Why test your web site?
A website is the on-line face of your business. It’s also software that is complex and available to anyone who browses your site around the world. Testing your site ensures you put your best face forward on the web.
When you consider the value of testing your web site, think about other business decisions you make. For example, when you design a new brochure, do you proofread it yourself and have someone else look at it, too? What happens if an error gets through and you print 10,000 brochures?
Depending on the error, you may have to reprint the brochure or print labels to cover the mistake.
The reasons for testing a web site are similar. You want to eliminate errors and incompatibilities. If you test up front before launching, you should save money because you already have the web site designer under contract.
When should your web site be tested?
You should test a web site at various times as follows:
Perform a thorough test just before a new or redesigned web site launches.
Test all modifications every time changes are uploaded to the web, even daily changes.
Test all external links periodically to make sure they are still valid.
Test the site on new browsers and operating systems as they become available.
Perform a thorough test if you move your site to a new hosting provider or web server.
Keep in mind that every change you make to a web site, no matter how small should be tested to ensure it works properly.
Always test changes immediately before and after uploading to the live site.
Who should test your web site?
For best results, have an independent 3rd party test your web site. This is a person that didn’t design or program the site. Using a 3rd party is like getting a second opinion on a medical procedure or having your home inspected by a professional. Doing those things can save you time, money, and headaches down the road.
With a 3rd party, you may pay for the web testing separately, but save money by getting problems fixed before your site is launched or your changes are uploaded to the live site. If your site is in a test location, your prospects and customers shouldn’t see the problems found by the tester.
Every time you change your web site, make a list of what was changed. Write down the web page and the exact changes made no matter how minor. This list of changes will help serve as a checklist when you are ready to test.