What is the single most important thing to do beyond creating a website? It’s testing it. There are any number of ways that a website can be tested to ensure that you are doing what you can to reach your target audience, enhance sales and provide your readers with what they need to stay loyal to you. So, let’s get to work.
Before You Go Live
Some aspects of your website always need to be examined and re-examined. It is the curse of good, the enemy of better. But, readers like to know that you pay attention to detail and here is where it all comes together. You have sent out press releases, announced that you will be unveiling a website for your business or other organization. People are waiting with expectancy, so don’t disappoint them if you can help it.
Here are some areas to pay special attention to before the big launch day.
1. Check for typos and other errors – If you don’t check and recheck, you are guaranteed to miss something. Ask a friend to read over your pages as a fresh set of eyes. This includes site maps, buttons, headers and the like.
2. Check your forms – Do they appear as they should? Do all the boxes work? Is it easy to navigate? Does it direct the customer to the right landing page when they hit “continue?”
3. Check page loading times – The kiss of death is that spinning wheel that signifies something is possibly going on in the background although you don’t know what. Ensure that loading speeds for pages are inside acceptable parameters. If they are loading slowly, there is a problem that needs attention.
4. Browser testing – Maybe you like Yahoo as a browser, but there are other options out there. Does your website load correctly in Firefox, Google, Safari and the rest? Note: this includes making sure that your website is mobile friendly.
5. Images – Do photos take a long time to load? Are they clear and of high quality? Are they overlapping content?
6. All links are valid – Do the textual links lead to the pages they are supposed to land on? Test each and every one for viability.
7. Fonts – How many times have you seen a page that has some weird squiggles on it or characters instead of a word? Make sure all fonts and characters show up as they should on each page.
8. Check your site map – Is there a site map and does it work to help viewers to navigate your site?
9. Social media – Are all icons present and plugins installed for social media on your site? Do they go to the appropriate site when clicked?
10. Contrast on the page – Is there a high degree of contrast for easy reading and absorption of information on the page? Is there enough white space within content?
11. Secure certificates- For e-commerce sites, it is important to have secure encryption for customer data. Are these present and working?
There is still a lot to do after the website pages are created. Don’t miss any necessary checks before launch day.
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