17th October 2017

Chrome Dev Tools

Chrome Dev Tools

What is Chrome Dev Tools?

Chrome Development Tools (Dev Tools) are tools found inside the Google Chrome browser. The Dev Tools panel allows you to interact with the HTML, CSS and JavaScript of just about any site on the internet. This can save Developers a lot of time as they can edit and instantly preview code live in the browser allowing them to quickly debug issues or play with ideas.

You can access Dev Tools by right clicking anywhere on a page and selecting ‘Inspect‘ or you can simply click F12 if on Windows. You should then see a panel appear (usually on the right hand side) showing you the HTML and CSS on the page, this is the elements tab.

Elements

The upper half of the Elements tab shows you all the HTML on the page. Hovering over pieces of code should highlight different areas of the page. The bottom half of the panel, displays the CSS on the page. In the CSS section, you will see as you hover over different lines of code, a checkbox appears. These can be checked on and off so you can see what a page would look like with or without a certain piece of code.

This code is also customisable by simply double clicking on a line of code. This is great for Developers attempting to fix a bug. A Developer can preview the code in DevTools, before actually implementing it into the code file – saving a lot of time and money.

Also at the bottom of the Elements tab, you should also see the Box Model, allowing you to see the page’s Margin, Border and Padding dimensions. This is also customisable by a double click. Once Dev Tools is exited and the page is refreshed, the page will return to it’s original state.

Console

The next tab is console. This allows you to interact with the JavaScript on the page as well as being a Command Line tool. There are lots of commands that can be used on the console such as:

  • The ${ } allows a user to select DOM Elements on the page.
  • The clear();  command allows you to clear the console’s history.
  • The monitor(function); command logs a message to the console, that indicates the function name, with the arguments that are passed to the function when it was called.
  • The unmonitor(function); stops the monitoring of the specified function
  • The debug(function); command breaks inside the function and allows you to step through the code and debug it.
  • The undebug(function); stops the debugging of the specified function so that when the function is called, the debugger is no longer invoked.

Sources

What data can you actually see with Google Analytics? The three most important sections are:

  • Audience. The Audience Section is one of the most important sections in Analytics. It allows you to see the total amount of Sessions, Users, Page Views, Location, Average Bounce Rate and Average Session Duration of each person using your site, within a particular time frame. From this information, you can answer questions such as; “When is the best time to send out my Newsletter?”, “What are the best times to post to Facebook/Twitter?”.
  • Acquisition. The Acquisition Section is another one of the most important sections. It outlines how your users reached your website whether that be Direct, Referral or Social Media. Direct is when the user accesses the site direct, by typing in the URL. Referral is when a user visits your site from a source outside of it’s search engine e.g. a Hyperlink or Ad. Social Media is when a user visits your site via a link in Social Media e.g. Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  • Behavior. This section tells you what users are doing on your site. You can see how many of your users visit a particular page, how long they are staying on that page and how many exit the site from that page. This section can give you really vital information, as you can see which pages are visited the most, and which ones your users may not be interested in.

Another great feature of Google Analytics, is Goals. You have to think about the purpose of the site, What do you want to achieve? Who is it for? The answers to these questions are your goals. Google has it’s own examples of Goals such as ‘X amount of Sign-Ups’, ‘X amount of purchases/Online Payments’,  or ‘X amount of Newsletter Sign-Ups’.

There are many more features of Google Analytics, too many to explain in-fact.

Network

Google Analytics is a powerful Application for tracking traffic patterns on your website. The fact that the program is completely free, makes it even more valuable. The User Interface looks great, it’s easy to use, and the application is used by thousands, upon thousands of businesses worldwide.

It allows you to see on your site what is working well, what isn’t working well, what users like to look at , what they don’t like to look at and where in the world they are. It can help you make important decisions for your site about what your users actually want to see. The Set-Up of Google Analytics is also relatively easy. All that is required is a short piece of code (called Tracking Code) to be copied and pasted into the Head Section of your code, or the intallation of a Plug-In (if you are using a CMS such as WordPress) and that’s it. You will begin to see results within 24 hours of Google Analytics being fully set-up.

Performance

Google Analytics is a powerful Application for tracking traffic patterns on your website. The fact that the program is completely free, makes it even more valuable. The User Interface looks great, it’s easy to use, and the application is used by thousands, upon thousands of businesses worldwide.

It allows you to see on your site what is working well, what isn’t working well, what users like to look at , what they don’t like to look at and where in the world they are. It can help you make important decisions for your site about what your users actually want to see. The Set-Up of Google Analytics is also relatively easy. All that is required is a short piece of code (called Tracking Code) to be copied and pasted into the Head Section of your code, or the intallation of a Plug-In (if you are using a CMS such as WordPress) and that’s it. You will begin to see results within 24 hours of Google Analytics being fully set-up.

Memory

Google Analytics is a powerful Application for tracking traffic patterns on your website. The fact that the program is completely free, makes it even more valuable. The User Interface looks great, it’s easy to use, and the application is used by thousands, upon thousands of businesses worldwide.

It allows you to see on your site what is working well, what isn’t working well, what users like to look at , what they don’t like to look at and where in the world they are. It can help you make important decisions for your site about what your users actually want to see. The Set-Up of Google Analytics is also relatively easy. All that is required is a short piece of code (called Tracking Code) to be copied and pasted into the Head Section of your code, or the intallation of a Plug-In (if you are using a CMS such as WordPress) and that’s it. You will begin to see results within 24 hours of Google Analytics being fully set-up.