Websites have become a critical factor in the modern era. Almost every business has its own website (the correct statement should be EVERY business). Having a polished, functional, technically developed, and attractive website is a mirror for your business.
Now, there will be many interactions between you and the developer regarding the layout, functionality, etc. I’m here to assist you to test the final product.
When your developer informs you that your Beta is ready, you might want to check out a few things such as:
- Functionality: Every button should be working perfectly, whether it takes you to a sub page, directs the visitor to your social media, or some buttons like the Terms and Conditions, which most people don’t approach.
- Responsiveness: THIS IS A MUST! Mobile and tablet users are on the rise. Many of them have already replaced their PCs/Laptops with mobile phones and tablets when it comes to web surfing. You have to test your website on these devices, do you see the page fully on these screens? Are there any scripts which may hamper the ease of use?
- Loading times: This is basic, but it’s worth mentioning. The rule of the thumb: many huge sized images will slow the loading times, be judicious when it comes to material stacking. In addition, some developers use a technique called “Minify” which compresses the codes used to increase the website’s speed, I recommend this. You can always test each page’s ms loading rate on your website. If you’re using Chrome, you can check it under “Network” tab after pressing F12.
- Grammar and spelling: This is a no-brainer, but you have no idea how many people overlook it.
- Fonts and backgrounds: You might think it’s cool to have some vibrant colors with not-so-ordinary font types. Make sure that it’s visually clear and the font is easily read. Try opening your website in a dark room, if you felt like you were going blind, maybe it’s not the best option.
- Browser compatibility: Keep this in mind: many people are still using IE and Safari (even worse, the older versions), your website should be 100% compatible with every modern browser. You don’t want to lose a possible market segment, do you? There are some testing websites such as Browserling, but I like to install every available browser and test for myself.
- Adopting the user’s mentality: This is your website, you know everything around it. However, the user does not, so think like your end user, and scavenge for possible difficulties. Trust me, it’s essential.
- Check the URLs: Every page you open has a unique URL, make sure that your developer will remove his test server address from the URL when you go live. Furthermore, I have been on some websites where the pages don’t have a unique URL. For example, let’s say we have a website called spiderscorner.com, when you open it, you should see the homepage’s URL as http://www.spiderscorner.com or http://www.spiderscorner.com/home or whatever. The problem starts when you click a button such as services, the URL should be changed to http://www.spiderscorner.com/services. However, I have seen some websites where any button you click does not change the URL. Thus, every time you want to go to check their services, you have to go to their homepage first then click the designated button as there is no unique URL. Even worse, when you refresh the page while you are on the services section, it takes you back to the homepage since your browser is requesting a connection with http://www.spiderscorner.com
- SEO: Your website should be SEO friendly, this means when your website is Search Engine Optimized, your keywords and tags have a higher possibility to be found when searched on SE such as Google and Yahoo.
- SSL: If you are willing to include online transactions, Secure Sockets Layer should be ensured in the developing juncture. Yet, it’s important to double check your certificate by testing via websites such as COMODO SSL ANALYZER.
- Check for code residuals and hidden text: This is optional of course, some developers have a sense of humor and might leave some hidden messages or codes here and there. With Chrome, you can right mouse click on any page and click inspect element or just inspect. I will not worry about it that much, but it’s good to know!