Sitebeam 5.0.4

This update contains several significant improvements and became publicly available on November 22nd 2011.

Improvements

  • Completely rewrote the Speed test. This now contains vastly more detail, but presented in a generally simpler way: new graphical gauges and tables are used to break up key information. Additional configuration options also exist for this test.
  • Added new test: Broken files test. This was formerly part of the Speed test, and has been separated and improved.
  • An estimated time to run each type of report is now shown. This accounts for: the size of the website (using the last observed size, if known), the type of report and the amount of work already underway by available Test Servers. If there is an unusually high backlog this is explained before running the report.
  • Expanded the spell checking dictionary to include many common people, company and place names. In total 400,000 words were added.
  • Added Feedback button throughout, with facility to also raise a support issue. Replaces the previous Support link in the footer.
  • Rewrote all of the error messages that can be displayed when a website fails to test, together with new integrated help and contact buttons.
  • Substantially increased the speed and reliability of the Speed and Broken links tests. These now only request up to six files simultaneously from each hostname, but can request many more from multiple different hostnames.
  • Added additional helpful footnotes and descriptions to help clarify common misunderstandings.
  • Optimised overall testing performance. Despite several additions to what is tested for, overall testing is now faster.
  • Expanded the Test Url feature to show a waterfall of all resources loaded by the page, and how long they took.

Changes

  • The Broken links test now checks links to external websites as well as internal websites automatically by default (previously this was opt in). The penalty for individual broken links has been significantly reduced, to account for the fact this test will now tend to find more broken links, and that some number of those links are to be expected (i.e. as 3rd party sites break their own pages or disappear with time). A new checkbox option has been added (“Don’t test external links?”) which opts out of this, if so desired.
  • The Search Engine Results, W3C compliance tests now shows the most severely impacted pages first (previously they showed the most important pages first). This means negative issues are easier to identify.
  • Previously Sitebeam would always trim query parameters off the URLs of sites that were to be tested, to sanitise (typically) bad input. However some sites have been found which needed these query parameters to be spidered at all, particularly as the second stage of a redirection. As a result, manually entered query parameters are now preserved.
  • Improved intelligence of website name guesser.
  • Facebook test now hides superfluous empty results if no Facebook page was found.
  • Facebook test now explains problems with detecting Facebook pages that aren’t visible to the general public.

Fixes

  • Fixed issue where some fully qualified URLs which required rewriting would not be corrected, causing linked resources not to be loaded correctly, or reported incorrectly as 404s.
  • Fixed issue where Alexa could fail to return results and these would be shown as the site having no popularity instead of an error.
  • Fixed issue where large numbers of links or files on specific pages could accumulate and cause the Speed or Broken links tests to crash unpredictably.
  • The Facebook test now normalises all URLs before considering them unique, so if a webpage links to the same page in different ways these are now detected as a single link to the same page.
  • Fixed issue where the Summary score would appear as “Info” for some Sitebeam installations created after September 2011.
  • Fixed issue where some obscure Google result URLs would not be detected as proxy redirections.
  • Fixed issue where some European character sets would be incorrectly normalised (specifically, those with multiple hyphens, such as ISO-8859-1). This caused these character sets to be misunderstood, and for some foreign characters to be invisible to Sitebeam.
  • A recent change to Google means that the Search ranking test couldn’t detect results outside of the top 10. This issue has been fixed.

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