All the time and money you’ve spent developing your website is about to pay off. You’re soon to go live, which is both an exciting and daunting task. Whether this is your first website or one of many, you’ll know it has tons of moving parts to plan for and monitor.
Before your website goes public, you need to check and recheck the most minute details. Websites are complex, but it’s mostly the basic mistakes that end up costing you. Your website should run without any glitches, and you need to test it thoroughly before launch.
Your web developers need to make sure their code is testable too, so you may use a special staging platform to find bugs. However, web design is a multifaceted process that isn’t just limited to code.
Follow the nine points on our checklist below to make sure your website is a success and every part of it functions smoothly.
1. Proofread content
Nothing will turn off a visitor to your site more than a glaring typographic error. It’s one of those mistakes that can easily slip through. There’s no limit to the number of times your content should be proofread. Make sure it makes sense and has no grammatical errors or embarrassing typos.
You should have your content read by someone from your target audience to ensure it’s engaging and supports your brand strategy. It should help website visitors move down the conversion funnel smoothly.
Your content should be easy to read too, with the font size optimized for reading with short sentences and bullet points.
2. Test your links
The online experience is all about clicking on links and reaching your expected destination. When links don’t work or take you to a page that doesn’t exist, your users get exasperated.
Ensure all the following links on your website work. Test them repeatedly to check this.
- Internal links. These are links that connect your web pages with each other i.e links that point to other pages on the same website.
- External links. These links take you to another website.
- Outgoing links. These are backlinks from other websites, that take someone to your website. You have to check if clicking on these (on another website) leads you to the right page on your website or not.
- Email links. Such links are used to send emails to the admin or other users of the website.
3. Ensure mobile compatibility
Smartphones and tablets have the lion’s share of web browsing traffic. For the first time in history, desktop users are fewer in number than mobile users. In 2020, 68.1% of all website visits around the world came from mobile devices.
If your website is not compatible with mobile use, expect half of your users to leave your website as soon as they land on it. So, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and that you’ve used a mobile responsive design.
The buttons need to be large enough to tap with your finger, and filling in a form shouldn’t be a struggle. Users shouldn’t have to zoom in to read content or see a product image. You need to have a mobile-friendly website if you want to rank better on Google too.
Ensure your web development process documentation includes a mandatory mobile website section.
4. Implement search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO drives organic traffic to your website. As a site owner, it should be your priority.
If your website is optimized for SEO, you need to check your tactics are working. You probably have a set of research-based keywords, so check the following:
- Are your keywords included in the URL for each page, the title tag, page headings, and for image alt text?
- Do you have a meta description that includes the keyword?
- There are no incorrect spellings.
- There isn’t any keyword stuffing.
- You’ve used Google analytics because metrics can help.
5. Cookies testing
Cookies are used to maintain a user’s session on your website. They help your website remember users for a given period, especially if they’ve logged in. The personalized information they provide helps improve the browsing experience.
If your cookies don’t work, however, they can hamper the customer experience. So, test for user stats after the session ends, monitor how your website works when cookies are disabled and establish the effect on application security after deleting cookies.
6. Check site speed
Slow websites have higher bounce rates. You have roughly eight seconds to make an impression on the user, and you mustn’t waste it on having them stare at a loading screen icon. If your website makes visitors wait, they will simply switch to a competitor instead.
Site speed is also an important SEO ranking factor. A lot of free site speed tools can help you test for this.
7. Browser compatibility
Users will visit your website from a myriad of browsers. You’ve probably tested your site on your browser of choice, but test it for compatibility on the following browsers as well. Use an analytics tool to see which of these browsers makes up the majority of your traffic.
- Internet Explorer
When new browsers enter the market or the above browsers have major software updates, use regression testing to check if your code adapts as you’d wish it to.
8. Security testing
You could have a site that works wonderfully well, but it will be of no use if it’s hacked. Securing your website is your responsibility. You need to protect your data and your customers.
Check the following to remove any vulnerabilities from your website:
- You have an SSL certificate.
- You use CAPTCHA for bots.
- The system reacts to invalid login credentials.
- Your virus-detection system works.
- You’re using the best RPA tools to automate security checks. Automated update rollout and patching both improve the security of your website.
9. Have a backup solution in case of disaster
Lastly, have a backup solution ready in case you lose all your data. Before you launch your website, check your backup and analyze the working process. You should have a backup schedule in place too.
Use business continuity planning software so your business can keep running if your website is down. This is especially important if you have an e-commerce website.
Ready for launch?
Once your website is launched, your quality assurance teams should be on their toes at all times to ensure your users have the perfect experience. You can use a continuous integration setup for QA so you can make improvements on the go.
Publish your website when you are truly ready and have taken the time to complete the nine steps above. Once you are confident, unleash your dazzling design and outstanding interface on the world.
Felix Zoot Billson, Global App Testing
Felix Zoot Billson is the Head of Marketing for Global App Testing, a best-in-class software testing company that is founded on speed, impact, and effort. Felix has become adept at growing businesses by focusing on creating optimized customer experiences to maximize business impact and revenue. On the weekends, you’ll find him reading his favorite novels and mountain biking. Here is his LinkedIn.