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New service scores how well web sites work

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Passmarked, a quality score to measure how well your site works, has entered private beta.

Using Internet standards and best practices, Passmarked tests a site’s performance in terms of security, compatibility, and code and has scored over 17-million pages to date.

“We have built this tool for developers, because, as developers ourselves, we needed it.  Our closed beta is our first step in sharing our thinking with developers across the globe so that collectively we create a tool that can support us all in creating and maintaining better websites and services,” says Barry Botha, head of Passmarked, which went live on Betali.st this week.

“The internet isn’t static and what makes for a good, secure and effective site a few months ago many not be the same today,” says Botha. “With big changes like HTTP2 coming and other continuous adjustments as new security exploits are revealed this means that sites need continual attention and best practices keep changing. It is getting harder for developers today to keep track of the health of their websites and they need one simple-to-use tool to do this for them.”

Botha, who also heads up technology company io, created Passmarked to answer a need within his web development business.

“Building sites is one thing, maintaining them is a whole different kind of thing. We needed a comprehensive service that would continually track how our sites were performing and while there are a number of stand-alone offerings, there wasn’t something that we could subscribe to that would run a health check, quietly in the background on all our sites and just notify us when something needed attention. So we built Passmarked,” he says.

“The best way we know to keep the score relevant is to include as many developers’ opinions as possible. We have started with a closed beta so that the development community can get involved first and vote on the rules, standards and best practices we have included and work with us to create a score that makes sense to everyone – because ultimately, we’re all going to use it together to make the internet work better,” says Botha.

Passmarked has been developed on the basis of collective intelligence. “We want to collaborate with as many developers as possible to make this service an integral part of any web development cycle,” says Botha.

People with a GitHub account will be able to vote rules up and down and increase or decrease the impact the rule has on the ultimate quality score. “In this way, Passmarked will always reflect the most up to date view of effective web development,” says Botha.

The beta version of the site allows registered users to enter website URLs and test them against the pillars of performance, compatibility, code and security. A score out of a hundred is assigned to each pillar, and then to the page as a whole. The tool then generates a detailed report card for your web site reflecting these scores and the specific standards or best practices that are not being adhered to. The report card finally includes advice on how to fix each identified error.

“This version of the service will be free, for humans, forever,” says Botha. Our commercial offer will be a subscription service where Passmarked will go through an entire domain daily, and let the subscriber know if anything has changed. We are using the closed and then open beta stage to test our theories, get more representative rule weightings and make sure that the market needs this service as much as io did.”