4 Essential Ways to Check Your Website’s Health
Many website owners falsely think that their websites are going to work perfectly forever. However, in reality, all websites eventually break.
This happens because sites are running out of date, plugins stop working, or as a result of a cyberattack. If you want to avoid these issues altogether, the solution is rooted in regular digital health checks. In this article, I’ll focus on the simple and inexpensive website health check ways that will help your website run flawlessly!
What is a website health check and why do you need one?
A website health check implies breaking down the anatomy of your website to evaluate the functionality, performance, and design of your web pages. Here’s why it's important to conduct regular website health checks.
Any change that you make on your pages somehow affects the overall health of your site. Let’s say, you’ve decided to add a second Spanish version of your website. This can influence the speed and overall performance of your site. That’s why designing and implementing a regular website maintenance check is an absolute must.
Not particularly sure where to begin your site’s health check? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the four essential factors to make sure your website is healthy.
1. Performance testing
Did you know that 53% of users will leave your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds? Moreover, studies show that website speed directly impacts business’ profitability.
This way, your website’s speed and performance are the key factors contributing to the revenue generated and your overall success.
Performance testing is considered a part of a website's health check and one of the most challenging testings. Performance testing is executed to test the responsiveness, speed, scalability, and throughput of your website.
There are many ways to carry out performance testing. For example, you can use dedicated online tools and browser extensions.
2. SEO testing
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another important aspect of your website. Your site’s ranking and discoverability in search engines can play a major role in the overall success of your website and your business in general. That’s why you want to ensure your SEO is in place as a part of the website health check.
Regular SEO testing will help you identify the best SEO tactics for your business. In the meantime, simple SEO practices will help you keep your site healthy. For example, by regularly updating your web pages and images, you can boost your ranking on Google and get rid of the outdated content.
3. Security checking
As more businesses are operating online, there is a growing threat of cyberattacks. In fact, studies show that 68% of business leaders feel that cybersecurity risks are increasing. That’s why ensuring security is a crucial step towards a healthier website.
As much as we all rely on the web, it’s not exactly the safest place. Your website may be exposed to cyberattacks by accident or by mistake. For example, you can install a plugin without even knowing that it’s carrying malware. In the meantime, the faulty plugin is infecting your website and puts the entire system at risk.
To keep your website safe and keep off cybercriminals, you need to check and update your website regularly. Use website security checking tools that can enable you to do the following:
- Detect viruses and malware
- Detect phishing attacks, ActiveX attacks, buffer overflow, and other vulnerabilities
- Check user IPs against various spammer databases
- Detect whether or not your SSL certificate expires soon
- Manage regular website updates
4. Broken links testing
Besides performance, SEO, and security checking, there is another aspect commonly overlooked when checking website health - links.
The web consists of a plethora of links that are used to locate and connect pieces of information. A single website can have hundreds and even thousands of links. However, when these links become broken, it will affect your website’s speed and overall performance.
Links do so much more than just sending users to your website. They are accountable for displaying graphics, data, and various applications.
Here’s a list of links you should keep an eye for when checking your website health:
- External links to other websites
- Internal links to your images
- Internal links to pages
Tools for website health checks
Gathering required information that can show you the problem areas is the first step of the website health checking. Once all of the needed data has been collected, the next step is to take the required actions to fix the problems.
Here are some tools you can use to check your website’s health.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you monitor, maintain, improve your website’s presence in Google Search results. Since there are no clear guidelines on how Google’s ranking algorithms work, Google Search Console is an invaluable tool that can help you understand and advance how Google sees your website.
Google Search Console allows you to troubleshoot the following issues:
- XML sitemap errors
- Structured data errors
- Broken links
- Robots.txt errors
- Mobile usability issues
Google PageSpeed Insights is another free tool that allows you to check the page speed of your website. Besides, it shows you various factors affecting the speed, so you know what needs adjustment.
Ahrefs is an SEO toolset that can help you monitor the status of your backlinks and referring domains. The tool enables you to record the number of backlinks and referring domains gained, broken, or lost. This way, you can contact the website to identify and solve the problem with backlinks.
Wrapping it up!
When you build a pro website, it’s important to keep it updated and conduct regular website health checks. Essentially, you have to follow a two-step process that includes collecting all health-check tools and then implementing required fixes.
Before you go, let’s quickly wrap up what you’ve learned today about the four essential ways to check your website’s health:
- Performance testing is a fundamental part of any website health check and includes testing the website’s responsiveness, speed, scalability, and throughput.
- SEO testing allows you to monitor the status of your site and improve ranking.
- Regular security checking can help you identify and troubleshoot malicious threats to your site.
- Broken links testing allows you to find faulty links and keep your website updated.
Keeping your website healthy doesn’t have to be rocket science. The key ingredient lies in regular health checks. By following these four practices and using dedicated tools, you can take it a step further and ensure your website’s health at all times!