The foundation for every website is fundamentally sound source code. Unfortunately programmers aren’t always the most meticulous type of people. They’d rather hash out the difficult stuff and leave the details to someone else, and that’s where code validation comes in. To make sure your website’s source code and features are fully functional you should run it through the following validation tests.
WDG HTML Validator – Excellent tool for identifying syntax errors on pages driven by markup languages. Also has an option to recursively check for errors on every page in the website directory.
W3C Markup Validation Service – Traverses HTML and XHTML markup for syntax errors. Boasts the title of first (and most used) HTML validator on the internet.
W3C CSS Validation Service – Checks CSS documents for errors in source code. Also gives warnings for code that doesn’t exhibit the best design practices; e.g. “Same colors for color and background-color in two contexts.”
W3C Link Checker – Searches for and identifies broken links. Specifically checks that all the links are dereferenceable, no links and anchors are defined twice and warns about invalid http and directory redirects.
ATRC Web Accessibility Checker – Tests webpages for WCAG 2.0 Level2 compatibility. Generates a report with a series of recommendations for bringing headers, links, metadata, tables and text up to speed.
WAVE 3.0 Web Accessibility Tool – Highly customizable tool that uses a graphical model to display website compatibility issues with WCAG 1.0 and section 508.
TAW Web Accessibility Test – Tests webpages for conflicts with WCAG 1.0 compatibility and reports issues via a graphical model. Generates recommendations based upon WCAG priority model.
HiSoftware CynthiaSays portal – Uses a very strict policy to test webpages for section 508 and WCAG 1.0 compliance. Reports results in an extremely detailed (yet difficult to read) table.
Juicy Studio CSS Analyser – Performs a color contrast test to make sure your sites CSS color scheme meets WCAG 1.0 requirements.
Juiciy Studio Readability Test – Analyzes the language on your website based upon the Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid grade level algorithms. Useful for determining if you’re speaking over the head of your readers.
Web Page Analyzer from Website Optimization – An excellent tool that analyzes a webpage and gives recommendations for decreasing loading time. Focuses on optimizing the number of objects, images and overall size of the webpage.
Internet Supervision Url Check – Generates load times of your webpage from various servers around the world. Useful for determining if your extended audience is actually receiving your message.
Browsershots – Takes screenshots of your website in various browsers and platforms including Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows, Firefox and Safari on Mac OS X and Iceweasal and Konqueror on Linux. Unfortunately the tool requires you to wait up to three hours in a processing queue before retrieving your screenshots.
IE NetRenderer – Generates real time screenshots of your website on Internet Explorer versions 5.5, 6.0 and 7.0.
MobiReady Report – Analyzes your webpage for compatibility issues on a mobile phone. Generates a detailed report on potential viewing problems and offers a glimpse as to what the website would look like on two different types of mobile phone browsers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
UrlTrends – Graphically displays a website’s visitor traffic information by search engine prevalence. Extracts information from Google, Yahoo, MSN, Alexa, AlltheWeb, AltaVista and more.
iWEBTOOL Backlink Checker – Excellent tool for figuring out which sites are linking to yours, and what part of the site they’re linking to.
Domain Tools Whois lookup – Comprehensive Whois tool that displays all of the standard domain information and calculates the efficiency of a websites markup when seen through the eyes of a search engine spider.
SEO-Browser – Strips your website of all the “pretty” components to show you how it looks to a search engine. Very useful tool to make sure your design is on the right track.
SEO Workers SEO Analysis Tool – Extremely useful tool that analyzes an assortment of page features including meta tags, keyword density and load time.
SEO Chat SEO Tools – A stock pile of SEO tools for measuring Google AdSense earning potential, keyword density, meta tag effectiveness and much more.