So you built a brand new website. Great job! But what if as soon as you launch it, you get a text from a close friend saying you have a huge spelling error on the homepage? Or even worse – what if your images look grainy and no one can see them, or your website doesn’t look right on a mobile device?
That’s where website testing comes in.
What is website testing?
Website testing can also be described as troubleshooting. When you’re developing a website, it’s important to find the issues that could potentially go wrong before it goes live to the public. By testing, issues like basic functionality of the website, accessibility to users, and the site’s ability to adapt to responsive devices (like smart phones, tablets, and desktop devices) can be addressed and fixed before your website is launched.
What should I look for when I test my website?
When you’re ready to test your website, make sure to test each page of your site that you want to be live for the public. When you open each page, there a number of things you should look for, including the following:
- Responsiveness: Just because one page looks great in Chrome doesn’t mean it’ll look the same on a mobile device – or even a different browser. Test each link in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and on a mobile and tablet device. How do your pages render when you open them? If some images are off center on mobile but look fine on all desktop browsers, that’s a red flag that something needs to be fixed.
- Look and Flow: How do your images and content blocks look? Maybe there’s a little too much space between your content, or your images are too close together. Make sure all of your images and spacing of text looks good.
- Grammar and Spelling: You’ve spent a lot of time coming up with the perfect content for your website. That’s why it’s now more important than ever to make sure you don’t have any grammatical or spelling errors. It may help to have someone else to look at your content and act as a second set of eyes, as it’s easy to overlook mistakes in content you’ve been looking at for a long time.
- Links: Nothing is worse than going to a website, clicking on a Facebook or Twitter icon, and being taken to a completely irrelevant page (or no page at all if the link doesn’t work). Click on each link, whether they’re your social icon links or links in your content, and make sure they go to the right place.
- Contact Forms: Do you have a contact form on your page? Fill it out to make sure each field works. When you click submit, verify that the correct thank you page comes up, and check your email to make sure your request was submitted.
If you have issues in any of these basic areas, it’s a sure sign you need to make some changes. And when you identify any issues before the site goes live, it saves you time in the long run – plus your visitors won’t be telling you something doesn’t work.