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Comprehensive Quality Assurance Guide for Website Developers [Free Checklist]

There’s a rule any entrepreneur should keep in mind: websites that don’t work properly don’t convert. That’s why you need to conduct website quality assurance to make sure that your site works as intended. While it is understandable that quality assurance is something you should always do before the release of a new website, not all optimizers understand the importance of this process and can execute it properly. So, let’s have a look at the meaning of this term, analyze its importance and find out the main elements of a website quality assurance checklist. Keep in mind that this is a crucially important step to meet the demands of your clients. Our comprehensive guide can increase your productivity and decrease the number of unsatisfied customers.

Read our website QA guide and download a free website testing checklist you will find below.

What is Website Quality Assurance?

Website QA is the maintaining of a certain level of quality in a project by checking every aspect of the production process. When it comes to website development, QA is based on the following testing areas:

  • Design testing
  • Requirement testing
  • Functionality testing

In addition, every stage requires human resources: your team of designers, project managers, strategists, and a development team. Simply put, to run a proper website quality test, the whole team should be engaged in the process.

Why Does a Website Quality Check Matter?

A quality check is a proactive activity that allows you to check on your website's 'health’. Simply put, it is a program of experimentation that will help you detect all the bugs. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to create a website without bugs; they are a bottleneck to surpass that allows you to make your project better and provide website visitors with the best user experience.

With the help of website testing, you’ll be able to evaluate the health of your website by tracking different metrics:

  • the total cost of development
  • the precise number of bugs
  • the number of hours your team has spent resolving a particular bug
  • the total number of experiments

You could definitely have more metrics, but these are the basic ones. When developing your website, you should also monitor and take into consideration e-commerce technology trends. But website QA will help you analyze the effectiveness of your project, find bugs that influence user experience, and fix them before a customer sees them.

What Steps Should Be Included in an Insightful Quality Assurance Website Checklist

Nothing is safe from human error. But when you implement a detailed checklist into the quality assurance process, it will make the work easier for the whole team. You’ll be sure that your team can check everything before submitting a project. In addition, you’ll be able to set a higher standard of performance. As a result, your team won’t have to rely on their memory; they will follow a proper protocol instead. So, get comfortable and have a look at the key items that might be included in the QA checklist of any website development company.

1. Test the design in all browsers and devices

Your website will be viewed via different browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer) and mobile devices. So you need to test whether your design works well in every browser. You should also check for consistency in different elements of the layout.

The basic functions of any website are plugins, links, and search. So make sure all these functions work well. You should also check the design of your home and landing pages.

Your next step is to open your website from all operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Android, Linux, iOS) and mobile devices (smartphones, tablets). By doing so, you’ll be able to see whether your site is mobile responsive.

2. Check the web-based content

Content quality really matters. If your purpose is to create a high-quality website, you should check all published articles for grammar, spelling, punctuation or lexical mistakes. Today, there are a lot of online free platforms that allow you to check spelling, accessibility, etc. Check whether all your articles are of excellent quality, and make sure that there’s no lorem ipsum content.

If your website has audio, video or flash elements, you have to check all the transcriptions and plain text alternatives.

Another crucially important step is checking for viruses. You need to scan all files (PDFs, Microsoft Word, etc.) for viruses before placing them on the web.

Have a look at the main navigation and check whether it corresponds to the website's architecture.

3. Validation testing

This stage encompasses a few smaller parts. The key purpose of the validation testing is to make sure your website meets the requirements of your client. Simply put, this stage will help answer the question of whether you are developing the right product.

Validation testing includes:

  • Checking whether the display and style components are contained within CSS
  • Checking all types of links (internal, external, mail and broken)
  • Having a look at the internal hyperlinks; they should be relative. You should also open each link manually and make sure they lead to the desired websites
  • Checking to see if links aren't leading to the same pages
  • Checking each page of the website. Each must have a valid XHTML markup. If there are any errors, you should correct them.
  • Making sure your website doesn't include dead-end web pages. If you want to provide users with a fast and clear navigation path, all dead-end web pages have to be removed.

