How Insites sees websites

Insites does not see a webpage like most software ‘bots’. Instead Insites sees pages almost exactly as real users do – in a real web browser.

Insites versus traditional bots

Insites Traditional bot
Pages are tested in both mobile and desktop devices. Simulation of a device is impossible, no distinction can be made between mobile or desktop.
Screenshots of every page. Screenshots are not possible.
Can interact with pages just like a person would, e.g. logging in, performing searches, and testing these features work. See User journeys. Interaction is not possible.
Can test almost every part of any website, including areas behind JavaScript or AJAX. Completely unable to test certain web pages.
Full pages are loaded just like a real person, including images, scripts, fonts, styles. Accurate testing of all parts of a page is possible. For example, we can assess font size, mobile layout, color contrast and more. Only the code for the page is loaded. Only testing of that code possible.
Able to measure how long pages take to become interactive (usable) in real browsers. Only able to test how long page code takes to be transmitted.

Technical details

Most of Insites’ analysis is conducted on computed source.

Insites loads each webpage in the Chrome browser, which allows us to simulate a wide range of devices accurately. Our standard devices are as follows:

  • Desktop – A Windows desktop PC using Chrome
  • Mobile – A portrait iPhone 6 using Safari

We load each page as a normal user would, executing any JavaScript the page requires. Where requested, we run custom interactions with each page as we go – for example, we might close any cookie law notifications, or check to confirm our age before entering a website.

We gather a tremendous amount of data from each page for testing, including:

  • A screenshot of the page, as it appeared in our device.
  • The layout of the page, e.g., what areas appear off the side, or below the fold.
  • List of all resources (images, stylesheets, etc.) and redirections used, including their timings.
  • The interactive state of the page over time, e.g., when could a page be used, when was it finished.
  • Any JavaScript or network errors.
  • The computed HTML, i.e., the final HTML of the page after scripts have finished modifying it. (This allows us to test areas only accessible via JavaScript).
  • The font size, typeface, color and contrast of all text areas of the page.
  • And much more.
  • How devices are simulated

The following areas are covered when impersonating a given device (e.g., an iPhone):

  • The pixel and logical pixel resolution
  • The user agent
  • Explicit and calculated viewports (e.g. zoom to fit)
  • Device capabilities (e.g., Flash is not possible on mobile)
  • Bandwidth (e.g., 3G or 4G connectivity for mobile)