If your company has taken the time and resources to develop a new website, the website will need to be tested before it is deployed to the world. Website testing is defined as a method to check whether the final website matches the expected requirements and provides an optimal user experience. It ensures that the site is bug and defect free. Website testing may involve using manual or automated tools which evaluate functionality on a variety of levels. Ultimately, website testing is crucial and exists to identify errors, gaps, or missing requirements in comparison to requirements defined at the beginning of site development.
If You Should Hire A Partner
Maybe you have developed the website in-house or you may have enlisted a vendor partner to do custom development. In either of these cases, once the development is complete you have the option to have an in-house team or the vendor company, who created the website, do the testing. However, did you know you can completely outsource all your website testing needs to an expert team of professionals such as Thornton Consulting Firm? There are parts of website testing that should always be completed by individuals who were not a part of the development team. Partnering with a team like Thornton Consulting Firm brings the third-party objectivity your company needs just before website deployment.
Limitations of In-House Testing
Before taking on the job of in-house website testing you will want to know your team’s limitations. For example, imagine you had a brand-new website developed for your company. Before deployment, you need to know if the website performs seamlessly (without crashing) when it has 1 visitor or 10,000 visitors. How do you accomplish this? Invite 10,000 of your closest friends to visit your site for signups and downloads? Not likely! If your team doesn’t have the proper tools at its disposal your testing process may fall short. Thornton Consulting Firm is equipped to handle load and volume testing with the latest technology and tools.
The Power of a Checklist
Once your website is developed there are several steps that should be tested in order to provide the intended user experience (and avoid embarrassment). Here are 15 important items that you should take care of before launching your website. This simple checklist can save your business countless hours and dollars by ensuring critical items are not overlooked during the website testing process.
- The site is mobile-responsive. – Manually check how your website displays on mobile devices (phones and tablets) to ensure the layout properly adjusts to fit the screen. This enables website visitors to easily read content and use the website to take action, no matter what device they are on.
- Images are optimized. – The size of content, like image files, on a website directly affects site speed. Ensure that optimal image file types are utilized and images are sized properly.
- All buttons and links function properly. – Test to make sure there are no broken links. Also be intentional about having links open in the same browser tab versus a new browser tab.
- All forms function properly. – Verify the email address where form submissions are received. Test to confirm receipt, ensure that the field inputs are properly captured, and intended on-page messages are displayed.
- Verify the website’s sitemap. – Many times during development, additional pages are created as drafts and are not intended for the public eye. A good check to make sure these pages are properly designated as draft is to use the sitemap to make page status adjustments.
- Check browser compatibility. – Users access websites from a variety of browsers. Before launching, verify performance and display on all major browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
- SSL certificate is in place. – Website security is a non-negotiable these days, especially for websites that require passwords and accept payments or donations. Having an SSL certificate in place shows that you care about protecting your viewers and customers.
- All pages have unique title tags and meta descriptions – Complete SEO tasks like creating title tags and meta descriptions for all pages as soon as possible to help search engines understand your website’s content, which will in turn help people find your site.
- Appropriate permalinks are configured. – It’s important for page URLs to be interpretable and help the viewer understand that they are on the right page.
- Text is accurate. – At the end of the day, one of the top reasons why you endeavored to create a website is to communicate your services, products or even your thoughts to the world. Before launching, carefully proofread all text to eliminate grammatical and spelling errors, remove any lingering placeholder text and make adjustments to increase clarity and engagement.
- All images have alt text. – Alt text describes what is depicted in the image; therefore, helping users and Google better understand your content.
- Install website analytics software. – Start capturing analytics as soon as possible to gain insights about how people utilize the website and to help make future performance improvements.
- 404 page is set. – The Page Not Found (404 error) page is often forgotten during website development. Specifically confirm its content to make sure it contains the desired message and doesn’t include weird placeholder text and images.
- The appropriate time zone is being used. – There are cases where the day and time may be displayed on the frontend of the site (i.e., event calendar, forum or message board). Ensure that the site is operating in the intended time zone to avoid confusion.
- Brand’s favicon is displayed in the browser tab. – Ensure a professional look by making sure the company favicon is displayed in the browser tab.
There are several tools at the website tester’s disposal to ensure the defined functions are properly tested. Through time proven expertise, the team at Thornton Consulting Firm utilizes the proper tools necessary to fit your website testing needs including accessibility, load and volume testing. Our goal is to serve our business customers with website and software testing solutions designed to ensure the smooth deployment of a quality product. We want to make your website development process less time consuming and less costly.