Perhaps a better question to ask is this: how do you know that Google has crawled and indexed all of your website’s pages? If you’re a little guy, that’s easy; you can count that high. But those with bigger sites can easily lose track, as Mike Moran points out. And if you don’t at least have some kind of an estimate for the number of pages on your website, you don’t know if the search engines left any of them out of their indexes – or, indeed, just how many didn’t make it in.
I’ve been working at SEO Chat now for nearly eight years, and I can’t begin to even guess how many pages we encompass. I’m not proud of this, especially since I’ve written so many articles during that time (and edited most of the rest). I know I’m not alone in facing this kind of problem. Fortunately, Moran mentions four ways to get an answer to this burning question.
Perhaps the easiest way is to ask your webmaster how many pages your website contains. The fine folks in IT are pretty much required to know this information because of what they do every day pertaining to your website. Indeed, they’ve probably been asked this before, and have the answer close to hand.
If you don’t want to go to your webmaster, you can try going to your content management system (CMS). Most of these will tell you how many pages they are currently handling. If you use more than one CMS, make sure you query them all. Moran notes that “Even a free CMS such as WordPress can do this,” leaving you with few excuses for not collecting this information.
But suppose for some reason you can’t do this. You still need to know how many pages your website includes. There are programs that can help you with this. They will spider your site, rather like the search engines spider your site for indexing. A program such as Xenu will even turn up pages that you might otherwise overlook.
And if worse comes to worst? Well, you can take a guess. Before you stare at me in shock, remember that “it’s better to hazard a guess than to just throw up your hands,” according to Moran. Why? Well, I have to assume that you still care at least somewhat about your finances if you’re running a business with a website – right? So, don’t you want to know what you’re spending? Of course you do. Unless you’re running some kind of hobby site as a labor of love with free hosting and unlimited bandwidth (and even that isn’t truly “unlimited” these days), then every website page costs money. If you can estimate the number of pages your website includes, you can better understand how much money you’re spending on it. As Moran points out, “A guess is better than nothing.”