Posts Tagged ‘website’

WebPageTest – making the web faster

The mind of the average computer user boggles – why do big players like Google, AOL and the like develop cool programs and applications for free? What benefit do they get by offering niche services to users for absolutely no cost? Surely a lot of money and manpower must go into developing, testing and then delivering such tools. Why then, do they not charge a single penny for such brilliant inventions?

The answer to those questions is simple – for the greater good! In this world of competition, professional rivalries, and survival-of-the-fittest games, there are organizations that take pride in providing helpful utilities to make the Web a better place, be it in terms of accessibility, user-friendliness or speed.

This post is dedicated to one such free online tool which ensures that website loading speed and performance are the least of your botherations. Meet WebPageTest.org.

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Making the web faster, one site at a time

WebPageTest is an open source project that was originally developed by AOL for their internal use, but realizing its potential, they open sourced it under a BSD license in 2008. Currently supported by Google, the platform is under active development on GitHub. That means its builds are periodically packaged and made available for download to allow users to run their own versions of the tool (although the online version of the tool suits most purposes).

WebPageTest allows website owners to run free speed tests to check the load time of their web pages. It lets them view their site’s performance through 6 different performance grades and also displays a checklist of suggested changes for increasing the site’s speed. And if you’re thinking what’s so special about free speed tests, here’s the real USP of the tool – it lets you run the tests from multiple locations around the globe using real browsers (different IE and Chrome versions) and at real consumer connection speeds. What’s more, you can customize the tests in any way you want including simple tests, advanced tests with multi-step transactions, video capture, content blocking and much more. The results of the tests conducted by the tool provide rich diagnostic information including resource loading waterfall charts, page speed optimization checks and much more.

And if you thought speed was its one and only forte, you’re just half correct. WebPageTest also lets you conduct Visual Comparison tests as well as run ICMP Traceroute from any of the test agents.

Enough with the vocal appreciation, let’s try the tool hands on!

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This is how the tool works

To say that the tool has a learning curve involved won’t be entirely true, but it won’t be entirely false either. The only thing you need to have is knowledge about web performance community terminology and you’re good to go. But then, as a website owner you’d be a pro at that already, won’t you? Very well, let’s get straight to business.

Visit www.webpagetest.org and you’ll see what you want right in the middle of the screen. There’s no-nonsense involved which is good. Just enter the URL of the website you wish to test, pick a test location (this will be a combination of a physical location on the map plus some information of the target environment), select which browser you wish to run the test on, and hit the big yellow button that says “Start Test”. You can also customize the test configuration through an “Advanced Settings” drop-down before starting.

While the above describes how you can conduct an “Analytical Review” of your website, click on the “Visual Comparison” tab to compare your website with established industry pages such as Google, AOL, Bing, CNN, LinkedIn, etc or with any other specific URLs. By default the results of these tests are public. If you wish to make them private, you’ll need to make changes to test settings on the main test page.

WebPageTest also lets you run an ICMP Traceroute test from any of its test agents (partners). To run this test you need to supply your website’s host name or IP address, pick the test agent you wish to use, pick a desired browser and specify how many tests (up to 9) you wish to conduct.

With features as impressive as that, it’d be hard not to give the tool a try.

  • Analyze your website speed in details from multiple locations with webpagetest.org/ via @supermonitoring

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Super Monitoring partners with WebPageTest.org

For consistency purposes, the tool’s online version is available at www.webpagetest.org and a number of prestigious companies from around the globe provide testing infrastructure to it. Since the tool benefits not just website owners, but individuals and organizations interested in the web performance community, quite a few big names have joined hands with WebPageTest to offer testing locations to it and contribute their bit to the betterment of the Web.

One of the latest partners to join WebPageTest in May of 2016 is Super Monitoring. The cool website uptime monitoring service recently collaborated with WebPageTest to provide the most eastern testing location in Europe (in Poland to be precise). Ain’t that cool?

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Final Words

Don’t let lousy loading times cause your website loss of traffic. Keep tabs on it with WebPageTest and give your site’s performance a real boost.

Generate a unique color palette instantly with Coolors

As a website designer, you need to play around with colors quite often. Be it picking the right color for banners, buttons, image borders or the entire theme of your website, a majority of a website designer’s tasks revolve around combinations of VIBGYOR. And though it may seem to be trivial, selecting just the right combination of colors has a deeper impact on the appeal of your website than you might think. A good color scheme adds a lot of weight to a website’s design and that’s why web designers need to be spot-on with their choice of hues in order to deliver the perfect design.

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Every organization, individual and type of work/service has some color that is most suitable to them. But when it comes to promoting that organization, individual, or work/service online through a website, a designing editor or tool might not support each color. Thus, often, designers need to program color-codes into their designs. But, this process is rather tedious and involves a lot of monitoring and hit-and-trials to find the exact colors suitable. Wouldn’t it be easier if there was a more direct way to choose any desired color instantly? With Coolors.co, now there is!

Coolors.co – Generate cool color schemes at lightning speed!

Coolors is an intuitive color scheme generator that makes color selection for your website designs extremely simple. Aimed at web-designers primarily, this handy application also has appeal for photographers in finding the right colors to complement their clicks.

Available as an Android / iOS app, you can install it on your mobile device / tablet, or use it as a desktop application through an Internet browser. It can also be used as an Adobe Illustrator / Photoshop add-on. Talk about flexibility!

The app lets you instantly generate a 5 color palette for any situation with the simple click of a button. And if you don’t like it, just hit the button to generate a new palette. Talk about simplicity and ease-of-use!

It will keep cycling through different palettes that are all beautiful. What’s more, if there are specific colors you like, lock them in and then let Coolors find the remaining colors for your palette that complement the ones you’ve locked in. Talk about variety, and awesomeness!

Above all, the tool if used as a desktop application is completely free of cost, no sign-ups required too. Talk about pocket-friendliness!

6 great plus points in just its introduction! No wonder, the app has users going ga-ga over it and media pouring in attention too! Let’s check out its usage.

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How to use Coolors.co?

As mentioned earlier too, using the app is a piece of cake.

Generator

Just visit the tool’s homepage and click on the “GENERATOR” or “Start the Generator” button to start generating random color palettes.

You’ll be directed to a page displaying a random color palette with 5 colors. Each color has a broad color bar depicting it and the associated hex code for the color is displayed at the bottom of each bar. Hover the mouse on any color bar and some options will appear:

  • HSB color model
  • RGB color model
  • CMYK color model
  • PMS value
  • COPIC value
  • A 2-way arrow
  • A camera icon
  • A lock

You can choose any of these options by clicking on them. Respective to each option, a few sub-options will be displayed beneath. For each color model 3 sliders depicting the current combination values and for PMS and COPIC values, the numeric values. You can use the slider to change the color values in color models or type in new numeric values for PMS and COPIC if desired. Each action will cause a change in the color of the respective color bar and also in the hex value displayed at the bottom. The 2-way arrow is a toggle button that lets you lock – unlock that color. The camera icon lets you upload an image or provide the URL of an image from which you wish to choose a specific color and find a matching palette. The lock icon depicts if the color is locked or unlocked.

If at any point you think you’ve made a change you don’t like, hit on the ‘UNDO’ button from the top-right menu to reverse your action. You can also choose to alter other aspects of the color palette by clicking on the ‘REFINE’ button. Clicking on it will reveal 4 options:

  • Hue
  • Saturation
  • Brightness
  • Temperature

Each of these options will have buttons to increase / decrease their set values. As with the previous options, all actions will cause the color of color bars and their hex values to change. The only difference with these options being that these affect all bars at once whereas the previous set of options were specific to each color bar.

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Once you’re satisfied with the palette you’ve created / modified, you can export it by clicking on the ‘EXPORT’ button. Clicking on the button provides you with another set of options in which to save your palette:

  • Copy URL
  • PDF
  • PNG
  • SCSS
  • SVG
  • COPIC

If you wish to make alterations to the palette in the future, copy its URL. The URL will let you access it instantly without any login required. To save your color palette offline and share with other, save it as PNG, PDF, SVG, etc.

In order to save your color palettes within the Coolors app, you’ll need to create a free account. Signing up is easy and quick. Once logged in, you can view all color palettes you’ve created and can save new ones for later use.

Browser

The other way you can use Coolors is through the color palette browser. Click on the ‘BROWSER’ button from the main menu to see all color palettes generated by users. You can choose to ‘Resave’ a palette to your account, ‘Export’ another user’s palette or ‘View’ it in detail.

Tool Pricing

While the browser version of the application is free, you’ll need to pay if you wish to use the app on your Android or Apple device or as an Adobe add-on. The prices for each are very nominal though and completely justified for an app that’s so helpful and totally cool.

  • The easiest way to pick the right color set for your website graphics is here: coolors.co/ @coolors_co via @supermonitoring

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Time to sum it up

We’ve already mentioned all the plus points of the app and as far as the negatives are concerned, there really aren’t any. Bottom line – if you’re a web designer or a photographer looking for interesting and out of the box color suggestions, do check out Coolors; you’ll be beyond delighted!

