Listen to your users, they say. And so we did. This release was driven by your feedbacks, by reviewing the most common questions asked during technical assistance, and by analyzing crashes data users sent to our servers. Let's have a look at the most prominent changes.
Easy graphical navigation
Images Inspector and Links Inspector come with a filtering tool in the main list table, to quickly locate peculiar cases. Extremely useful... yet many users were not aware of it!
The main table tab itself was given less evidence: it had no references in the summary overview.
So we added a graphical selector, at the left side of the Summary tab and the main list tab:
The new "Quick select" graphical filter
Shaped like a bar chart, easier to spot and use – bars and labels are clickable – also gives a first glance of the size of each issue.
Remember those cool 3D pie charts in the Summary tabs of Images Inspector and Links Inspector?
Now when the mouse hovers them, the highlighted pie slices are clickable. They will open the related tab and select the clicked item in the tab treeview.
The same is true for the same pie charts in the details tab views:
Graphical Navigation from the pie charts
Truncated pages diagnostics
Visual SEO Studio's spider downloads pages up to a size limit in KB. Pages exceeding the size limit are truncated.
There are very good reasons for a limit to exist, and most of the time truncation doesn’t happen.
Keep in mind that the average HTML weight is less than 30 KB and rarely exceeds 100 KB, but when it does, it really exceeds the average. So much that we increasingly had request for assistance because the spider truncated the page and users did not understand it.
Truncated pages often are truncated before the actual page content; in such cases the program cannot extracto links or other contents.
If the HTML
head section is exceedingly big, truncation might occur even before the
body section starts. No further links are met and followed, and spider exploration ends there.
Truncation is a good thing, it points out that there is very likely a page performance problem, but user has to notice it…
...so we added UI clues to point it out:
- In the site crawling tree view, Crawl View and Folder View, we added new a "Truncated" column to make evident at first sight when a resource is not extracted fully.
The new "Truncated" column in Crawl View in the case of an XML Sitemap audit
Notice that because of the truncation, the spider could not extract title and meta description
(in this case the head was bloated by a huge CSS block).
- In Tabular View, in case of page truncation the already existing "Truncated" column is now represented with an icon that better meets users' expectations (a red circled exclamation mark instead of a light-gray cross).
We also wanted to reduce the times truncation actually occurs (by raising the default limit), so that if HTML page weight is not too much user could prioritize other things.
Please notice that performance analysis still is something a website maintainer should be doing.
When pages are truncated, it normally means there is a performance problem due to excessive page size problem to investigate. Visual SEO Studio’s Performance suggestions is a powerful tool for that.
Community Edition limitations loosened
The free Community Edition has several restrictions in place, of course; many features are only available with the paid Professional Edition version.
With this release, we experimentally loosened some of the limitations, to permit professional users to better get acquainted with some features.
You still can register for the 15-day Trial version, which brings you all the power of the Professional Edition with no restrictions, but two weeks fly away and many users told us they could barely scratch the surface during the Trial period. So we decided to loosen some of the limitations in the free product version.
The following features are now also available in the Community Edition:
- URL suggestions (URL canonicalization and other URL issues)
- Images Inspector
- Links Inspector
- Performance suggestions
- hreflang Analysis
- Readability Analysis
- Data Extraction
- Custom Filters
These tools where previously disabled in the Community Edition, or the user could just see the their overview.
Of course, in the free version only up to 500 pages can be analyzed, since that is that Community Edition crawl limit.
Conclusions, and what’s next
Usability and UX have been improved based on users’ feedback.
For example, in Images Inspector and in Links Inspector, pie chart slice colours are picked to be meaningful to the context: we prefer colour “Red” for an error condition, and avoid it when it could lead the user to think it refers to an error. For warning conditions we prefer “Yellow”, respecting the convention used all around the application.
Not only that. All over the application we did a UI review, uniformed its style across all forms, made it “lighter”, updated some texts to sound simpler, and so on.
The 2.5 release also makes great improvements in software stability.
We basically addressed all known crash issues. Thanks to users’ crash reports and the improved diagnostics in the previous releases, we had enough data to pinpoint them; we raised their priority and fixed them all.
For a full list of the changes, read the 2.5 Release Notes.
It’s now time to move toward new features. But this is another story.