Web Site Garage

by Joe Gillespie — Sep 1, 1998

I find this site nothing short of amazing!

I usually review software products in this slot but this time I'm going to look at an on-line diagnostic service, Web Site Garage.

I often tell Web designers that they must have a Mac and a PC and a whole mess of browsers to check their pages in but Web Site Garage claims to give your Web page a 'tune-up' without all this hassle and expense. All you have to do is enter the URL you want to check and off it goes, examines the page, and in a few seconds comes back with a report.

First of all it checks 'Browser Compatibility' to see if you have used any code that is going to cause problems in one of the main browsers. The score, like all the others, is marked as Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor but then offers a more detailed explanation when you click on the headline.

Then it looks at '!Register-It! Readiness'. This is basically looking to see how well you have implemented those Meta tags so that search engines can index your site - and to sell their site submission service.

'Load Time' measures the time it takes to download your page and gives a 'Poor' score for ones that are bandwidth-intensive.

'Dead Links' tries all the links on your page to see that they are all valid and reports on the suspect ones.

'Link Popularity' checks the indexes at InfoSeek to find how many other sites link to your page.

There is also a Spell Checker, although it gave me an 'Excellent' score on a page with a suspected three misspellings, so it is only a very general test and no substitute for a good spell checker in your authoring package. It does tell you which words it doesn't like allowing you to check them out some other way.

'HTML Design' is a HTML validator and checks for mistakes in your code. Again, this is not as thorough as some other HTML validators but serves as a useful top-level guide.

The other really useful feature of Web Site Garage is to show you what your page looks like in 18 different browsers. Very few of us have that kind of facility in-house and this is a godsend. This costs only $9.99 for a one-time use or $99.99 for a year's subscription.

Now, the best part of all this is that you can test any single page at no cost. The Web Site Garage people do offer more detailed diagnostics and a lot of other services which you have to pay for. There is always that feeling that they are holding something back until you subscribe. Nevertheless, I find this site nothing short of amazing and if you haven't already run your pages through this tune-up, do so now!

Web Site Garage
Red  90%
Ease of Use
Yellow  95%
Value for Money
Green  100%
'Must Bookmark' factor
Blue  100%
Free for top-level reports of any one page or $59.99 for a whole year (one URL)
Sheer magic!  
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