The Ultimate Website Testing Checklist Before Going Live
Check out this checklist, which includes gems such as finding the small errors, securing your site against spam, and checking the usability.
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We know the excitement when it comes to launching your first web site. After working hard on the stunning design, user interface, and engaging content, you cannot wait to share it with the audience. Are you sure your website is completely ready to launch? Aren’t you missing anything in it?
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Most individuals often make their site live in a hurry without checking some essential factors, and later on, receive negative feedback from the users. It’s necessary to understand that launching a website is critical, as you can easily miss out on essential steps.
To help you avoid any mistakes while launching a site, we have created an ultimate checklist that will help you launch your new website smoothly. From the user interface to browser compatibility testing, we will cover everything that you need to know before making your site live.
1. Find out the Small Errors
Don’t be in a hurry to avoid typo errors. So, take your time and try to proofread as much content as possible on your site. If there are any typing errors on the home page or contact page, ask your designers to fix them. Also, you should look out for other media content as well, such as videos, audio files, and dummy text. While proofreading the content, keep these points in mind:
- Content must be engaging, easy to read with exact font size, and bullet points.
- Pictures on web pages must be optimized with alt text.
- Ensure audio, and video files are functioning properly.
2. Secure Your Site From Spam Links
The last thing you want is your site filled with spam and inappropriate links by hackers. No user will stay on your site if they are irritated again and again with spam links. Take your time to deal with these spam, or take help from plugins to deal with spam links before launching it. If you are launching a WordPress site, then prefer using iThemes Security, Antispam Bee — it is completely free and makes your site spam-free.
3. Check Usability of Your Site
Site usability is one of the most critical elements of a web app, which helps in conversion rates and SEO optimization, so make sure all the functional aspects of your website are working as expected. Consider the following points while checking the usability of your site:
- Pictures must be optimized for speed.
- Check call-to-action and contact forms.
- Test the overall experience of your site as a user.
- Check the login procedure, credentials, and roles if it’s a multi-user site.
Also, if you are launching an eCommerce site with payment options, then verify the payment options very carefully, including the success page redirect.
4. Verify the Navigation Process
Every web app works with navigation, and a visitor should never be unsure of which button to click while scrolling through your site. Check each navigation step from the home page to the checkout page while going through other areas of your website. Also, the on-site search should work accurately, thus, check each navigation step as an end-user.
5. Check Browser Compatibility
Visitors can access your site from any browser, device, or operating system. Thus, you should check the compatibility of your website with every browser other than the targeted browsers. If you are not able to test your site on every browser, then prefer checking it on more popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Though testing each browser manually is very complicated and time-consuming, you can take help from various cross-browsers testing tools, such as LambdaTest, Testingbot, Crossbrowsertesting. LambdaTest allows you to test your site across 2000+ browsers, operating systems, and devices. It even provides screenshot capturing, video recording, and bug tracking features while performing web app testing.
6. Ensure All URLs Are Live and Function Properly
As a developer, you will be very well aware of the fact that when a site is shifted from staging area to production, it becomes crucial to change all the URLs, which is not a smooth process. Although having a small corporate site with multiple pages, you can double-check the URLs manually. But, if you are launching a large website, then it’s recommended to use an automated testing tool that can fulfill your needs.
7. Check Mobile Responsiveness
Apart from testing the browser compatibility of your site, it is also crucial to check the mobile responsiveness of your website. Not only Google focuses on mobile-first indexing, but more than 70% of users prefer to browse the internet over mobile these days. Your web app should be as functional and pleasing on mobile as it is on desktops.
When checking the mobile responsiveness, verify whether texts are easy to read or not on mobile devices, content should appear in the same format as desktops, buttons should have proper spacing, and navigation must be comfortable. To check the mobile responsiveness of your site, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or online responsive testing tool.
8. Check the Site Loading Speed
A few years ago, Google experienced a 20% traffic drop due to 0.5 seconds delay in page loading. Today, if there is a delay of even 0.1 seconds in page loading, then you can lose up to 40% of traffic on your site. Therefore, maintaining site speed should be one of the top priorities for you. Page loading speed has also become a Google ranking factor, which means if your site load immediately, it will help you improve your rank on search engines.
To check the site loading speed, you can take help from Google’s PageSpeed Insights and check every page loading speed individually. To get a detailed analysis of every page speed issues, check the Content Analysis module, Pages, and switch to technical factors. To improve the page loading speed, you can consider the following points.
- Use responsive media files and store then on a content delivery network to reduce the load on the server.
- Switch to a faster hosting provider by testing multiple vendors, reading the reviews on forums and communities.
- Prefer using compression to zip large pages with the help of tools like Gzip.
There are some other steps as well for speed optimization, consult your developers to implement these steps in your site.
9. Verify the Web Content Is Optimized for SEO
You surely don’t want to be on the last page on search engines, thus, ensure the content on every page of your site is optimized and SEO friendly. Check whether every page on your website has a unique title tag and meta description.
The most critical elements for content optimization are titles, headings and body content, URLs, images and alt text, and meta descriptions. Also, check proper keywords are used and placed at an appropriate location in the page content.
10. Double-Check Site’s Security With SSL Certificate
Securing your site from hackers is your responsibility, so having an SSL certificate is the top priority. It will ensure that your web app is encrypted to intercept its data from hackers. It will not only help you secure your site’s data and provide ease to users, but also boost the SEO performance as SSL has become a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm.
If your site includes an SSL certificate, then you can move it to a new server for launch; however, if it’s not, then buy an SSL certificate, set up, and install a new SSL. It will take a little longer to set up the SSL certificate, take your time to launch the web app.
11. Validate HTML and CSS
According to Google, minor HTML/CSS error doesn’t harm your site’s results, but it is recommended to verify that the code is proper and clean. So, we prefer scanning pages to find errors in it with free tools like W3C Markup Validator and W3C CSS Validator.
Though minor defects in HTML/CSS doesn’t affect the SEO of your site, it can affect the performance and site speed. Thus, double-check every code properly before launching your site to ensure visitors have a great experience visiting your site.
12. Have a Backup Solution for Disaster
No one wants to lose their website data after launching it because they have put hard work and effort in creating it. So, install a backup solution in case if anything goes wrong. Before launching the site, check the backup solution properly, it will help you analyze the working process of the backup solution as well as save you from stress and headache if something happens to your site after launch.
Taking the above points into consideration will help you launch your website successfully. You can assign the above tasks to your team individually, and then double-check every element to ensure everything is going to be fine.
Creating and launching a website has become easier with platforms like WordPress, Wix, etc. Ensuring it is up to Google’s standards and will achieve good ranking on the search engine is not that simple. That’s why it’s necessary to check every small component of your site before launching it. Here, we have provided a unique checklist of elements that you must check before making your website live to the users to ensure they have a great experience visiting your site.
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