Website Testing is a process to ensure that the site is fully functional, and conducted prior to it going live. Website testing is important to ensure that the final product meets the requirements and specifications built for its purpose. Website testing will ensure that the needs of its users are met with minimal faults. Testing for bugs that may occur before launching a website is essential because it allows the developers an opportunity to see if the website is working properly. Areas of concentration on website testing should include basic functionality, security, increase in user traffic, and accessibility to users. Website testing is important because you want to make sure that there aren’t any grammar and spelling errors, broken links, and see how responsive it is on different web browsers or on mobile devices. By doing so, it allows the developers to identify what changes needs to be made and correct it before launching the website to the public without user complaints.
Reasons why we want to test websites is because it gives web developers the chance to make improvements to optimize its performance. For example, business websites sometimes it is costly to go back and fix bugs that could have been easily fix before it was launched. After a website is launched to the public and encounters issues, it can have a negative impact on its business and may cause users to consider other websites that fits their needs.
Basically, when you start testing websites you should have a checklist on all the things that you need to test before launching it. By having a checklist, it makes it easier to test for yourself or your team to test for bugs. A basic checklist of the website should include some or all of the following:
- Functionality Testing
- Usability Testing
- Database Testing
- Compatibility Testing
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
Most websites are tested as a team that goes through the checklist listed above with different background experiences. Website testing teams may include writers, web developers, web designers, and network administrators that has their own roles to help create an effective website.
The purpose of functionality testing is to see that all the features and operational functions are doing what it is designed to do. By doing so, it allows you evaluate if your website meets the intended functional requirements and specifications that follows through with your development plan. When testing for functionality, you want to test all links that are on the website and make sure they are all working properly and without any broken links. Test all forms that are used to receive information from users such as ensuring that all mandatory fields are filled out correctly, check the default values of the fields, having the option to modify the forms, and be optimally formatted. You would test cookies, which are small files that are stored on user machines and used by websites to remember login sessions. Functionality testing also includes validating HTML and CSS syntax errors on a website which allows different search engines to get in touch with it.
Usability testing is used to improve the effectiveness of the website by giving users the ability to navigate through the website more easily. When it comes to usability testing, you want to cater to the users with a user-friendly way to navigate the website. To do so, it needs to be simple and easy enough for the users to understand. The setup on the home page should provide enough information on its main content. There should be no spelling errors and maintain consistency throughout.
When it comes to database testing, the functional requirements and specifications of the website should match the data stored within the database. The data integrity needs to be checked and maintained when data are updated, created or deleted from the database. Data should be retrieved, executed, and updated correctly from all the database queries. Errors and response time from the queries should be tweaked to optimal performance.
Compatibility testing is used to ensure that the website created is compatible with other system components. This is important because it allows us to evaluate the performance of the website to see if it is compatible with different web browsers, operating systems, mobile devices, hardware, and software. When testing for compatibility, the website should be displaying properly within the different types of web browsers and mobile browsers without issues. Images and text needs be displayed correctly and be responsive to other functions it is design for, like linking them to other areas. The website should also be compatible with different operating systems as well.
Performance testing is used to assess if the website components complies with the performance requirements. The different types of performance testing consist of load testing and stress testing to measure the speed of response time. Load testing is used to evaluate how long it takes for the website to load when heavy amount of users are on at the same time. Stress testing is used to evaluate how long it takes for the website to recover when it crashes due to inconveniences affecting the system database. These are critical issues because minor delays can lead to a deciding factor to users if they should wait around for the website to function correctly or move onto another website.
Security testing is an important aspect to a website that restricts unauthorized access to user personal information. Security is vital when it comes to ecommerce and needs to be encrypted to ensure privacy. Protected websites that requires login needs to be enforced by providing the proper credentials before allowing access to outside users. Security breach attempts and error messages should all be logged and store into the system database.
Many websites such as User Testing are used to test other websites. They may compensate their users for doing a website test with money, coupons, or merchandise. To do a test, the user is given a certain mission to do on the website. The user must navigate through the website to complete their task. Some websites will have the user speak throughout the test to illustrate what they are thinking. This allows the website developers to fully understand any problems that the user is experiencing. A webcam may also be required to perform website tests.
Websites may also be tested in person. During this type of test, the user is sitting at a computer with the developers. The developers will give the user a mission as in the online testing. They watch the user try to navigate through their website and accept any comments or critiques on the website and functionality. Website testers are also compensated in this method.
Website testers are usually given a series of missions to complete on a website. This can be a wide range from booking a hotel room, finding information about an organization, or sending an email to a manager. The missions that are needed to test a website are meant to test the functionality of the website. It is important that the tasks test all factors on a website. All of the links need to be tested, paragraphs of text need to be proof read, and images need to load quickly throughout the test. If any of these functions go wrong, the website needs to be fixed by the developers.
There are also companies that can be hired to test websites thoroughly. iBeta is one company that tests websites. They plan out a testing project and complete with a full team. This is a great option for testing websites because most companies will guarantee success with the testing project. This guarantee can eliminate the risks of not testing a website properly.
There are many risks that may occur from not testing a website thoroughly. Testing should occur throughout the development process. If testing is only conducted at the end of the project, one error could require that the whole project is redone. According to the professionals at iBeta, “If you are using the waterfall approach and you leave the testing until the end of the project, you may find that a significant problem could cause you to have to redesign the entire project” (iBeta). If there is a problem with a company’s website, the customers may think that their other products might have bugs or errors as well. Also, if customers have difficulty with your website, they may contact technical support. If technical support is needed too much, then it will raise the costs of maintaining your website and reputation. It is best to test your website thoroughly before it is launched because it is easier and less costly to edit and make changes to a website before the release. After a project is released, the cost for changes and fixes doubles per bug. A bad website could also ruin your reputation as a web developer. You won’t be hired again if you cost your company too much because of bugs in your website. Also, depending on your product, there is a possibility of getting sued for a bad website. Your website should be able to handle the amount of traffic it gets, or your customers won’t be able to access it when they need it or they won’t want to wait for the loading times. Website testing is important because it will save you money in the end.
Websites may also need to be tested on different browsers. If a website is launched on one browser, it needs to be tested on other browsers as well. The main browsers that a website needs to be tested on are chrome, safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge.
Mobile websites also need to be tested on different types of phones and tablets. If a website is meant to be used on a mobile device, it needs to be specially formatted to work as a mobile website. Mobile websites often have the most errors and bugs. This means that mobile websites need to be tested the most thoroughly. Mobile websites are more complicated and need to be formatted for iOS and Android devices since they run on different software. This also means that the website needs to be tested on both iOS and android devices.
References – Website Testing
“IBeta Website Testing Services.” IBeta Quality Assurance. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.
UserTesting. “Unlock Customer Insights and Increase Your Revenue.” UserTesting | User Experience Research Platform. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.
Ghahrai, Amir, and Sofia Hunt Says. “Why do we Test? What is the Purpose of Software
Testing? — Testing Excellence.” Testing Excellence. N.p., 19 Feb. 2010. Web. 17 Feb.
“Web Application Testing: 8 Step Guide to Web Testing.” Guru99. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.
Knowles, Mark. “Home.” Search Engine Watch Website Launch Checklist 25 Things to Test Before Your Site Goes Live Comments. N.p., 13 Sept. 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.
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