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Website Grader Tool Breakdown

The Vendilli Digital Group resource library is a great place to find documents and tools to help you be a better marketer. One of the tools we have available is the Website Grader Tool, which looks at the data on your website and provides you with a short report on several areas and recommendations for improvements. While we find this tool super helpful, we also understand that some of the areas it reports on may be new to the user. We wrote this guide to help you understand and interpret the information you receive from your website grade report! 


Optimizing your website's performance is essential for achieving various goals, including increasing traffic, improving conversion rates, generating more leads, and ultimately boosting revenue. By focusing on performance optimization, you can enhance the user experience, reduce page load times, and provide a smooth and seamless browsing experience. This, in turn, encourages visitors to stay on your site longer, engage with your content, and take desired actions, leading to improved business outcomes. Prioritizing performance optimization is a strategic approach to maximize the potential of your website and drive positive results for your online presence.

  1. Page size - Larger pages that have more content on them take longer to load. Try to keep your pages simple and straightforward, with a size below 3MB, to have optimal load times. 
  2. Page requests - Having a lot of files on your website means that you’ll have more HTTP requests. The more requests it makes, the slower it is. Reusing common images across pages, instead of re-uploading them to each page, is one way to help keep your number of requests down.
  3. Page speed - We all know how painful it can be to sit and wait for a website to load! For every second longer your website takes to load, you’re going to lose more and more visitors. Try to keep your load time as short as possible by utilizing caching, smaller images, and less animation.
  4. Browser caching - Implementing browser caching instructs a user’s web browser to store certain elements from a website, such as images and CSS files, for subsequent visits to load faster instead of redownloading the full site. This results in faster loading times and can significantly improve website performance and reduce server load.
  5. Minimal page redirects - Sometimes having redirects are necessary, but it is important to keep the number of redirects to a minimal amount. Each redirect is another round trip between the browser and server, increasing page load time. By keeping the amount of redirects to the bare minimum, users can be provided with a faster and more seamless browsing experience.
  6. Image size - Optimizing image size is crucial for website performance. Large image files can significantly slow down page load times, especially for users on slower internet connections or mobile devices. By resizing and compressing images without sacrificing quality, website owners can reduce file sizes and improve loading speed. Techniques such as using the appropriate image formats (e.g., JPEG, PNG) and implementing lazy loading can further enhance image optimization for better website performance.
  7. Minified javascript - Minifying JavaScript involves removing unnecessary characters, spaces, and line breaks from the code, reducing its file size. This improves website performance by reducing the time required to download and parse the JavaScript files. Minification also helps to minimize bandwidth usage and decrease the number of HTTP requests. By minifying JavaScript, website owners can enhance overall page load times and provide a smoother user experience.
  8. Minified css - Similar to minified JavaScript, minified CSS involves removing unnecessary characters, spaces, and line breaks from the CSS code. This process reduces the file size of CSS files, resulting in faster download and parsing times. Minified CSS helps optimize website performance by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred and processed by the browser, leading to improved page load speeds and a more efficient user experience.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which involves optimizing a website to improve its visibility on search engine results pages. It encompasses strategies like keyword optimization, content creation, link building, and website optimization. Implementing effective SEO techniques is crucial because it boosts website visibility, attracts organic traffic from search engines, and helps reach a targeted audience, leading to increased brand awareness and potential conversions.

  1. Permission to index
    This refers to the authorization given to search engines to crawl and include pages in their search results. By allowing or denying these permissions, website owners can control which pages should be included or excluded from search engine result pages (SERPs). Typically, the only pages that wouldn’t get indexed are campaign landing pages, low-quality pages that are still important to have active, or any other pages that shouldn’t be visible to the general public.

  2. Meta description
    A brief summary or snippet of text that appears below the title tag in search results is called the meta description. These provide a brief, but concise overview of the content on the page for users and search engines. Click-through rates can be impacted by writing compelling and relevant meta descriptions, driving traffic to the website and potentially leading to better rankings.

  3. Content plugins
    How many plugins are on your website? Using plugins can help expand the functionality of your site and customize it based on your company’s needs. Plugins can be used for all sorts of additional content without the need for extensive coding knowledge. However, having unused plugins installed can muddy the water on your site and may have a negative impact on your load time.

  4. Descriptive link text
    Also known as anchor text, this is the clickable text that displays a hyperlink. It provides users and search engines with information about the content on the destination page. Rather than using generic phrases like “for more information, click here”, try to use descriptive text with keywords such as “check your website’s health with our free website grader tool” to improve navigation and SEO.


The growth of traffic from mobile devices is rapidly increasing. Neglecting to optimize your website for mobile users can result in missing out on valuable opportunities for traffic, leads, and revenue. To capitalize on this trend and maximize your online presence, it is essential to prioritize mobile optimization to ensure a seamless and engaging experience for mobile visitors, ultimately driving better business outcomes.

  1. Legible font size
    Ensuring a legible font size is crucial for mobile websites as it directly impacts user experience. Mobile screens are smaller, so using a font size that is too small can strain users' eyes and make reading difficult. By choosing a font size that is large enough to be comfortably read on mobile devices, you can enhance readability and make your content more accessible to users.
  2. Tap targets
    Tap targets are the clickable elements on a mobile website, like buttons, links, or navigation menus. It's important to make these targets big enough and well-spaced so that users' fingers can easily tap on them without accidentally tapping nearby elements. By ensuring the tap targets are large and spaced out properly, you can enhance the user experience and make it easier for visitors to interact with your content and navigate through your mobile website.
  3. Responsive
    A responsive design is a key aspect of mobile websites as it allows the site's layout and content to adapt and adjust automatically based on the user's device screen size. This ensures optimal viewing and usability across various mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. By implementing a responsive design, you can provide a consistent and user-friendly experience, irrespective of the device being used, ultimately improving user engagement and satisfaction with your mobile website.


In today's online landscape, a secure website is the new standard, featuring an SSL certificate and fortified against vulnerabilities. Both users and search engines have a strong preference for secure websites. By prioritizing website security, you can instill trust in your visitors, protect sensitive data, and boost your search engine rankings, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience and credibility of your online presence.

  1. HTTPS
    HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, providing encrypted communication between a web browser and a website. It ensures that data exchanged remains private and protected from interception or unauthorized access. By implementing HTTPS, websites enhance their security, safeguarding user information and creating a safer browsing experience.

  2. Secure javascript libraries
    Secure JavaScript libraries refer to trusted and well-maintained libraries or frameworks used in web development that prioritize security. These libraries are actively updated and undergo rigorous testing to address vulnerabilities and protect against common security threats. By utilizing secure JavaScript libraries, website owners can reduce the risk of potential exploits, enhance overall website security, and provide a safer experience for users interacting with their web applications.

This definitely won’t answer every question you have, but we hope you are able to use this to interpret the information at least a little more confidently from your website grader report. By leveraging this knowledge and optimizing performance, security, mobile experience, and SEO, you can enhance your online presence and drive better business outcomes. Haven’t checked out our free website grader tool yet? Try it out now and let us know your results, and visit our full resource library for more free resources! 


Megan McGinnis
About the Author
Megan is a Pittsburgh native and Grove City College alumna where she graduated with a B.S. in Marketing Management and minor in Music. Thriving on spontaneity and her “gotta go fast” lifestyle, Megan has found that the crazy marketing agency life perfectly suits her personality and need for excitement. She loves a challenge and is constantly seeking new hobbies and ways to improve her work skill set. Good luck finding Megan after work - she could be out photographing a local concert, exploring a new city, sitting in with a jazz band, or trying not to hurt herself at the gym. During the freezing Pittsburgh winters, she’s usually at home crocheting with her cat, Mabel, asleep in her lap. Please don’t ask her to go outside when it’s snowing, though, unless it’s to go for a drive on an unplowed hill in her Subaru!
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