Before we get into learning the best tools for webmasters, let’s first understand who the webmaster actually is and what the responsibilities are. To put it simply, a webmaster is someone who looks after the management and maintenance of one or more websites. Their job is to ensure that the website keeps functioning well. As part of this job, they may need to create and organize content, analyze website traffic, configure and maintain server, examine the software and hardware operations, troubleshoot website, look after user queries, keep reviewing web pages, etc.
A webmaster usually has a lot on his plate. Webmaster could refer to a single person managing the upkeep of a relatively small website or even a team of people maintaining a large website. Regardless, a webmaster needs some efficient tools at their disposal to be able to do their job well. Let’s look at what those tools are that can make the webmaster’s life easy:
Google Search Console
This is a great, free tool offered by Google, enabling webmasters to improve the Google-friendliness of their website. Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, this web service was renamed as Google Search Console in 2015.
To start using this service, you’ll need to add and verify your website in the service. After this, you’ll be able to gain a lot of valuable information and statistics about the performance of your website.
Some of the features offered by Google Search Console to webmasters include:
Check the indexing status of the website, like which pages of the website are being indexed and which aren’t.
- Suggestions on HTML enhancements that can be made in the website to optimize the website visibility in search engine results like; informing about missing or non-optimized metadata, duplicate or too short/long title tags, non-indexable data, etc.
- Check whether Google is crawling the website properly or not. You can even set the rate at which Google should crawl your website.
- Test the mobile-friendliness of the website.
- Stay on top of any potential security problems with the website.
These are just a handful of features offered by Google Search Console; there’s plenty more where these are come from!
This SEO tool packs a punch in the digital marketing efforts of the webmasters. It has a free trial as well as paid versions. SEO, social media, display advertising, and video advertising; SEMrush offers valuable intelligence data in all of these areas. Some key features of the tool are as follows:
- Check the ranking of a website, a particular web page, a sub-domain, or a sub-folder.
- Get rankings for different keywords and do keyword research to get keyword suggestions.
- Figure out the competition in search engine results and compare the rankings.
- Discover all the backlinks to a website, a domain or subdomain, or any given URL.
SEMrush (https://www.semrush.com/) not only helps you analyze your own website, but also to analyze the websites of your competition to see what they are doing right; and better than you. From finding out the best keywords, to target and tracking the website traffic, to looking out for any website issues, SEMrush is a helpful tool in keeping up with your competitors. You can start with the free trial version to get acquainted with how the tool works, but the paid version offers extensive features for in-depth website analytics, so you should eventually upgrade to the paid account version.
Google PageSpeed Insights
A webmaster needs to make sure that their website is fast across all devices, desktop and mobile; Google PageSpeed Insights could help them ensure this. With this online tool, you can get a report on the real-world performance and loading time for a given URL when viewed on various devices. You’ll also be given ideas how you can optimize your website performance and make it load even faster. Here are a few key features of this tool:
- Assess how well the page URL is conforming with the standard best practices of optimal performance. The tool assigns the page an optimization score on a scale of 0 to 100 based on this evaluation.
- Provide an array of optimization suggestions that can be implemented on the URL to improve its performance. These suggestions are categorized into low, medium, and high priority levels.
- Offer useful page stats that suggest if any changes in the functionality and look of the URL page can make it run any faster.
Website speed and performance is among the top priorities for a webmaster. Getting these right is integral in making sure the website is easily usable. Google PageSpeed Insights would be a much-needed help in this aspect.
This is one of the best website monitoring tools that you can setup to continuously monitor your website for any downtime. There are free and paid plans for this tool. With the free plan, you can have up to 50 websites monitored at 5-minute intervals. Whereas, with the paid plan, you can have 50 or more websites monitored at a 1-minute interval. If the tool detects that the website is not loading and is, indeed, down, it will send the webmaster an alert informing them. The tool’s important features are:
- Notification about downtime via various methods like SMS, email, Twitter, and many others.
- Option to customize downtime notifications so that you get notified only when a website has been down for a predefined time interval. This way you can avoid being bugged by insignificant downtime issues that are likely to get resolved on their own.
- Option to set time intervals when you don’t want your website to be monitored by the tool, for example, when your website is under maintenance.
- Intelligent dashboard where you can check the status of all your website monitors.
Last, but not least, is the most extensively used web analytics service, Google Analytics. It’s of great help in the SEO and marketing efforts of a website by helping to track and analyze traffic on the website. A couple of noteworthy features of this popular tool are:
- Tracking marketing campaigns to see which of them is working best, in terms of bringing traffic to your website.
- Getting useful insights about user browsing behavior.
- Setting conversion goals for your website and tracking the successful conversions.
- E-commerce tracking and reporting to get an overview of transactions, sales, revenue, and other such metrics for your online shopping website.
These 5 are some of the most essential webmaster tools to have on hand. They take care of the 3 most important aspects of your website: performance, uptime, and marketing, but a webmaster could use more help.
In addition to these tools, it’s also recommended that you get specialized tools to manage the security and backup of your website. Security suites like Norton Internet Security, Bitdefender Total Security, and Kaspersky Internet Security are some good choices. For backups, you can go for options like CodeGuard and Amazon S3.
In case you’re the webmaster of a Magento 2 website, it may interest you to learn more by studying the specific ways you can manage your website effectively. Read all about it here: