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How is Sitebulb different to other crawlers?

I was recently asked the following question about Sitebulb on Twitter:

Blink SEO Tweet

I tried and failed to write my answer in 140 characters, so I gave up and went all in with a full scale document.

TL;DR - Sitebulb isn't just a 'crawler.' It's a website audit tool.

Desktop AND Cloud

First things first, Sitebulb is the only crawler on the market that offers a desktop product (like Screaming Frog) AND a cloud product (like DeepCrawl). That means, whatever the scale of website audits ahead of you, there’s a Sitebulb to suit. 

Whether you’re just starting out or leading a large SEO team, you’ll always get the same award-winning features, like Hints, prioritization, JavaScript rendering, and helpful support. The only difference is scale.

Sitebulb Desktop vs Sitebulb Cloud comparison table

Sitebulb is much more than just a crawler

Every SEO worth their salt knows what a crawler is. Every SEO worth their salt already pays for crawler software, often from multiple providers.

We knew this when we set out building Sitebulb, so we knew we couldn't build 'just another crawler'.

We knew we had to build more than just a crawler. We felt that, in order to compete in this market, we had to build something that would deliver: 

  • answers rather than questions 
  • opportunities rather than problems, and would 
  • shortcuts to vital insights. 

And, importantly, would give you the ability to communicate all this to your clients or bosses.

We also know that there are lots of advanced technical SEOs who love to manipulate the raw data themselves. They like nothing more than a massive CSV export or SQL file. To be honest, if this is you, you're not really our target customer.

Why? Because Sitebulb will do a lot of this manipulation for you - saving you loads of time in the process. It then presents the data in a huge variety of ways; there are data tables and graphs galore, filtered URL Lists, pre-designed bulk exports, and context specific Hints to highlight potential issues.

That doesn’t mean you can’t trawl through a massive list of URLs if you want to though. Sitebulb flips the audit workflow to present you with opportunities and prioritized issues upfront, but you can always dive deeper into specific URLs later on.

Prioritized recommendations

When you crawl a website, your purpose is not simply to end up with a pile of data, it is to end up with an understanding of the issues on the website so you can put forward a set of recommendations that will make a positive difference.

Sitebulb makes this job easy. Using the 'Hints' system, it shows you when you have critical issues that demand your attention:

Critical Hint

It also shows you how much of the site is affected, and whether these are indexable or not indexable URLs. All of this data provides the additional context you need in order to make quick decisions.

Every Hint comes with an importance status - Critical, High, Medium or Low - so you can instantly see where the issues lie and where to focus your time.

It is just as useful to understand which 'issues' are low impact, and can be ignored for the time being. After all, if everything’s a priority, nothing is.

Low Hint

Every Hint also comes with a call to action button to 'Learn more', which takes you to a dedicated page on our website that explains exactly what the issue is and how to resolve it. You can either follow along yourself or pass it straight on to your developer to fix.

“Sitebulb Hints and issue prioritization has helped us spot those obvious things that are holding back client performance quicker. This means we can get results for our clients quicker.

“Ultimately, the faster we can get audits done, the sooner we can make improvements and start making the website work harder for us.”                      Sophie Gibson, StudioHawk

Audit scores

Every audit comes with a set of scores out of 100. Scores deliver instant meaning and provide a framework for further investigation; you can quickly spot areas of weakness to dive into, then scan through the prioritized Hints to understand what is holding the site back.

Audit Scores

Scores are calculated for every section, meaning you can really zero in on areas for improvement. There is a score specifically for SEO, so you can easily demonstrate to clients or bosses that your SEO is on the right track by logging improvements in this score.

SEO Score

Beautiful visualizations

Sitebulb heavily uses data visualization to help you quickly spot patterns, and they can be copy-pasted into client reports to help express complex ideas with clarity.

Indexability graphs

And then there are our award-winning Crawl Maps. Crawl Maps tackle that big question that has been gnawing at SEOs for years: "how do we explain site architecture to clients (or other non-SEO muggles)?"

Crawl Maps provide a fantastic, visual, intuitive way to do this, which is one of the reasons they are so popular. The other, of course, is that they help the SEO themselves to better understand a website. One quick look at a Crawl Map can tell you information it would have taken hours to extract manually.

Crawl Map Example

Flexible reporting options

Understanding website issues is only half the battle. The other half involves communicating with your client/boss/developer and convincing them to take action to actually implement the changes you are recommending.

Sitebulb is designed with this task in mind:

  • Use the Hint system to correctly prioritize your recommendations and demonstrate severity.
  • Include graphs and visualizations to highlight your points.
  • Use the plain English descriptions of issues to help explain why they need to take action.
  • Refer clients or developers to the 'Learn More' documentation to understand how to deal with each specific issue.
  • Utilize the audit scores to communicate top level ideas to executives.
  • Export any issue to CSV or Google Sheets to give to developers as a 'list of things to fix.'

You can either put this together using your own existing templates and methodology... or you can take advantage of Sitebulb's built-in PDF reporting.

At the click of a button, produce a completely white-label PDF report that can be customized for different use cases.

Customise PDF options

Sitebulb is a comprehensive website auditor

So what we've actually built is a product that doesn't simply crawl your website and spit out the data for you to analyze yourself. It will do a ton of the analysis for you. It would be much more accurate to call Sitebulb a 'website auditor' than a 'crawler.'

This point really sums up Sitebulb, as one of customers picked up on:

Tony Spencer

Tony Spencer

"This is so, so good. You’ve really nailed a significant problem that used to take me hours using a smash up of Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, custom Ruby scripts, and a ton of manual hunt and peck."

If you love getting your hands dirty with the data and spending hours building all the reports yourself, then Sitebulb is probably not for you. But if you’re like Tony, and you want to save yourself a ton of time on unnecessary processes, then Sitebulb could be exactly the solution you are looking for.

The best of both worlds

Sitebulb offers the convenience and lower price point of desktop software, and marries this with enterprise level data visualization and analysis. It can crawl websites of practically any size and scale, and uses a cutting-edge Chromium browser for JavaScript rendering - literally no website is out of reach.

Sitebulb has been built with SEO expertise baked in. This is perfect for less experienced SEOs as it helps steer them in the right direction, but it also means that more advanced SEOs can spend more time focusing on the really clever stuff. Instead of wasting hours in spreadsheets trying to identify issues, Sitebulb just tells you them straight off the bat.

If this sounds like it will save you time AND make you better at your job, that's because it will.

Upgrading from Desktop to Cloud

If you're currently using Sitebulb Pro but think you could benefit from Cloud, you can learn more about our revolutionary cloud crawler here.