Did you know that certain statistics are available for any site you visit? If you do, do you check them frequently? That's a sign you are interested in understanding more about the websites you're visiting rather than just the content they provide (and you may just be secretly scoping out the competition.) What if you don't know how?
The following are nine areas you are likely interested in measuring, and sites designed to help you find the associated data for just about any website.
If you don't already know, ‘Alexa' is a company that compiles information about websites such as traffic statistics, related links, top sites, and more. Alexa is thought to be a bit flawed, but is there a statistic out there that is 100% accurate? Only the webmaster has access to the actual traffic information and demographics.
Alexa relies on internet users who use the Alexa Toolbar, collecting data about their browsing habits. It also relies on data from other traffic data sources.
‘Compete', a new kid on the block, is said to compile the largest data on online consumer behavior to date. It is the only company that melds site and search analytics in one site.
There are other sites out there as well, such as ‘Quantcast' for advertisers, ‘Statbrain' to see overall site visits, and ‘Google Trends' for Websites.
2. Loading Time
If your site or one that you frequent is performing slowly, you can rely on one of the following tools to determine what's causing the holdup in order to take appropriate action to correct it.
‘Pingdom' gives you a reliable server, network, and website monitoring tool. Choose to view a list of objects in load order, or as a hierarchy. The tests show Website Stats about the page in question: total load time; number of objects; and size.
‘Webslug' is a one-stop-shop for testing the performance of your website. The site allows you to compare your site side by side to a competitor, showing you which is faster.
3. Web Hosting
Maybe you've come across a super fast page, and wonder who their web hosting company is so you can make a switch.
‘Who.is' will allow you to conduct a whois lookup on gTLDs and ccTLDs, showing you contact and web hosting information.
‘Who Is Hosting This' will show you the web hosting company for any website by simply entering the domain into the search box.
4. Feed Subscribers
‘FeedCompare' will compare numbers related to the number of Feedburner feed subscribers a site has. You can compare up to four websites or blogs, and view a chart of the past 24 months.
5. Back In Time
Want to see how a certain website was doing traffic-wise? Head to ‘WayBackMachine'. It archives 85 billion web pages from 1996 to a few months ago. Simply type in the address of the page in question, and choose the dates you'd like to analyze.
6. Interface Design
‘Browsershots' allows you to view how your web pages look in other browsers, a free, open-source online testing service.
‘Cross Browser Testing' will do the same, and also show you your pages in different operating systems.
7. SEO, Backlinks, PageRank, Etc.
‘Xinu Returns' will display how your site fares in search engines, how often it's bookmarked, and more.
‘Websitegrader' shows you how effectively you've marketed your website. Your site receives an overall score encompassing data like social popularity, SEO, website traffic, and more.
‘SEO Meter' and ‘Popuri.US' are a couple of other great tools. The first is for handy SEO data, while Popuri.US shows link popularity for any site.
8. Website Value
Use ‘DnScoop' or ‘Cutestat' for estimating the value of any website. They take into account domain popularity, links leading back to that domain, its age, pagerank, and traffic. Cutestat throws ad revenue into the mix.
9. The Whole Shebang
What if you want a site that combines all that's listed above?
‘Quarkbase' and ‘Domain Tools' are a couple of sites that offer the most comprehensive information available about a website.