Secure your Website’s data on the Cloud with CodeGuard

If you value your data, you know you should back it up. Be it personal or professional, some data is just too important to not be secured. That’s the reason tech papers and websites keep publishing articles on data security and backing up needs, and also horrific tales of data loss!! If you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of data loss, you better back up your website data in time.

Your website may contain your company information, product pages, blog posts and more. Do you really think sheer good luck would be enough to keep that entire data safe? Can you imagine staying afloat if all the hard work behind building and maintaining your website went to trash? If the answer to those questions is “No”, safeguard your website with CodeGuard today!

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CodeGuard – Your website’s time machine!

Taking backups is a good habit, but taking clever backups is an art. A majority of us still rely on conventional backup techniques like external hard disks, CD/DVDs and the like for securing our data. While these are all still very effective, they themselves run the chance of damage over time. Hence, most people and corporates use Cloud backups today as a robust and ultra-secure backup technique. CodeGuard is probably the most widely used and trusted Cloud backup service available in the market.

Having a Cloud backup means you’ll have the freedom to access your backup data from anywhere in the world. Plus, you won’t need to physically carry any removable devices with you when you want to refer to it. Add to that, the benefit of saving everything over the Internet, and you have a clear winner!

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With an efficient and easy to set up interface, CodeGuard makes backing up, monitoring and maintaining your website a piece of cake. Just sign up and you’ll be provided with a 14-day free trial of this awesome service. For signing up, CodeGuard gives you the option to provide the usual details, or alternatively, your PayPal account details if you have one. Using PayPal though facilitates a smoother paying scheme, comes with an attached string – you don’t get the free trial. So choose wisely here!

CodeGuard assures that once you’ve enrolled with them, you can simply forget about your backing up needs. They’ll take of everything. From automatic timely backups to tracking changes to rolling back to previous backups if needed – they’ve got it all under control. You can finally have the peace of mind you wanted!

Why would you need CodeGuard

Maintaining a website is a challenging task. There is so much text and media to take care of. And if your website includes user accounts and their details, its even tougher. You have the additional responsibility of protecting your user’s data too. As such, backing everything up becomes even more crucial.

Modern day websites face many threats including hacking, accidental deletion of data, injections of unwanted code, software upgrade failures and others. Protecting your data means saving yourself from loss of time, money and reputation.

Key benefits of CodeGuard

When it comes to offering significant advantages, CodeGuard shines like a star! The timely automatic backups mean that you have one less thing to remember. You won’t need to set any reminders for this. Just sign-up, setup and forget about it.

CodeGuard proves its real worth if there are many people having access your website’s database. It highlights changes made to code and other data so that you can keep track of what is going on when you’re not around. That gives you the edge and authority to keep tabs on unwanted code injections and data changes on the website. With an easy rollback option to a previous state, CodeGuards makes sure that only the data you want to make public is exposed on your website.

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A mere look at the pricing options is enough to realize how cost-effective CodeGuard is. Plus, it is cross-platform – another medal in the bucket!
A section of CodeGuard’s website is dedicated to explain to new users how it works. This section contains text and screen-shots that offer a sneak peek into the tool’s Control Panel that helps potential users understand the tool better.
A nice to have feature to the CodeGuard website is their blog which contains quite informative articles. Accompanied by video tutorials, these articles give a new dimension to learning.

Here’s the catch

The only issue with this brilliant tool is that you can’t start using this tool until you make the payment. That is, even to receive a free trial, you will have to pick a payment plan and fill in your card details. So basically, signing up isn’t free!

To some people that might be a hindrance because when it comes to filling in card details, you can’t be in a lets-try-and-see-how-it-works mode. You’ll want to be sure. It would have been a lot better if users were given the choice to try out the tool only by giving in their basic details – no card details involved. That way, if they love the tool, they will anyways purchase it post the trial. And at that time, they’ll be sure enough!

In the absence of such a setting, you’ll simply have to rely on the testimonials provided on CodeGuard’s website for reference. While some of us might find relying on other user’s statements easy, others might prefer experiencing it themselves first.
So is this really a glitch? Definitely for some, not so much for others!

  • Get a time machine for your website and back it up with @CodeGuard codeguard.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Words

A good website backup plan includes backing up all the data to a location where it is easy to maintain, manage and restore when needed. What better location for that than the Internet! No access restriction, no time limits and no space constraints. Plus it’s all automated and super smooth. Try out CodeGuard today and experience what so many people have been appreciating.

Best Web Tool Award

best web toolWebsite-monitoring.com has been awarded and recommended as a top rated website monitoring service by Web Hosting Search who also provides reviews of the top hosting sites on the internet.

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