Now I’ll be the first to admit, when it comes to Screaming Frog, Raven, OSE and anything else that gives me a CSV I tend to switch off a bit…mainly because I’m confused and my ego dictates that I should assume boredom. I’ll also admit that I use different online tools for; link analysis, site analysis, meta analysis, rank analysis, traffic analysis, analysis analysis… you get the picture.
So when Thomas Schulz from Microsys asked if I’d consider a review of their new complete site analyser (A1 Website Analyzer 5.1.0), I was intrigued. Throughout my various learnings I’ve come across the company numerous times, and they do indeed appear to be the undisputed kings of geek. I know a bit about web development – I can put together a scrappy site easily enough, but these guys are on another level with their ability. So I checked it out…
I’m always honest in my reviews so here’s a description of the tool (in his terms) and my own findings below it:
What Is It?
“The A1 Website Analyzer is a website and link analysis tool. After site crawl, it can filter and show you all pages (including broken links to internal and external URLs), file sizes, response codes, duplicate content, titles, descriptions, H1, H2 canonical, internal anchor text to pages, image alt text, link line numbers, link follow/nofollow states, navigation click length, all top keywords and a ton of other data. It also calculates an internal link juice “score” of all pages.
If configured so, it can validate HTML/CSS, spell check and perform custom search for text/patterns throughout the entire website. There is no fixed limit of URLs (or links for that matter), and the practical limit is well above 100,000 unique URLs. (Some customers reported success with million-page websites, but it depends on factors such as the site and program configuration.) Lastly it also integrates with various online tools.
For those with complex websites, the tool features an extensive set of website crawl “limit to” and “exclude” filtering options. It is also possible to add multiple “start crawl from” paths.”
Which I basically took to mean it does everything… very impressive.
*Version 5.0.7 was released end of March which features some new data columns; title character count, title pixels width, description character count and description pixels width. This tool in particular has been in constant development since 2006.
Now onto my personal experience…
- You know you’re in safe hands; these guys are just fantastic, I’m sure if you had more technical knowledge than myself you’d be even more impressed too
- It’s so comprehensive, I love a bit of techno mumbo jumbo and even I don’t understand what half of it does! You’ll not want for any data with this tool
- Layout is simple and far from snazzy, but the ability to see EVERYTHING you could ever need to know about a web page in one easy hit is fantastic
- Set up instructions are perfect and easy to follow
- Response times are fantastic from staff
- It’s constantly being improved
- There are tons of other tools to pick and choose from on the main Microsys site, I get the feeling if you need something web-based, they’ll have it
- Cost; $69, that’s give or take £40 and not much money considering what it does and no monthly fee
- The W3C Validate HTML feature in particular makes life so much easier
- Set up on a Mac I found difficult, although that could well be due to my technical blondeness
- The first scan was still going after 35 minutes (I ended up stopping at this point…I was hungry), this is a big chunk of time if you’re in a rush though you could leave it running – it doesn’t seem to slow things down much while it whirs in the background
- Interface is fairly standard, there are no crazy graphics jumping out at you to make it exciting to use BUT it does run cleanly and I bet virus-free for a very long time
For me, the tool was brilliant and it does everything you could ever wish for, and more. I wouldn’t recommend it for novices, simply because – they don’t need it, it’s incredibly advanced. If you’re an SEO, developer, any sort of specialised web-type-person or simply a bit of a technophile though…you gotta get this. It’s FAB.