If you ever encounter a slow-loading website, it can be frustrating trying to work out what’s caused the problem. Stella is a great tool for testing out a site’s health – either as a one-off checkup or for ongoing monitoring – and it manages to throw a rather stylish look into the mix too.
Simply enter any URL into Stella’s checkup tool and it will run a speed test to check exactly where any bottlenecks might be. The service measures response time, the amount of time it takes to make a connection with the server, how long the website takes to respond and the total download time. All this information is then rolled into one easy to understand graphic along with a ranking defining it as “The Best!” for fast sites, down to more slightly more scowling verdicts like “Not Great”.
Stella also offers a bookmarklet which you can add to your browser’s bookmark bar, meaning that every time you come across a slow site, or if you’re just curious, you can run a test there and then.
If you’re a website owner, Stella offers ongoing testing at four pricepoints ranging between free and $42 per month. These offer 60 days’ worth of access data for the site you’re keeping track of, viewable on a graph, with details of any downtime suffered. Email (and SMS on paid plans) alerts can be set up to notify you of any issues.
While Stella is far from the only service offering website monitoring (Pingdom is a good alternative), this is presented in a stylish, accessible, easy to use format and with a sense of humour too. Just look at the news page which comes straight out of the 1890s (although that does make it a little impractical to tell exactly when the news did get published) and the Twitter accounts of its fictional ‘Business owner‘ and ‘Technician‘. In actual fact, Canada’s Delano Mandelbaum is behind the site, a man who appears to be very much from the 21st Century.