For some time now, I’ve found one of the best places online to get practical information about blogging and especially about WordPress has been Lorelle van Fossen’s Lorelle on WordPress.  So in starting today to put together some resources on WordPress, I checked out the site and got thoroughly distracted.

In her post Blog Challenge: Testing Your Blog’s Development, Lorelle has put together a hyperlinked list of nine tools to help us check our sites and hopefully improve their effectiveness.

I put each of the tools through it’s paces, using this blog’s url as the test. A couple came up empty and some of the tools produced information in a way which I found neither illuminating nor helpful.

Two I found useful were Visual Page Rank from iWEBTOOL and Google Webmasters Site Status Test.

I liked Visual Page Rank for two reasons. First because it gave a page rank for this site (6/10) and second because it gave a visual display ranking various elements, including categories, posts and words. And I could see some of the logic in why some words or posts or items in the sidebars would be of more potential interest to searchers than others. I believe I can see immediately from the display some ways in which I can enhance the blog’s usefulness and interest level for readers.

The Google Webmasters Site Status Test was helpful. And I believe that the trouble I took some time ago to create a machine-readable, Google-friendly site map meant that the results were more helpful than they might have been. I am puzzled by some results showing a specific navigation icon as as “access forbidden” page and some other results showing as (404) Not Found, a stack of urls for categories, the links all ending in, Feedblitz being the service I use for people who want to receive their newsfeeds from here via email. Hopefully I can get those mysteries sorted out. Apart from those oddities, the site apparently passes muster with Google, so I’m pleased about that.

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