In general, it is a good idea to test just about everything prior to release; no matter what the item or service that is being offered. Since there are other users or visitors involved it is necessary to uphold a certain level of quality at all times. Making sure what you are offering is of good quality (does not have to be the best) and free of issues is essential and beneficial for both the firm and the consumer. Since failing to do so would mean neither will the consumer be satisfied and the firm would have to go back to the drawing board.
Significance of testing (via brief example):
Let us imagine a scenario where you are about to launch your website and have already created hype about it amongst your social and professional network. At the time of launch, you find a bug (issue with the website) as a result of which it becomes impossible to launch it on a full scale. Hence you can now only showcase a small portion of the website and pray no one notices the issue before it is fixed. On the other hand, if the issue is a severe one you might not be able to launch the website with all the features.
This would be a big drawback for a firm that is developing the website. It would also be a massive blow for the firm that has recruited the development company since now he will not be able to meet the expectation of his clients on time and the hype that has been created will go to waste.
This is a good example which is also one of the reasons why testing is so important. Every web development firm will have another development process. For a few it may be based on a development model with milestones, for a few, it may simply be a list of requirements and a date to complete within while some of them even do it with all the necessary documentation. Whatever the case may be, it is essential that you do test the website prior to launch and make sure that one of the stages of development of the website includes a testing phase too.
The importance of testing (list of important points):
- A quick comparison of the eCommerce sales figures of 2005 vs 2015 will show how much more people trust spending on the Internet.
- In fact, even if we compare e-commerce sales figures of 2012 vs 2015 there will be a significant rise.
- There has been a drastic rise in the number of mobile phones being sold these days so much that the growth rate of the mobile industry is way larger than the PC industry.
- The number of mobile Internet users has far exceeded those from any other platform too.
- The online services are thus of more importance to the business than ever before.
- It is vital to ensure that the consumer has a good experience the first time and every time they visit the website.
- With a lot of options and alternate websites offering the same thing, one mistake can cost you that customer’s business. Not only will the customer prefer another website at that moment; they make also not consider your website in the future.
- In addition to which a customer may also share their bad experience on a social network or by word of mouth thus causing a lot of damage.
- The website may be functioning fine however it may be hard to find the navigation for a few or the website is hard to use in general. The heading or title may be misleading or the content does not up to the expectations of the average visitor.
- Website usability is equally important and failing to meet the expectations or current trends will affect your business in a big way.
Launching a Website with confidence:
When it comes to the launch day of your website, there is no better feeling than that of a job well done, a job completed successfully and a project that is about to be seen by all the visitors for a Web Development Firm. The business owner too will have a sense of pride in the final completion and launch of their well-planned and feature-rich website. There a many ways to make sure you are not robbed of this feeling by a futile error or a careless mistake. Here are a few tips on how to test your website.
- To start with it is a good idea to have a development model that includes testing as one of the phases.
- No matter what development style is followed; special time should be allotted for the testing of the website.
- Usability testing of the website is equally important too and should ideally be done with the help of real users and not by members of the development team.
- Usability testing of a website should be right before launch but it is also something that can be done after launch as far as there are not a lot of issues.
- Some of the standard practices for usability testing of website are user surveys and even focus groups. Surveys like these help you understand what the users remember about the Website.
- Actively seeking user feedback is also one of the more important factors to being able to improve the use experience and detect critical issues with the website.
- It is essential to make use of website tools and statistics to assess the website usage pattern of the visitors. This is because the feedback will not give you a correct picture at all times. Only the users who face minor issues like a broken link or misguiding flow of website, those with a bad experience will send some feedback. However there will also be those who will simply leave the website in under 3 minutes and those who ignore the issues they find on the website.
- There are many tools available to get the user data. One such too is the Google Webmaster and Analytics. By using such tools it is possible to gain information on how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from, how long they spend on which page and many more such details.
- With data like this it becomes easier to analyze the website usage pattern of the visitors and optimize or fix the website in the right manner.
- On the extreme or paranoid end it is also possible to monitor the web server logs for issues and usage patterns. Log files are usually created on the server when there are issues with the website. These are called error logs.
Benefits of testing a Website:
- Visitors leave your website with a good impression of your brand and pleased with their experience.
- Having a highly optimized website means the customers will find what they are looking for and not have to waste a lot of time. This is one of the many vital factors that improve the popularity of your website.
- At the end of the day it will also help increase your sales and profits.
- It will help improve your visitor retention rate.
- The usability testing will also reap measurable results. It is likely to improve your customer conversion rate.
- The general consumer confidence in your brand or company will increase.
- This will improve your search engine ranking and play a crucial role in SEO.
- More number of visitors are likely to share the good experience they had on their website via word of mouth and social networks. Social Networks are highly effective and word spreads like wild fire on some of the more popular networks.
Alakmalak offers a vital insight into the making a website:
Alakmalak is a web development firm that offers a great many web-related services. Having developed more than 2000 websites, over a period of time of 15 years, for clients from all across the globe they are well established and quite confident at what they do.
Besides having the technical abilities that they have proved time after time (or should I say launch after launch), they also possess the true art of creating a website. As discussed throughout this article it is one thing to possess the right set of technical skills to make a website, but it is another thing to be able to understand how to develop a website that will be accepted and popular.
At the end of the day the website is being built for the actual users and to the target market, and hence it is a good idea to have some knowledge of the characteristics of your visitors. A quick example is that with more Internet users using mobile devices to access the internet it is essential that your website be equally presentable and functionally sound on the mobile platform.