BY Fast Company SA 2 MINUTE READ
Why? For fixing the Internet

Serendipity is often the spark behind the most revolutionary and innovative products. This was no different for local startup What started out as their own fix for various problems within a single website’s code, led Passmarked’s founders on a journey of discovery—not only of how flawed the Internet is as a sum of its billions of imperfect parts but of a big-picture solution that would bring together the global coding fraternity to unite behind the cause of improved global web standards. 

“Our goal is to harness the power of the global collective—the crowd and the cloud—to fix the Internet for today and for future generations.”

With open-sourced access to a repository of all web code, Passmarked serves to identify errors and issues and suggest corrections simultaneously in a way never before seen on the Internet. The problem is that the Internet is broken—and no one knows it. There are about a billion websites today, with most built by DIY novices with limited knowledge of security, mobile compatibility and other performance issues. And that’s bad news, considering that about 80% of connected devices today are mobile, and that modern humans do almost everything online, including shopping, banking and running their businesses. 

Passmarked enables one to test a website’s four key risk areas—security, performance, compatibility across devices, and content—to identify errors and solutions in a flash. It’s the first and only all-in-one, free, open-sourced, website-testing tool in the world. 

Coders, website owners or anyone interested in testing a website can enter its URL on the Passmarked home page. The program then runs the quick four-category test and immediately issues a nifty report card showing the tester exactly where the issues in the code are, by category, and how to fix them. Any website can be tested, and the results are open to the public. Passmarked has a basic version that’s “free for humans forever”, and more advanced versions for more complex jobs. 

As with most companies that have a fundamental global appeal, Passmarked is underpinned by a philosophy based on making a difference to the whole problem at its root cause, not simply the symptoms. “Passmarked has a big role to play in making the Internet a safer, more transparent, accessible and business-friendly environment for people all around the world,” says founder Barry Botha. “In the age of rapid digital migration, mainly to mobile, it was high time the world got a tool like this.” Co-founder Johann du Toit, the first Google Developer Expert in Africa, adds: “Our goal is to harness the power of the global collective—the crowd and the cloud—to fix the Internet for today and for future generations.” 

Botha explains that Passmarked has the potential to address a multitude of interconnected problems with the performance of websites across the worldwide web: from making online shopping portals faster and more secure, to making the mobile Internet more responsive in Africa, and quickly identifying dangerous cybersecurity issues on commonly used sites. 

“By pulling together all the most important and widely accepted current web standards, and inviting the world’s coders to get involved to contribute rules that they believe will be beneficial to the Internet community, we’ll be able to create a de facto universal global benchmarking standard for website performance. If a site gets a high Passmarked score, you know it meets internationally accepted standards that the community agrees with.”