‘Nibbler' by Trevor Thorn

Recently I needed professional help to migrate everything on my ten year old laptop to a new one. Fortunately, after a bit of local searching, I found someone who would come to my home and work together on the changeover. (As a guide, he charged £30 an hour which felt very good value to one who just knew that trying it myself would be bound to lead to all manner of discomfort, possibly for several weeks on end: it cost just over £100).

During the time here, it was necessary to wait for some of the changeover which gave me an opportunity to ask for any helpful suggestions about improving my blog. On the assumption that a fair number of readers of this site will be blogging, I pass on the most significant piece of help he gave.

He called up a site called ‘Nibbler’. This is a free service and assesses any website on a host of fronts.

Some of the suggestions are simple to follow; others are a bit more on the geeky side but the result which takes maybe a minute to generate is amazingly comprehensive. So, for example, my blog The Cross and The Cosmos gets 8.8 out of 10 on page content: the average on the tested pages being 527 words and the recommendation being ‘Consider the amount of text on the website and increase it if appropriate’ (sic). Apparently search engines respond better to texts headed up towards 1000 words. So there’s a simple target to aim for (hopefully without resorting to too much padding!). Even if I don’t make that recommendation on this short post.

So there it is. I had never encountered this service and I’m sure there are others but in terms of gradually building an improved blog, this seems a very helpful start point