Website Quality Assurance Checklist

Last updated on 20 September 20216 min
Rogneda Kniazhina
Technical Writer

Customer experience is the last source of sustainable differentiation and the new competitive battleground.

Tiffani Bova, Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst

Introduction 

It is widely acknowledged that it is impossible to make a first impression twice. At a time when many businesses are enhancing their online and mobile presence, the website is becoming the main brand 'spokesperson'. Therefore, it is so important to take care of its usability, stability, convenience, intuitive clarity, and attractiveness of the design. This goal can be reached by the reliable development team, but only a proper website quality assurance check provides the consistency of the finished product to the expectations.  

Why Website Quality Check Is So Important

In general, a quality check allows you to analyze your website's 'health' by detecting all the bugs and bottlenecks that need to be fixed. It will help 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 your web platform performance and identify whether it meets your clients’ demands and expectations.

why care about website quality assurance

The key task of the QA website check is to define the scope of work and help in creating a strategy for troubleshooting and implementing improvements. In fact, a website quality assurance check is your audit before the next stage – fixing and enhancing your website. Besides obvious upgrades you also get:

  • Saved costs: you fix issues before they become real problems and can lead to malfunctions and website fails;
  • Saved time: poor website user journey can also damage your reputation, so winning back your customers trust (as well as attracting the new ones) may take months;
  • Market competitive advantage: since you provide a better customer experience and build trustworthy relationships with your clients taking care of their convenience;
  • Boosted brand loyalty and customer satisfaction: it all results in higher customer conversions rates, and increased revenue.

Of course, it is logical to carry out such an inspection at the development stage or immediately after it, before the release. However, this is not always possible, and over time, even a stable and smoothly working site requires regular maintenance.

Website QA Checklist: Essential Areas to Analyze

First of all, it should be noted that QA begins with an audit and site analysis, which results in an individual QA strategy. The list below is not exhaustive but includes key factors that affect the health of a website.

website qa areas to analyze

Functionality Comes First

As the name implies, functionality testing includes checking the operation of the site and its main functions. This also includes checking URLs and internal links, custom forms, authorization and registration fields, and the like. For example, the essential functions of any website are plugins, links, and search. So, make sure all these options work well. Functionality testing is the most time-consuming stage of website QA testing. The essence of this process is to check all the described functionality:

  • Checking the operation of all the mandatory functions of the site;
  • Verification of compliance with specifications and documentation;
  • Testing the performance of user forms on the site (authorization. registration, feedback, adding a comment to a blog, etc.);
  • Checking the work of the search (including the relevance of the results);
  • Checking hyperlinks, finding broken links;
  • Checking the uploading of files to the server;
  • Checking the performance of the counters installed on the site pages;
  • Viewing for compliance with the content of the pages of the site with the original content provided by the customer

Such multistage testing leaves no chance for bugs and errors. The only drawback is the duration, which is important to consider during the estimate of any web project.

   

UX and UI Design Checks Are Your Best Friends

Usability testing allows you to check how convenient the site is for the user; how easy it is for them to find information and develop proper UX improvement strategies. The main purposes of usability testing are:

  • To determine if your site is truly user-friendly;
  • To understand how convenient navigation is;
  • To find out what impression the user has;
  • To evaluate what may be superfluous on the website.

 

Design-related aprroach

User interface testing of your site is also an important piece of QA. Keep in mind that interface has as high priority as usability. For a comprehensive check, it is recommended to hire a team or at least one expert, however, you can check the design of your home and landing pages by yourself. It is known that your website should run on different browsers, OS, and mobile devices. So, view it in different environments and gadgets to see whether your site looks as good on mobile as on desktop.

  • Professional interface testing includes:
  • Checking for compliance with all graphical interfaces’ standards;
  • Testing on different screen resolutions;
  • Checking compatibility with all browsers and their versions (cross-browser compatibility);
  • Interface testing for smartphones and tablets;
  • Localized testing: translation accuracy, title length checking, etc.

A small tip: let your employees click and test the site before the release or updates implementation – this will allow you to get users' feedback and identify bugs if they remain after QA.

