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Website Testing for Errors

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Testing live Website rollouts for errors

I feel very lucky early in my career to have reported to someone who had terrific attention to detail. Between that experience and each following position, I’ve learned that maintaining strong attention to detail for live Website project rollouts can make a big difference in growing customers.

Whether I’m an individual contributor or running marketing teams at a company, it is important to have processes to not only test projects for errors but get them fixed before they impact customers.

It is easy for what seem like small Website errors to make a large impact. Just one issue that makes a notable impact on a visitor could lead to a bounce or unsubscribe. If one issue doesn’t make a visitor bounce, it may be two or more combined Website problems that lead to lost customers.

Here are a number of techniques I use to test Website projects for errors:

  1. If there isn’t time to test new projects, ask for help from your team or other teams. It is ideal that one or more people can test projects, planning enough time to also get errors fixed.
  2. Do a spell check and proofread for phrasing issues on all projects. One or more spelling errors can quickly make a page seem unimportant.
  3. Before a project goes live, check for issues on dev servers. If QA teams are instead tasked with testing, create precise test specs and also do tests with QA team members at random to ensure nothing will be overlooked. Check in early on QA tests and provide any training needed to help QA testers effectively find any issues you would normally locate.
  4. When a campaign or new Website section rolls out, test just after go live on mobile devices, PC, Mac, and the current top 5 most popular Web browsers.
  5. Plan Website project rollouts for days and at times there are teams available to fix any surprise live issues.
  6. Check back on live projects hours after go live to see if new issues came up on servers. Sometimes a project rolls out fine initially but in the staging process another server has issues.
  7. Do page speed tests to see if there are code improvements needed.
  8. Look through live pages objectively to find issues customers would see.
  9. Check Web analytics in hours and coming days for key insights to make next decisions.
  10. Always remember to test forms in the sales funnel, ensuring they function correctly.
  11. Remember there are thousands of working parts on a Website. New projects of any size have the capacity to work well with other pages or need enhancement to roll deeper as part of the site.
  12. If there aren’t errors to fix from testing, it is time to brainstorm next project ideas to work with this project or coming campaigns.

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