Site Testing With Alkaline and Load Impact

I came across two new (to me) tools today for testing websites, Alkaline and Load Impact.

Alkaline is a new Mac application from Litmus that allows you to “tests your website designs across 17 different Windows browsers right from your Mac desktop.” It works as a standalone app, or with Coda and TextMate using plugins. The free version tests in Firefox and Internet Explorer 7, and if you sign up for a paid Litmus account you can test in all 17 browsers.

Load Impact is an online testing tool to simulate high user loads. There is a free option allowing you to simulate a low load level, and the test results help you see which assets (CSS, images, JavaScript) are slow-loading or problematic as well as how the site performs the more users hit it at once. I don’t see this replacing YSlow for quick and dirty speed tests and load optimization, but it could be an awesome tool for larger websites that need to do “real” stress and load tests.

SEO Guide for Designers

I field a lot of questions about search engines and SEO (search engine optimization), so I’d like to point to a great resource for understanding SEO basics: SEO Guide for Designers. When I found this on Nick La’s Web Designer Wall, I realized it was a great resource for basic SEO learning—even for non-designers.

Many of the tips should be obvious to you if you maintain websites on a regular basis, but if you are a non-technical website owner or maintainer, bookmark the article and reference it when you are working on your website marketing and optimization.

(Also see my 2006 post Search Engine Rankings for Your Site.)