Scrutiny 5 review

I scored this a 4.5 / 5

As part of my research into various SEO tools designed for OSX I have been using Scrutiny 5 a lot and I wanted to review it.

I was fortunate to interview the creator of this product (Shiela Dixon) and I knew she put out great stuff. This meant I had high hopes for the product.

Disclaimer

This product is now several versions improved. I believe version 8 is now the standard version. This review is for a much older version of the application.

What Scrutiny 5 does

Scrutiny 5 does several things, I will list some of the things I think are core;

  • Checks for broken links on your site
  • Can generate sitemaps and visualisations of linked content
  • Can check various technical SEO parameters like titles, headings and content analysis
  • Can validate all your pages at once
  • Can check the spelling and grammar on all your pages

All of these features are useful, the one that I thought was most novel was checking spelling and grammar. I ran this one a few sites and found some really stupid typos in older articles.

The first index with Scrutiny 5

The first time you set up a site you can pick several useful parameters like;

  • Check for broken images
  • Don’t follow external links
  • How many threads to use when indexing
  • Time between retries

I always scan during quiet times on my sites and bump up everything to the max to get the fastest, most all encompassing scan possible.

These settings are saved and can be edited on a per project basis.

Once the initial scan is complete the results are cached so you can perform analysis without needing to continually hit the website. If you want to periodically refresh the cache you can set up automated scan times.

Exporting from Scrutiny 5

Each of the main reports you can generate come with options for exporting, the standard options are HTML and CSV. CSV is what I am going to want 99% of the time.

For some reports you have the option to export as a dot file for visualisation tools.

Scrutiny 5 Downsides

I would have scored this application 5/5 but the design lets it down for me, the wizard style sometimes feels a little clunky and gives the impression of being picked because it was the easiest to implement, but perhaps the best experience for the user.

I also have a tiny niggle that when doing a manual scan there is no way you can easily access the older scans you have already made, this caught me out during this very review when I wanted to take some screenshots of the app but I had just kicked off a scan of a rather large website.

In conclusion

I really like Scrutiny 5. It has a free 30 day trial which doesn’t appear to have any features crippled so you can really play with it and get a feel for how the product works. I recommend you check it out.

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