Invest in Testin’

Kieran O'Regan | May 9th 2016

KieranOReganWith the enhanced complexity of websites today, the need for testing has never been needed more in the development life cycle. To some people testing might mean you ‘just check the site’ and that anyone can do it, but I can assure you that’s not the case.

Anyone can make music, but having a greater understanding of it results in better quality music. It’s the same for testing – if you do it right, better quality sites will be the result. The way you need to think about testing is a lot more calculated than just looking for broken images and spelling mistakes.

“If you think testing is expensive …”

Testing needs to be done well as this is the gateway to websites being released into the real world. If something is wrong with a site this could have a massive impact on the company and customer, and that could impact direct sales and reputation and possibly even have legal consequences. If you think testing is expensive, wait until you lose 24 hours’ worth of sales – this will probably be considerably more than what it costs to perform testing properly.

“You need to think outside the box”

When it comes to testing, every device must be covered as you don’t know what your customers will be using. Also you need to think outside the box. It’s fine testing a site on a top spec PC, but will your customers have the same equipment? A tester is the next best thing to a normal visitor to your site, but only as long as he or she thinks logically and uses different machines to ensure they are covering low spec and high spec machines with a range of resolutions and speeds.

“’It’s better to prevent an issue rather than to fix it”

Testing is a vital part in any website build. It’s better to prevent an issue at development stage than fix it when it’s live. There’s nothing worse than handing over a website and only then finding it is full of bugs. Not only does this make your agency look bad; you could also lose potential clients in the future. You want your work to be recognised for being good, so cutting back on testing will only have a negative impact.

Testing Tips

  • Take your time with testing – don’t cut corners
  • If you’re unsure with something, it’s best to double check, otherwise you may pass something that is buggy
  • Think outside the box
  • Get familiar with the site you are testing. What’s its purpose? How would a genuine customer use it?
  • Make sure you document everything for reassurance. My suggestion would be using a bug reporting tool, or even Microsoft Documents!