7 Tools for testing your web design

Testing is a crucial process in web design and development. In fact, a lot of independent bloggers and DIY site owners have a trial and error approach when implementing new design elements, particularly when using code. Without a live preview, the only way to see how your site looks and functions is through test runs or a third-party testing tool.

Below are seven of the best tools you need in your testing plan to make sure your site works as intended:


1. Firebug for Firefox

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One of the reasons why a lot of site owners useMozilla Firefox is the Firebug extension.It is an extremely useful tool for web development that provides a real-time preview of changes in code. Once installed, you can simply click the Firebug button on the toolbar to open the visual environment. Selecting areas in the code will highlight the associated site element so you can make adjustments in real-time.


2. Safari Web Inspector

An alternative to Firebug for Apple users is the Safari Web Inspector. It is a developer add-on for the Safari browser that provides a visual interface to help site owners inspect, debug, and modify the site’s code. One advantage of the Web Inspector is the ability to run tests using the Responsive Design Mode, which allows you to preview your site while simulating the display of a mobile device.


3. MobileTest.me

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MobileTest.me is a tool designed specifically to test the responsiveness of your website. It eliminates the need to always have a physical device ready and therefore saves a significant amount of time in the testing process. Currently, you have the option to simulate six flagship devices, including two tablets and four smartphones.


4. A Virtual Private Network

Global marketing requires you to localize your content to improve the user experience of the foreign audience. To test your localization features, you need to use an IP address from your target country. You can do this using a Virtual Private Network or VPN to mask your actual IP. Today, you can choose from a number of different VPN service providers to test localized site content. These services are usually bundled together with a Content Delivery Network or CDN to offer consistent speeds for foreign users.


5. W3C Markup Validation Service

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You can use the W3C Markup Validation Service to make sure your website is completely bug-free and built for speed. It works by checking the validity of HTML, XHTML, MathML, and other forms of web documentsto detect errors; such as misused attributes, missing elements, and excessive text elements. You simply need to type in your website’s URL to list down all the errors and warnings in your site’s markup. To refine the test, you can set additional options such as character encoding, document type, and list organization.


6. Google PageSpeed Insights

Speed is an essential factor for user experience as well as Search Engine Optimization. However, it is easy to slow a site down by integrating certain tools, using an outdated theme, failing to optimize visual content, and a number of other site development malpractices. Google PageSpeed Insights can help you detect all these problems early so you can optimize your site’s performance. You can also integrate the PageSpeed module to automate specific optimization processes for Nginx or Apache-powered websites.

7. WebsitePulse.com

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WebsitePluse.com offers a comprehensive testing platform for websites. It hinges around monitoring a website’s performance and identifying problems such as broken links and latency. Since the tool is cloud-based, you no longer have to install any additional software to start monitoring your site. In no time, you can start looking for errors using the “triple stage” verification system and a bunch of other features for site testing.

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