There are many aspects to managing a website. There are security concerns, search engine rankings, site performance, and regulatory requirements, to name a few. At various places on the Web, there are opportunities to quickly check your website for some issues. I’ve collected a few here. Take a few minutes, check a few items, and see how your site is operating. This doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a start. Some items might lead to further work and research. These items, though, can be a first step. Read on!
Malware and Blacklists
This is one stop to make periodically. To check to see if you have malware on your site or are blacklisted on any search engines, run the Sucuri site check. This check tool is on their website and is also available in BackupBuddy and in a Sucuri plugin. However, for a quick check, go to their site:
Back in April of this year, there was much activity about the mobile algorithm change, aka “mobilegeddon.” Google changed their algorithm and planned to penalize sites that weren’t mobile-ready. Recent reviews show that mobile-ready sites did move up in search results. If you haven’t checked already or if you just want to see if Google is seeing your site correctly, run the mobile check. It is still available via the following link.
Even if you have your site set up as responsive, I think it’s helpful to check to see a rendition of it on varied devices and screen sizes. Here are some options for you.
Quick Check #1
Quick Check #2
The Mozilla Firefox browser has a responsive checking tool. Find it through the menu:
Tools > Web Developer > Responsive Design View
It’s impossible to have and maintain multiple devices and browsers and software to test your site in all situations. Luckily for web designers and developers, there are tools available for comprehensive site checks. The following site has a fee associated with it, but also has a free trial. I used this to test my site. If you really want to see how your site looks in many situations, take a look at the following website. This would take longer than the 15-Minute quick checks. I’m mentioning it here for you in case it’s something you’d like to review as well.
Here are more options for you as well: 13 Essential Tools to Check Cross-Browser Compatibility
This is important to check. Google would like your site to load in two seconds. Page speed is something that they look at. Through your Search Console account (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) you can quickly check your site page speed. I’m assuming for this that your site is already set up in Search Console. If not, you’ll need to do that first. Here’s the link for the tool:
Quick Check #1
Type your domain on the following page. I suggest testing your domain twice: once with the www prefix and once without it. The results may vary.
Log in to your Search Console account and find the Page Speed check via this path:
Search Console > Dashboard > Other Resources > Page Speed Insights
It’s the same tool as in Quick Check #1. However, you can then also check all the other tools in the Search Console to do more troubleshooting and testing.
Page Loading Time
This, I think, is fascinating. While researching page speed issues and settings, I looked into asynchronous loading issues. That means that multiple processes can occur simultaneously, which enables some items to download at the same time instead of waiting for one item to download and then the next and so on. There was a link somewhere in Google that led me to the following site. It tells you exactly what was downloaded and in what order. There are videos that show the download progression. I could write more, but I think if you run it you’ll see what I mean. Perhaps you can identify some processes that could be changed somehow.
If you run it, check the waterfall data. You’ll be able to see if your photos and graphics are taking too long to download. If they are, look into compressing your photos. That’s something that Google looks for, too. Some photos might be Ok to compress and others not. It depends on the quality you’d like to have. It can be a fine line between page load time and picture detail and quality. That’s a decision only you can make.
If you run it, check the download time. Remember, Google is looking for two seconds. That’s not much time.
You can also look here on the Google developers site for more information:
So, as part of your quick wellness check, you could run your domain on Webpagetest.org and see what the situation is with your site. Then you can go from there if you see something you’d like to research further.
Quick Overall Checks
TThere are at least two places to quickly check the health and ranking of your website. Here they are.
See how your site ranks in relation to those around the world and in specific countries. The top-ranked site worldwide is, you guessed it: Google. Rankings are estimated, but you can claim your site and obtain certified statistics.
Hosted by HubSpot, this is a great way to obtain a review of multiple aspects of site management. It looks at page speed, mobile responsiveness, search features, and more. All in a few seconds. It’s definitely worth a look. They also provide suggestions for improvements. Use this in conjunction with the Google tools mentioned above and you’ll be on your way to having your site humming along.
There’s a rule to follow with regard to your domain management. ICANN requires that you check your domain information annually for WHOIS and make updates if needed. The webhost should contact you about that, I believe. Here’s a link to a checking tool. Make sure your listing is current. If you have domain privacy set, your webhost contact information displays. If you don’t have privacy set, your own personal information displays. It usually costs a small fee to set privacy, and depends on your webhost.
Note: WHOIS is not an acronym. It’s “who is” as in who is the owner of this domain?
If you’re using WordPress, it’s very important to continually upgrade to the latest version. It’s very easy to check and see if your site is current. Once logged in, you can find the current version listed in Dashboard > At a Glance. If you’re due for an upgrade, a box appears in the dashboard encouraging you to upgrade. If you’d like to review information about the various versions, check the version history:
If you’re using WordPress, check your plugins to see if some need updating. Those that are not current pose a security risk. Sometimes, in fact, plugins are updated in response to a security issue. It’s a good practice to periodically review the plugins list. Update ones you’re using. Deactivate those you’re not using. If you’re not using them any longer, consider deleting them.
If you have not logged into your site in a while, I highly recommend that you do so and check the plugins for needed updates.
To check for potential security issues, check each plugin in the WordPress.org repository. If the plugin has not been maintained for a year or longer, consider deleting or replacing it. Some plugins are maintained to a point and then the developers stop working on them. Outdated plugins are known to be a security risk.
That’s all I have for now!