Your website represents your company. Therefore, it has to both look good and function without errors. Today, there are lots of websites that have a nice design but don’t run well enough across different browsers. Before you submit your project, you should do a validation test. This can be done with the help of powerful online tools that will be able to run all the tests, including cross-browser errors, HTML errors, CSS errors, etc. These tools include:

  • Webpage analyzer (a tool that tests general website performance)
  • CSS validator (a tool that checks HTML documents and Cascading Style Sheets)
  • XML checker and validator (a tool that can determine the format and validity of an XML document)
  • Robots checker (a tool that can check the syntax of the robots.txt file)

All these tools will help you perform the validation testing before your website goes live.

4. Cookie testing

You can’t submit your project without cookie testing. So, you need to enable and disable the cookies in order to make sure they're running properly. You should also check to see whether they are encrypted. Delete cookies and check their impact on application security.

5. Checking contact forms

Every website has a contact form, giving information on how a customer can get in touch with you. If the information is incorrect, your customers won’t be able to contact your support team. You have to double check the contact information and even send a few test emails to make sure that all forms are working properly.

6. Check the SEO

This is a very important stage of a website testing checklist. The first thing you need to do is to check all titles, tags and meta descriptions. They should be short, informative, and include a few keywords.

You should keep in mind that an SEO check comprises a few steps that you need to follow:

  • Check all social media icons. They must be linked correctly.
  • Each image published on the website should have ALT tags within the IMG tag. This is one of the key elements that influences SEO ranking.
  • If there are old pages, redirect them to the new ones.
  • Test all links to www.
  • Your URLs should always be SEO friendly (avoid using links that are too long).
  • Check whether the robots.txt file is present. You should bear in mind that the robots.txt file is the main indicator of the general site’s SEO performance. Thanks to this tool, search engines know what particular parts of your site should be indexed.
  • Check the HTML site map; you should set this up within Google or Bing.

7. Accessibility Testing

Mind that if your website is controlled by WebCMS, the majority of the below-listed steps will be managed automatically. If not, web developers should verify all these elements. So when it comes to this stage, you need to check the following:

  1. All images should have the appropriate resolution.
  2. Check whether the audio content works well.
  3. Have a look at the color choices. If you want to create a visually pleasing design, you have to check whether your color choices harmonize. But don’t rely on color alone. If the information is conveyed with color, it should also be visible without the color.
  4. Check whether you have provided all the alternatives to visual and auditory content (all images have meaningful ‘alt’ tags and comprehensive descriptions).
  5. Check natural language use. Simply put, all abbreviations should always be expanded.
  6. Check for captions. You need to make sure every caption is descriptive and available.
  7. Access your website with the help of your keyboard (without the mouse).
  8. Disable the style and you’ll see whether the content is lined up properly.
  9. Zoom out of the images to see whether they are readable or not.

When you complete all these steps, you’ll be sure that your users will be able to easily access the website. It is really hard to overestimate the importance of accessibility testing. It is a must-have stage, allowing you to improve your audience reach and market share.

8. Input Testing

As an important element of any quality assurance test, input testing encompasses the following:

  • Taking a look at all fields once again and checking whether they are behaving properly.
  • Checking the alphanumeric fields: they should handle empty data, invalid characters, and negatives correctly.
  • Making sure that inputs that are too long are handled properly.
  • You should also check whether there are any automated script logins when you enter the CAPTCHA.

9. Installs and Codes

This is the final stage of our guide on how to check a website for bugs. The first thing you have to do is verify your website domain with Google Search Console. After that, Google will identify you as the website owner.

To monitor website traffic, you need to integrate your site with Google Analytics. Define what domains should be tracked and insert the Google Analytics code on these pages. You have to check all integration codes (for example, Google Conversation, Adroll, Facebook, Chat Boxes or Retargeter).

Summary

QA is a compulsory process that you simply can’t neglect. It is a sort of a preventative medicine for bugs, allowing you to detect them at an early stage before your customers notice them. There’s another thing to consider: a top-quality QA test is impossible without well-coordinated teamwork. Sometimes, you may need several rounds of QA, and your team should be ready for it. To minimize the number of rounds, you need to communicate all the findings effectively. Ask your team to create detailed bug descriptions so that your developers can understand how to fix them.

Alternately, engage a professional QA team from outside, so that your team can better concentrate on their regular duties.

If you want to boost your productivity and you have zero desire to spend your precious time on creating your own checklist, you can download ours. By using our website quality assurance checklist, you’ll reduce the number of bugs and make your project even more successful.

Web & Mobile Tue, 04/30/2019 - 14:13

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