05 Oct How to do a Website Test before you Launch it Online?
Website Test Before Launch: Creating a website can be a tremendous achievement but when you do want to launch it, you need to make sure that all pieces are in place and everything runs as expected. Which does bring in a question, how can you do a website test before launch? It might sound tricky at first, but you can do it if you have the right approach. Each person that worked on the site needs to focus on testing their own work, which is why we split the guide into multiple parts which you can access at your own leisure.
Editors and Writers
Everyone that wrote on your site and which added content need to make sure that all of the website pieces they work on are delivering the best results. A thing to note here is that the website test process has to include some of the following:
• You will have to perform a grammar check and you need to see if there are any typos or proper spelling in the content. Keep in mind that you need to check the entire content, not only the headlines and the articles. You should also do the same for navigation, forms and buttons.
• Context should also be checked as well during the website test. You have to think about why customers visit the text, if the page addresses the audience and if the content is ready for the visitors. You can make amendments on the go depending on the situation.
• Images should always be optimized for web. If you have large images, you have to optimize them and make them smaller without losing quality. There are many types of sites that you can use in this regard and results will always pay off very well.
• Forms have to be addressed as well. Check the forms and see if you got stuck, if the instructions are good and if you can improve the flow form. These might seem like simple things to do but they can pay off very well in the end.
The web designer also has to focus on a wide variety of things when it comes to the site. You need to make sure that each portion of the site is working properly, as that’s what the website test process requires to begin with. You need to do the following:
• Try to test navigation as intensively as you can. Try to ensure that each of your journey leads to the desired destination. If you do encounter wrong pages or broken links, address the problem as fast as possible. Obviously, you have to see if the on-site search works as that can come in handy for the user as well.
• Font codes can be troublesome at times, which is why the website test needs to focus on the quality and efficiency of all your fonts. Check the site to be certain that all fonts are displayed properly.
• Test the site on multiple browsers to see if there are any compatibility issues. If you do encounter such a problem, you need to optimize the site for that browser.
• Make the site mobile friendly and responsive. You should keep in mind that around 50% of all web users come from mobile, so optimizing the website for them is a priority!
• Website speed needs to be a major priority as this is a huge SEO factor. Google has their own app that can be used for a complete website test so you should check that out.
For the Web Developer
Web developers also need to test the site before launch but they will be focused on some other things, such as:
• Favicons can be troublesome at times which is why you have to see whether they work properly or not
• 404 pages need to be customized and you need to offer value to the users even if they ended up on a faulty page. Customized 404 pages can make the experience more immersive
• Try to minify the website code. The way you can do that is by compressing it into a smaller set of chunks. This will boost SEO and speed up, the loading speed.
• Use the Google Search Console as here you can see whether Google has something with your content. We recommend you to check this out often and while there keep in mind that the Bing Webmaster tools are helpful as well.
• Since sites are built at an URL that isn’t final, when the site transitions errors can easily appear and obviously you have to test those as fast as possible. It might be tricky at first but with the right approach all results can be very well worth it.
The SEO Team Website Test
Being a part of the SEO team does bring in front a lot of responsibility and the true focus here will be on making sure that the site is properly optimized for search engines. Keep an eye on:
• 301 redirects and where they lead. The site needs to have a good redirect system that will bring your users to the desired content. Mapping the old URLs to new ones is also necessary at this point.
• You have to setup the PPC campaigns but keep in mind that you should avoid starting them before launch. Set and then pause the campaigns then you can start them before launch.
• See if the Search Console visibility is good or not, this is a crucial website test and it can bring in front a nice set of helpful ideas and tools for you!
• Social media integration has to be performed properly, and here you have to focus on the way the social icons are displayed, if they lead to the right links and if you installed the necessary social plugins.
• If you are using the AMP project from Google that helps deliver faster loading on mobile, you have to be certain that mobile rendering is performed properly.
• You have to check whether the schema markup or structured data is correctly rendered in the SERPs.
• Obviously, you will also have to set up Google Analytics during the website test as this is where you can get all the necessary information even from day one.
• Try to check everything from the HTML sitemap to the XML sitemap, metadata and title tags. These need to be working properly and you have to optimize them the best way you can.
Aside from the editors, developers and the SEO teams, the network admin also has to prepare the site before launch. What you have to do here is to focus on:
• Creating a backup system because you do need a reliable system in case something goes wrong with the site.
• You have to implement a site monitor that will check pages to ensure they work properly for visitors. A monitoring tool will help you pinpoint any problems when they appear as well.
• Try to use a set of load test software tools as these will help you simulate heavy load. This type of experience will help you prepare for heavy traffic to your site.
• See if the pages are protected and make sure that the sensitive URLs stand beyond a credential wall.
• Add security certificates as these will protect the visitors and they will keep the customer information private.
In conclusion, this is how you prepare a website for launch. It might seem tricky at first but with the right approach the results can be very good. This is a team effort as you can see, so everyone needs to do their duty in order to ensure the wellbeing of the site!