Pay More Attention to Content Quality

The goal of every business owner is to create a quality website. To get quality content and attract new visitors to your site, follow these guidelines:

  • Use quality–verified content to build customer trust
  • Check all published articles for grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or lexical mistakes;  
  • Be unique – it is an extremely essential component for the content;
  • Equip your website with audio, video content, and animated elements to make your content more interactive.
  • The essential 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.

Another important factor is the relevance of your content. To keep your customers and users loyal to you, you should also monitor how appropriate the information about your services or products is. Check the facts carefully, provide links to statistics, be in trend, but always with strong arguments - this is the only way you will maintain the position of an expert in your customers' eyes.

All Customers Accessibility

Accessibility testing allows identifying barriers in the design, navigation, content, or structure of the website that limit interaction with it for people with disabilities. So, when it comes to this stage, you need to check the following:

  1. All images should have the appropriate resolution. Zoom out of the images to see whether they are readable or not.
  2. Check whether the audio content works well.
  3. Pay attention to the color choice. If you want to create a visually pleasing design, you have to check whether your color choices harmonize.
  4. Provide all the alternatives to visual and auditory content (all images have meaningful ‘alt’ tags and comprehensive descriptions).
  5. Check for captions. You need to make sure every caption is descriptive and available.
  6. Access your website with the help of your keyboard (without the mouse)

You can find more techniques and tips for increasing the website's accessibility in our guide 'Web Accessibility: 6 Tips to Make Your Website Accessible'.

Security: Testing the Website for Vulnerabilities

This check is the key to the reliability of the site. The main purpose is to test for the vulnerability to different attacks. Often, to carry out such a check, it is necessary to simulate an attack from a malicious source, and then assess the website's security level.

Vulnerability checklist:

  • Test SSL security features;
  • Make sure that unauthorized access to the protected pages is impossible;
  • Check the correctness of the captcha using automatic scripts;
  • Make sure that if the username and password are entered incorrectly, the user is not allowed into the system;
  • Test if all errors and hacking attempts are logged and saved in a separate file (this is necessary for further analysis).

Regression Testing

Regression testing allows to ensure that existing functionality has not been affected by changes implemented to your code. In other words, this stage checks whether the operation of existing functions has not been disrupted by the introduction of a new one. That is, the QA engineer checks not only the new function but also all the existing ones for correct operation.

The algorithm of its work, as a rule, consists of several steps: preliminary analysis of the changes made, search for areas that could be affected, a compilation of a set of test cases, and regression testing. Based on the results, a report on bugs is drawn up, if they were found, they are eliminated and the website is being re-checked. Regression testing is carried out until bugs are completely eliminated.

Website SEO Optimization Quality Assurance

SEO optimization is a critical stage of a website QA process. The truth is that there is no one QA strategy for reviewing SEO website optimization, but there are a few general steps that can be applied to almost every web page. 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. To conduct proper SEO QA testing you can use the following guide:

  • URLs: both search engines and users have to understand where the link leads;
  • Page content: outgoing links, keywords, spelling, images and alternative 'alt' signatures to them, and even the proper work of social sharing buttons - everything matters and affects the quality of the content on the page;
  • Page source: titles, meta descriptions, tags and everything that falls into this category should be in place, including analytics and tracking codes (and work properly, of course);
  • Technical SEO: check for crawl errors, mobile-friendliness, security, page speed;
  • Content: uniqueness, depth of topic and research, readability, use of media materials, etc. - make the content not only catchy but also high ranking.

The importance of SEO for a site is a well-known fact, however, the implementation of best practices must be done wisely and with each site’s characteristics in mind. Therefore, it is so important not only to select the key elements, but to implement them correctly, and conduct timely Quality Assurance sessions.

It is crucial to start your website quality checking before your clients may notice flaws that will affect their choices. We are confident that a high-quality QA test is impossible without well-coordinated teamwork and an experienced vendor. Sometimes you may need multiple QA rounds to make your website work. It is challenging to effectively cope with all the flaws and quickly fix them on your own. You should find a professional cooperation partner (Eastern Europe is a viable choice) to upgrade your website.

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