In a nutshell, quality assurance testing is vital to ensure everything on your website works as it should. You can’t rely upon your developer or a supposedly tried and tested off-the-peg content management system to guarantee this for you.
On websites, a lot of things can go wrong. The business directors that requisition them rarely have sufficient eye for detail to appreciate this, let alone anticipate them. Details aren’t the way directors think, but in programming, every detail is mission critical. Programmers need to be driven by passion, not thanks!
The following pointers are just a starter for your quality validation checklist.
Google spots poor English even if customers don’t, and it can impact your SEO. Google says it rewards content, but blather is a turn off to human beings.
Inspect in all browsers
What works in one may fail dismally in another. Likewise, trial on all operating systems.
Test on multiple devices
Appearance and functionality will differ on different devices, and the range of these seems ever-expanding. Test on Android phones, iPhones, iPads and other tablets, wide-screens and old-shaped SVGAs. According to Forbes, poor mobile support is the leading cause of lost visitors.
This means links to other websites, internal pages and to media resources. If you have a site with multiple navigation methods and thousands of links and pictures, you’ll need help – consider using external software testing services, like https://www.bugfinders.com for some crowd-sourced assistance.
Check style consistency
Without style rules, centralised in a stylesheet, you’ll lose control. Getting them wrong can destroy page layouts.
This is especially important on pages with user input. A good SSL certificate helps your SEO too.
Test-run online forms
Make sure input fields (drop-downs etc.) are working, submit buttons actually submit, the data is retrievable and safely stored.
Are emails received and actioned?
If a customer tries to buy or enquire, whose responsibility is it to quickly respond?
Validate major functions
Always test key functional components rigourously, against a clear test plan. One company used software where VAT was accidentally added twice – they wondered why they had no orders for six months!
All pages should load within 4 seconds, or you have a problem that will turn off visitors and lower the ranking of your pages in Google.