How I Diagnose My Site

This blog-post is more of a note to myself; I’ll be checking back in the future, when I need help setting up or configuring new websites. However, insert_your_name, feel free to lurk through the free tools that I use.

TL;DR - Use MXToolbox to diagnose your mail configuration, Pingdom to test your site speed, and What’sMyDNS to perform DNS propagation checks.

All the links open in new tab and are posted below.


My Notepad goes down relatively many times throughout the month (but only for a short while), as I like to tinker and fiddle about with my server and the nginx configuration and whatnot, so I always keep track of its uptime. It was a nuisance at first, but then I signed up for Pingdom’s free uptime checker. Right now, Pingdom got rid of their free plan, as far as I know, so there’s the uptimerobot alternative.

Apart from the uptime check, however, it’s essential to make your website super-fast. That is, it should be preferably as fast as the time it takes for a person to process the act of flipping a page in a book (600ms). Currently, this website loads in 649 milliseconds. And that’s with all my analytics scripts inserted - Hotjar, SumoMe and Google Analytics; that’s a lot for a personal blog! But to achieve this, I have made a very important change to my website configuration: I began using Cloudflare’s nameservers. It’s so fortunate that they offer a free plan. I’m happy, right now :)

However, before I found out about Cloudflare, I had to research many tools that can test your website’s configuration, so that I could make it load faster. I remember the time when this website used to load in 4-5 seconds =__=

I’ve sorted a list of online tools that help me configure and diagnose sites -

Website Testing

  • Pingdom Website Speed Test - Nice waterfall info of your site’s content and how much time it takes to connect and display it.
  • Google PageSpeed Insights - A very quick way to see what needs to be optimized, both desktop and mobile.
  • WebPageTest - Takes a relatively long time to record a video of how your website loads in various world locations; very detailed report.
  • GTMetrix - Outputs the time it took to load your site and the scores your site got from YSlow and Pagespeed.

DNS Checks

  • Pingdom DNS Lookup - Produces a detailed DNS report of your domain, including warnings/errors. It takes some time, but outputs all the information you need to know to make your DNS configuration stand out from the crowd.
  • MXToolbox - It’s basically a whole suite of things to diagnose your site. Good for MTAs. Does a blacklist check, as well!
  • What’sMyDNS - The simplest of them all; tests the propagation of your DNS changes.
  • WebDNSTools - A complete suite of DNS tools; do reverse lookups, includes IP calculators and a lot of articles on DNS and how the whole thing works.
  • IntoDNS - Instantaneous. Very minimal and outputs all the information about your site’s DNS. If something’s not right, it shows a warning or an error sign.

This list will be updated, as I find out about new software and web technologies.

$root - whoami
diagnostic dirtbag
С Днем Победы!

// Go back in time

Sticking to Ghost

// To the future

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