Key Types of Website Testing and How to Test Your Website
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The question of how to test a website arises both before its launch and during its running. In general, testing is always aimed at a comprehensive search for errors, bugs, and inconveniences, because of which the website does not work as well as it could (and as its owner would like). Such a site check involves:
- Thorough testing for any bugs carried out in accordance with a clear comprehensive plan.
- Compilation of a detailed, structured report on all detected problems.
- Effective elimination of found deficiencies and improvement of the site.
Website testing may include testing various aspects of the site functionality, which we will discuss below.
Key types of website testing
This type of website check is also called “stress testing” because its main task is to determine whether your site is able to withstand the load that it could theoretically face. It includes the following steps:
- Determination of the maximum possible load on the Internet resource. It may be different for different sites: for example, in a large online store dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of users can make purchases at the same time. On a popular site with movies and TV shows, thousands of videos can be viewed simultaneously. At the same time, it’s unlikely that more than a hundred people will visit a small corporate website of a company operating in the region. In any case, the site’s performance should be exactly such that it continues to work properly at maximum load (with a small margin), but nothing more. Paying for an excess capacity of resources is also irrational in its own way.
- Checking the real capabilities of the site through specialized programs and services.
- Analysis of test results, a compilation of a report, and conclusions about what needs to be changed to improve site productivity.
If everything is in order with the site’s performance (or if the necessary data was received to improve it), then the functional testing turn comes. In other words, it’s necessary to find out if the website works well and is convenient for the users who visit it. To test a site in this context means to examine its condition on a number of indicators:
- The correctness of all basic and additional features. For example, if we are talking about an online store, then such functions will be searching for the necessary product, adding it to the basket, applying discounts, comparing goods, placing an order, seeking help from an online consultant, and so on.
- The correctness of the functions of registration, authorization, change of personal profile, etc. Many modern sites require the creation of accounts for both administrators and users, so you need to check whether all possible operations are implemented correctly.
- The correct work of all navigation elements of the site. It is a matter of ensuring that links leading to various pages of your website lead to the relevant pages.
- Availability and serviceability of the backup system. Such a system should work on your site without fail. No matter what high-quality and expensive hosting or server you buy, not a single web resource is insured against technical failures. And in the event of such a failure, all the data on your site must be saved by regular backups.
Content and SEO optimization testing
If you want to fully test the site, then you can’t go without checking its content (texts, images, and videos), meta tags, external and internal links, linking, as well as the semantic core, which periodically needs to be changed, expanded and refined, and the general structure of the distribution of keywords on the pages of the resource. For this, there is a special concept — “SEO site audit”. It can be performed both in conjunction with a technical audit and separately from it.
User Interface Testing
Another important step that you should not skip if you decide to test the site is to check the user interface. It’s about the quality, convenience, and appropriateness of the design. In this regard, it’s important to pay attention to the following points:
- Compliance with current standards of graphical interfaces, attractive appearance, and professional execution of the design of all elements of the site.
- Cross-browser testing — the ability of a web portal to remain equally aesthetic and neat regardless of which browser is used to open it. All blocks and elements must remain in place, maintain the correct proportions and configuration for any user.
- Adaptability is a property similar to cross-browser compatibility but already implies maintaining the attractiveness and correct display of the site on various devices. It can be stationary computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets — gadgets with widely varying sizes and configurations of screens.
- The correctness and literacy of localization, that is, the adaptation of the site to a specific audience and language. This aspect is important for multicurrency and multilingual websites. It is especially worth checking if the names of the blocks, menu items, sections translated into different languages look neat.
- Convenience and speed of basic functions. For example, if it’s an information portal, then the texts on the site should be easy and comfortable to read. If it’s an online store — then all products should be easily viewed, provided with clear descriptions, and so on.
- The convenience of search and navigation. The user should not puzzle over how to find the desired page or return to the previous one: this mechanism must be made as simple and intuitive as possible. It does not hurt to take into account the “golden” rule of navigation, which states that it should be possible to reach any page in no more than 3 clicks from the main page.
- General comfort of using the site. A website should make a good impression and create a desire to stay on it longer from the first sight.
Another important way to test a site and get rid of annoying bugs is to check its security level. There are special tools and services to do this with which you can assess the vulnerability of a resource to various attacks. Security is important both in the context of the smooth operation and storage of your site data and in the context of the lack of the possibility of infection of user devices with a virus and safety of their data.
Thus, site testing is a must, the result of which will be ensuring its high-quality, uninterrupted, and safe operation and convenience to users. You should test all the aspects of the site’s functioning described in this article, identify existing bugs, and improve the operation of the website in accordance with the information provided in the article.
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Oleksii Fedorchak - Lviv Polytechnic National University - Ukraine | LinkedIn
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