Sitebeam 5.0.1

This version was released on 13th September 2011.

Flash test disabled

As of this version, the Flash test is disabled by default. This test had recently become less reliable than we considered acceptable (about 10% of results were incorrect, and this was rising) due to the prevalence of Javascript frameworks which¬†could, but don’t embed Flash. Sites using these looked like the used Flash to Sitebeam, and produced incorrect results.

Inherently this is a very difficult problem to solve, and our present approach would never be reliable in the face of these new technologies. We have a longer term ‘flawless’ solution in the works, but this involves a big shift in our technology, and is some time away. In the meantime we decided the best policy was to disable the test for now.

Users can still request the test manually (by running a Custom report), or under Accounts > Tests (except for WebScan users, who don’t have the latter option).


  • Fixed bug where a website specifying a certain type of corrupted character set would cause the Add website screen to fail, making it impossible to add the site. Sitebeam now detects and bypasses the broken character set.
  • Fixed bug where entering a manual Facebook URL without “http://” at the beginning would cause that Facebook page not to be tested.
  • Fixed bug where an “ugly” Facebook URL that redirected to a “clean” Facebook URL would be reported incorrectly as having an ugly URL.
  • Fixed bug where the Support link would error when clicked on when viewing a report.
  • Fixed bug affecting IE8 where the Add website screen could error when finding or manually overriding comparison sites.
  • Fixed bug where Good/Bad points from old reports (v4 or older) were no longer visible in v5.
  • Fixed bug where Search rankings test would fail to mention on the first “Comparison” table that the current site ranks for its own name.
  • Fixed bug affecting iPhone users where the Delete button on the Reports tab would mess up the screen layout.
  • Fixed bug where exporting full detail results with tabs would hide the results under unselected tabs.
  • Fixed issue detecting obscure Facebook URLs that used a “hashbang” format (e.g. “#!”) to encapsulate an AJAX request. These are now detected and converted into normal Facebook URLs.
  • Fixed issue detecting Facebook URLs that included a superfluous end-slash in their URL, e.g. would fail to detect
  • Fixed bug where users with cached Javascript/CSS from a previous version of Sitebeam could encounter various problems (unable to add websites, lack of progress display etc).
  • Fixed bug where some old installations would fail to show summary scores in the left hand navigation after an upgrade, showing “Info” instead.
  • Fixed bug where pressing Enter in some forms when using Firefox 6 would cause those forms not to submit correctly.
  • Fixed bug where Slide Notes would fail to export, or export at the wrong size.
  • Fixed rare issue where some oversized Twitter profile images would distort the layout of the Twitter results.
  • Fixed incorrect explanation of what a user should do when attempting to print a report.
  • Fixed missing Help for error “Duplicate link text for different URL”.
  • Fixed bug where changing the name for a website under Site Settings would update the report instantly, but not update the title of any printed or exported reports, until after the report was re-run.

Minor tweaks

  • The Amount of content test now doesn’t penalize sites for having 3 or fewer¬†pages; the score is now derived entirely from the overall word count.
  • Improved the intelligence used to guess the name of a website automatically.
  • The Twitter test now hides the list of Twitter accounts when only the current site is listed and it has no Twitter account.
  • Revised the text of the Facebook and Twitter tests to clarify what is happening if no Facebook or Twitter account is found.
  • Improved speed of Spelling test.
  • Removed Facebook and Twitter from first “add website” screen. Previously whatever settings were set here were then persisted throughout all subsequent tests – this was causing people confusion as they didn’t realize they had to maintain these settings. To avoid this we now default to automating these settings, and users only need to enter them if they want to specify their own overrides manually.
  • All report tables with pagination now show the page numbers and export links at the bottom as well as at the top of the table.
  • Modified the Broken links test to always check external links, and removed that option from Test configuration.
  • The Site Settings screen now also displays the Facebook page(s) for the website.
  • The Facebook and Twitter tests now search every page they test for a link to either Facebook or Twitter, if a specific Facebook or Twitter account has not already been specified by the user.
  • The Freshness test now requires a minimum amount of ‘evidence’ before deciding upon the age of a website. Previously if even one or two significant dates were found, this was used to produce results. To avoid falsely confident results, more evidence is now required.
  • Made the Search ranking test smarter. When search engines refuse to return results, this is now explained, and when no results are obtained this test (and presentation slides) is automatically hidden.
  • Imposed maximum of 20 keyword lookups per report (as used to be the case in Sitebeam 4, this limit was accidentally removed by v5). It is not sustainable for us to allow unlimited keyword lookups.
  • Refined the text for various tests, to clarify common misunderstandings.
  • Added more clarification to Help throughout based on frequently asked questions.
  • Tidied up print styles for all pages.
  • When attempting to delete a site, report or dashboard, but not selecting anything first, the error message is now displayed in a more sensible place, and more clearly.
  • Removed Overall summary from default left-hand nav (this information is still available by clicking on the “More” link next to the Overall summary on the first page of the report, but duplication of this seemed superfluous).

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