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Use a Web Page Optimization Tool

Summary: Web page analysis and optimization tools can help locate and minimize performance bottlenecks. They can improve accessibility, spelling, XHTML markup, and even search engine visibility. We update our survey of the web page optimization tool landscape.

Sure you can remove whitespace by hand, but why bother? A number of web page analysis and optimization tools are available that can help locate performance bottlenecks and automate whitespace and redundant code removal. But some tools don't stop there. You can optimize your JavaScript and images and even CSS with some of these tools. While no replacement for hand-tuned CSS-based pages, webpage optimization tools can give you a good start on your web page dietary plan.

Webpage Analysis Tools

Page analysis tools break down web pages into sized components and calculate download speeds at different bandwidths. They can be used to help pinpoint where your problem pages are, and show which parts of these pages need your attention. They can also be used to validate your code, spellcheck your text, check accessibility, check your links, and even compute search engine visibility. Having well-formed valid code makes your visitor's browser work less parsing your code. Here are some popular webpage analysis tools.

Blaze Mobitest
Test your website on a number of mobile devices to speed up web page load times on mobiles.
Dr. Watson
HTML and Link validation, spell checking, site popularity, search engine compatibility, download speed and more.
DynaTrace AJAX Edition
DynaTrace is a powerful tool that analyzes web page load times, and JavaScript execution times and bottlenecks. Developed in-house to help in JavaScript development for dynaTrace Software, DynaTrace AJAX edition lets you zoom in on JavaScript and page bottlenecks to locate code that is slowing your pages down.
Loads.in
Tests how fast your web page loads from different countries using different browsers. Also provides waterfall chart and HAR files.
NetMechanic
Fix your HTML pages and optimize your images at NetMechanic.com.
Pagespeed Online
A web-based version Google's Page Speed software that analyzes web pages against web performance best practices, detailed in Steve Souders' two books from O'Reilly, High Performance Web Sites, and Even Faster Web Sites.
Showslow.com
Free service that measures and tracks website performance over time. The tool helps you track performance over time = goal is it getting your site faster. There is a private label version (an instance) where you can set up your own instance to show your boss your website's story, and set up beacons. By Sergey Chernyshev.
The W3C CSS Validator
Check your CSS based on the W3C specifications.
The W3C HTML Validator
The de-facto XHTML markup validation service checks your XHTML and finds errors based on W3C specifications.
Web Page Analyzer
HCI-based web page size and speed analyzer. Breaks pages down into sized components, pinpoints problem areas, and offers advice based on HCI research.
Web Page Test
This is an enhanced online version of AOL's open source Page Test software. Times web page load times from different locations, using different browsers, and provides waterfall charts and performance guidelines from Pagespeed. Also can create loading videos to show the loading sequence of web pages.
YSlow
Like its newer brethren Pagespeed, Yahoo's free browser plug-in analyzes web pages against web performance best practices. In addition to checklists of best practices, creates charts showing the statistical breakdown of web page components. Created initially by Steve Souders.

HTML Optimization Tools

Once you've located where the performance bottlenecks are, and validated your code it's time to optimize. A number of companies offer XHTML optimization programs, and some optimize CSS, JavaScript, and images. Here are a few examples.

HTML-Optimizer, HTML-Optimizer Plus, HTML-Optimizer Pro, Web Site Maestro
Tonbrand Software offers a range of optimizers capable of optimizing HTML, XHTML, JavaScript, VBScript, JScript, CFScript, Java, CSS, PHP, ASP, JSP, CSP and LassoScript.
w3compiler
Windows-based source code optimizer from Port80 Software. Optimizes XHTML, CSS, ASP, and CFM files. Includes JavaScript parser.

Conclusion

Web page analysis and optimization tools can quickly help locate and minimize performance bottlenecks. While no substitute for hand-tuned CSS-based web pages, webpage optimizers offer a quick way to validate and minimize your code. Keep in mind that after optimization, a fat, poorly constructed web page will still be a minimized overweight web page. Only through transforming your page using modern CSS-based style and layout can you maximize performance gains.

Further Reading

Extreme HTML Optimization
How-to article on no-holds-barred HTML optimization techniques by the author.
HTML Optimization
Summary of chapter on optimizing HTML from Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization.
Remove Whitespace
Whitespace removal eliminates unnecessary spaces, tabs, and returns for your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code for faster downloads. From Speed Tweak of the Week.
Speed Up Your Site
This book gives techniques on speeding up web sites, along with a couple chapters on SEO, by Andrew B. King from New Riders.
Web Page Analyzer
Free web page analysis tool gives web component size and speed, and advice on speeding up web pages. By Website Optimization.
Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets
About half of this book is devoted to showing how to speed up websites, the other half is on SEM (Search Engine Marketing) techniques. By Andrew B. King, from O'Reilly.

By website optimization on 26 Sep 2011 AM

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Last modified: August 26, 2013.

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