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A web page analyzer is a computer program that analyzes a set number of characteristics of a web page and creates a corresponding report. Analysis characteristics can include page size, download speed, keyword usage and search engine compatibility. Programs that look for and identify spelling errors and broken links may also fall into this category. The intent of such programs is to provide the page owner with objective data that will help her maximize the effectiveness of her web presence.
A business owner or information technology professional who has just built or modified a web site will most likely chose a web page analyzer that can assess the usability of the page. One major goal of this type of analysis is to determine how long the page will take to load on a potential viewer's computer. Analysis takes into consideration a wide range of browsers, connection speeds and hardware specifications. The resulting reports can be crucial, because a page that takes too long to load may time out, preventing the viewer from being able to access the page. A slow-loading page may also frustrate the potential viewer, causing a loss of business.
Another common function of a web page analyzer is to evaluate the size of the page. This relates not only to speed of page load, but also to the page's readability when it appears on the viewer's screen. Pages that require the viewer to scroll repeatedly in order to read the entire message can be ineffective. Marketing messages that do not appear simultaneously may not be perceived as connected. Viewers may also become overwhelmed or bored and seek out a more viewer-friendly competitor page.
Computer programs also exist to check for website errors such as grammar and spelling mistakes and broken links. This type of program may be referred to as a web page analyzer, but may also be called a site checker or page monitor. Some of these programs contain an auto-fix feature, but most simply alert the site manager to the possible error. This allows the page owner to verify that there actually is an error before a change is made.
Page owners may also use a web page analyzer to determine how search engines will view their pages. This type of analysis identifies where the site will come up in a search's results listing. Analysis is usually run using a number of primary and secondary keywords that relate directly to the purpose of the page.
Website analysis is often performed by a company whose specialty is web page analytics. These companies contract with page owners to perform one-time or recurring analyses, depending on the page owner's needs. Basis reports may simply provide data, while more complex reports may also identify specific problems, make recommendations or posit solutions.