WebCheck Site Maintenance Features

Making sure a website is error free can be one of the most time consuming and tedious tasks a webmaster must perform. WebCheck automates the process of checking HTTP links and HTML syntax and provides reports which allow the webmaster to quickly correct site deficiencies.

HTTP Error Checking

WebCheck verifies both local and remote links. The HTTP Error report tells which pages are broken, why it was broken, and which local pages refer to that url. The report provides the webmaster with the option of replacing the broken link with an existing url, or editing the referring pages.

HTML Error Checking

Identifying and correcting HTML Syntax errors is even more difficult than HTTP error checking. An HTTP request results in either a 200 or "OK" response, or a 404 "Not Found" response, while HTML syntax errors are more subtle, sometimes errors are corrected by one browser but not another. Other times HTML syntax errors can be consistently visible but not obvious.

The wide variety of editors and translators used to create HTML pages compound problem by creating incorrect or inefficient HTML.

If the WYSIWWYG editor in use can't find the error then it can't correct it without entering source mode. Since most editor's don't expect this mode to be used little effort is spent in making the HTML source readable. This makes fixing errors in source mode very difficult. The Cutternet lint checker works in a variety of modes to assist both novice and expert users in quickly determining the source of the problem.

In its simplest form cnlint simply prints the error message one line per error. If the source is poorly formated then the source can be pretty printed to assist in more easily identifying errors. There is also an HTML mode which escapes the HTML and highlights text, tags, attributes, and error in separate colors.

Site Review

WebCheck also provides standard reports for reviewing particular classes of errors which do not represent something which broken but still may represent a problem. These reports include listing of email addresses, ftp links, remote links, and new or old pages and more.

The New pages listing is particularly helpful in limiting the amount of manual review required in the QA process. Prior to updating your production server from your staging server, and after automatically checking for HTTP and HTML errors, you only want to have to manually review the pages you've actually changed. The What's New report lists pages that have changed allowing you to focus your manual QA process on the things which have changed.


Copyright © CutterNet, Inc. 1997. All rights reserved.
Last Update: February, 1997 by Bill Crooke bcrooke@cutternet.com
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