Building a brand new website is a multi-step process where every step is equally as important as the last. However, there is one final (very important) step that many undervalue, and that is running essential quality assurance tests before and after your website has been launched live.
Understanding the concept of quality assurance and what to look for during testing will improve your chances of launching your site error-free.
We’ve assembled a comprehensive quality assurance checklist to help you check and double-check your website to ensure that it provides a smooth and error-free user experience for your site visitors.
Is your site compatible with the most popular and widely used browsers? These include Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari. And these are just the popular ones. There are others out there.
Go through every page of your website on each browser. When browsing your website ask yourself the following questions:
This process may take some time, but it will be well worth it since users will access your site from a wide variety of browsers.
Mobile technology has taken over the world. Practically every man, woman, and child owns a smartphone nowadays. It’s expected that more than 4.78 billion people will own smartphones by 2020 (based off a study done by eMarketer). If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s safe to say you’ll be missing out on a massive segment of your customer base.
To test for mobile compatibility, open your site on a number of mobile devices including iPads, iPhones, and Androids.
Is your site distorted? Is it difficult to navigate around? Is it easy to tap links and buttons? Are images getting cutoff or stretched? Are any elements misaligned or showing anomalous asymmetry?
Here’s a quick tip, you can use a web-based tool like BrowserStack to simulate the mobile experience. With instant access to more than 2,000 browsers and real iOS and Android devices, you shouldn’t have any issues running as many QA tests as you need until you’re satisfied.
The checkout cart is the final stage in the purchasing decision. If it malfunctions, you can miss out on potential sales. Here are a few things to test:
Checking internal links and navigation elements is a simple process. Click on every link and menu item on your site and ensure they’re functioning properly. As you run your tests check for missing content or missing pages.
Ensure none of your links point to 301 redirected URLs (they should always return a 200 response code).
If your link leads to a downloadable file, such as a PDF, check to see if it downloads properly.
Check all call-to-action (CTA) buttons are functioning properly. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to lose interest because your CTA button decided to fail on you at the last moment.
Forms are used to collect information from your site visitors. Therefore, it’s important that they’re functioning properly.
Here are a few things to check:
If your goal is to improve your search engine ranking, you’ll need to include an SEO audit in your QA testing. Old school strategies are no longer as relevant as they once were. Organic results are declining, and they’re being replaced with new ad hybrids, direct answers, and other relevant results.
When running an SEO audit on your site, make sure you’re following the latest best practices to ensure you’re covering all of your bases:
Your GA pixel should fire properly, and your data should be accurate. Double check everything is set up correctly and tracking the right way.
You can test your instance with Google Tag Assistant. This tool will tell you if your GA code is firing properly and placed in the correct part of your website.
And if you are using Google Tag Manager, then all you have to do is check via Preview Mode. If you want to learn more about how to implement Google Analytics using the lightweight GTM code, then read all about it here.
Think of your website as a representation of your business. It represents the top tier services you provide, your level of commitment, and your excellent reputation.
Launching your website error free is just the beginning. You must continue to monitor and test it on a monthly basis to ensure no new problems creep up.
Sometimes this can be a tall order. Always know that there are agencies out there that can do the heavy lifting for you.
How to you QA your website on a regular basis? What hurdles have you overcome? Tell us about it in the comments section below!