I’ve tweeted about HippoValidator. I’ve written a bit about it here on the blog. I’ve also told some friends and colleagues about it. However, I never released an official introduction of the product. So, here it is: Introducing hippovalidator.com.
What is HippoValidator?
HippoValidator is a website validation service, which validates your website for different quality related parameters like markup, performance, styling, accessibility, etc. Each parameter is awarded a score, which, in the end, is used to calculate what I call the HippoScore. HippoScore is a grade between 0 and 100, telling you how great you did following the web standards, making your site fast and a lot of other stuff. Basically, it’s a quality indicator for your website. HippoValidator also helps you fix some of that stuff by listing all errors and warnings found while visiting your website.
Why do I think the world need HippoValidator?
Well, the standards are there for a reason: to be followed. Browsers today are extremely pliable, which is both good and bad. It’s good because you don’t have to know every specification in detail to make something look good in all browsers. Yet, it’s bad because not following standards often makes your site look different or maybe prevents it from working in all browsers. A good example of this is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which a lot of web developers don’t know. The guidelines are there to make sure that your web content is more accessible to people with disabilities. Also, following the standards prove to be a great way for search engines to optimize your site. Google blogged multiple times that both markup validation and performance are used as parameters when calculating the order of the search results.
What’s the feature set now?
Basic validation, with seven different, validators are in place. Feel free to test your website by inputting your URL and email on the frontpage of HippoValidator.com. Moments later, you will receive an email with a link to your website validation results. If you want to dig deeper into the service, sign-in using your favorite OAuth enabled login provider. Your dashboard will show you your recent validations and you will be able to schedule nightly checks of your website, all for free. The dashboard also shows you a nice graph of your scores, making it possible to track increases/decreases in your HippoScore.
There’s a lot of work to be done. I plan to continue developing new validators as well as improving the existing ones. At the moment, the errors and messages are typically just a short description. I would like to help my users fix errors, by providing better descriptions and even tools to autofix issues.