readiness-test/)

The DotMobi Emulator is great for testing your site on older mobile phones, something that one has to consider when catering to all types of potential users.

Testing for a particular mobile device or browser

Sometimes you only want to test on one particular device. For people who want to test their sites on iPad and iPhone, check out iPad Peek (http://www.ipadpeek.com) and iPhone tester (http://www.iphonetester.com) Both of these sites render the site you have entered to display a real-time preview on either an iPad or iPhone.

Opera Mini is a browser than is pre-installed on many new devices and therefore it is important to test on this as it is likely that your future users will make use of it, sometimes without having another browser to fall back on. The makers of Opera Mini have created a free simulator (http://www.opera.com/developer/opera-mini-simulator) with which developers and designers can test their sites in an Opera Mini emulator that uses Java. Their official site also has a Opera TV emulator.

RWD Calculator (http://rwdcalc.com/)

This small tool is one that you can use to turn pixels into percentages by entering the margin, border, padding, element, context and target. It is great for when you need to create a responsive design for a site.

W3C Links Validator (http://validator.w3.org/checklink)

This tool enables you to enter a website URL and then check whether there are any dead links or anchors in the site.

Web Accessibility Inspector (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/accessibility/assistance/wi/)

Often when one is designing a site, one has in mind various types of viewers and users. But a market that is often overlooked is that of visually impaired people (and, before you think it isn’t necessary, even technologically-advanced people can have vision problems). Fujitsu has created software that enables one to check if your site is friendly for people with impaired vision. It points out areas that need to be looked into by highlighting them and then helps you to see what needs to be changed to make it more user-friendly.