When Does it Make Sense to Test Your Website?
Testing a website is an important step in the website design process. However, it’s not always clear when it makes sense.
Many factors come into play when making this decision. In this article, we’ll discuss some of those factors and help you decide when it’s time to test your website. One thing is clear, however: the software testing cost is worth it.
Table of Contents
1. When You First Launch Your Website
When you first launch your website, test everything to ensure that it’s working properly. There are a few things you should always check:
- All the links on your website should work, including any external links.
- All the forms on your website should work and submit correctly.
- Any photos or videos on your website should load fast. Otherwise, add descriptions in their placeholders.
- All the text on your website should be easy to read and free of errors.
Testing your website thoroughly before launching it will help ensure that visitors have a positive experience and are able to easily find the information they’re looking for.
2. When You Make Changes to Your Website
Anytime you make changes to your website, test them thoroughly before making these updates live. Even the small ones can impact your website’s performance, and you don’t want to inadvertently cause any problems.
Take, for example, adding or removing a plug-in. While this might not seem like a big deal, it can cause conflicts with other parts of your website and break things. So test any changes you make, no matter how small, to avoid any potential issues.
Testing also allows you to see how real users will interact with the changes, and it can help you identify any potential issues.
There are a number of different ways to test website changes, but some of the most common methods include:
- A/B testing. It is a great way to compare two different versions of a web page to see which one performs better.
- Usability testing. This allows you to test how easy it is for users to use your website and navigate through the changes you’ve made.
- Load testing. It helps ensure that your website can handle the increased traffic that may result from the changes.
By thoroughly testing any changes you make to your website, you can avoid potential problems and ensure that your site continues to run smoothly.
3. When You Upgrade Your Website Platform
A website platform is the software that powers your website. Over time, you may need to upgrade yours to a newer version to take advantage of new features or security updates.
In certain situations, you should change it from one system to another. For example, you might want to move from a static HTML website to a content management system (CMS).
Upgrading your website platform is a big change that may be riddled with many possible flaws. These include:
- Incompatibility issues with your existing website design or themes
- Poor performance due to server configuration errors
- Problems with existing content, such as posts, pages, and media files
- Bugs that impact the usability of your website
You can better prepare for these probable issues by testing your site before, during, and after migration. This way, you can easily compare the two versions and identify any potential problems.
4. When You Migrate Your Website to a New Domain
If you change your website’s domain name, you need to do a 301 redirect. This is a server-side instruction that tells visitors and search engines that your website has moved to a new location.
A 301 redirect is the best way to preserve your website’s ranking in search engines and avoid losing traffic. However, if it’s not done correctly, it can result in many problems, such as:
- 404 errors. When a user tries to visit a page on your old domain, they’ll see a “page not found” error message.
- Redirect chains. A redirect chain happens when there are multiple redirects between the old and new domains. This can cause delays in loading times and may even prevent some pages from loading entirely.
- Duplicate content. If you don’t set up your redirects properly, you could end up with duplicate content on both your old and new domains. This can hurt your website’s ranking in search engines.
To avoid these potential problems, test your 301 redirects before implementing them. You can use a tool like Redirect Detective to see how your redirects are working.
5. When Something Seems Out of the Norm
Here’s one reason why you should monitor website performance: it’s easy for you to catch data that seems “off.” For instance, you may receive a sudden surge of traffic.
At first glance, it may sound like great news. But what if it’s coming from a malicious source, such as a botnet? If you don’t catch it, your website could crash.
Or what if one of your pages has a high bounce rate? That could be an indication that something’s wrong with that page, such as broken links or poor content.
Once you observe these “out of the norm” data, you can investigate further to determine the root cause. And if necessary, take measures to prevent any serious issues.
There are many reasons to test your website. By doing so, you can avoid potential problems and ensure that your site continues to run smoothly.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider these five situations. In each of these cases, testing can help you identify any potential issues and take measures to prevent them. As a result, you can keep your website running smoothly and avoid any disruptions in service.