How to QA a website
QA stands for quality assurance, and it is the process used to check a website is up to the required standard of excellence. The process of assessing your website is separate from the development and design stages, and is an independent act with the purpose being to find any errors or bugs on your website. These can range anywhere from spelling errors and system bugs, to false click-throughs and incorrect web links, the QA also assesses the user interface and experience.
QA is a process that is never truly complete because different options for websites become available and always needs to be updated and developed. Many factors affect the quality of your website, this can be anything from internet connection to the screen size which is being used to access your website. However, the QA’s job is to assure that all of these things are taken into consideration to fully optimise the accessibility of your website.
The testing all depends on the complexity of your website, although the QA runs a thorough check on the website to check its quality, the more complex your website the harder it is to get it to an excellent standard as there are more factors to include and assess. For example, if you have a simple well designed and easy to use website, that can be quality assessed within an hour but if your website is large, has lots of different click-throughs and uses photos and videos it can take a lot longer to quality assess your website as there are more factors that need to be assessed and it could be a few days before the QA is finished.
Here at Verb marketing, we have a list of factors that we take into account when we are quality assessing websites that help us ensure that we are building the best website possible.
Navigation is one of the most important features because it makes your website more accessible and free-flowing. If your website is slow and clunky when people are using it then it gives off a bad impression of your business and its product.
Having bad navigation may also increase your bounce rate as people will be put off from using your website if they cannot smoothly find their way around the website.
The design of your website is critical to your consumer’s experience so making sure that your client is happy with your design is important. When your quality assessing the website, you need to ensure that all of the client’s requirements are met, for example, font size, style, and colour can become a problem if not developed properly.
Content is an important factor in the website yet it doesn’t need to be complex, your content should be easy to follow and informative. We would also check to make sure that the colour and size of the font does not compromise the reading ability.
When Quality Assessing websites we also check that all photos and videos are hi-resolution and optimised for the web to make sure that they do not affect your website’s loading speeds.
- Input and form validation
Forms collect information and valuable data on websites while also interacting with consumers and users, that is why they are a very important feature.
All input fields on the website are checked in testing to ensure that contact and support areas are set up and behaving correctly, for example, checking that the account login/set up is working and that the ‘optional’ and ‘required’ fields are also behaving as they should.
- Link establishment
When assessing websites, we must manually check that all links, whether that be a hyperlink or a social media link embedded within a photograph or an icon, are arriving at the correct place, and behaving as they should.
When testing websites we must check that the website is functional on a range of devices.
We must check that the website is functional on a range of mobile devices, this includes:
- All IOS variants starting from iPhone 5 – iPhone 11
- Samsung Galaxy S8,9 and 9+
- iPad Pro (Safari and Chrome)
We must check that websites are operable on all laptop and desktop sizes, Including:
Websites must function on a range of browsers, so we test it on:
- Google chrome (C70,71 and 72)
- Internet Explorer (IE11 and edge 17)
- Firefox (FF64 and 65)
- Safari (S12 and 11)
- Opera (O58).
These are all the subjects we test on at the moment but this may not be up to date in the future and we could use more or fewer factors.
During this process, we also test for extra factors including:
- Pop up ads
- Correct phone number and email address links
- Buttons and icons are accessible by all
- Simple site navigation and content
- The performance of interactive features and elements.
- Functionality testing
While assessing websites we ensure that all codes are functional, especially if we have put any custom codes on the website including:
- Creating a user account
- Making bookings or purchases
- Subscribing to services
- Completing questionnaires and performing test transactions.
We test all of these features and systems across a range of scenarios to ensure all of them are working as they should.
- Different variants of websites
There are many different kinds of websites, from informational to online shopping, but the most complex one to assess is eCommerce, this is because of the number of pages that these websites require, and the advanced level of the functions needed. When checking eCommerce websites there are a few basic functions that we test, including:
- Product pages have no missing information or content
- Filtering options work correctly
- Social media sharing options are engaged and enabled
- Notification emails are received as specified
- Shopping costs are calculated correctly depending on region and tax rate
- Currency converters up to date and correct
- There is no duplicate content or products
- Discounts are taking off and correctly calculated
- Shopping cart is updated when editing the items in it.
One of the most important factors in checking an eCommerce website is ensuring the payment process runs smooth and correctly. When checking this we use the site as if we were a customer using it to ensure they have the best experience possible; we consider and check:
- Whether confirmation booking or purchase emails are being delivered correctly
- Page timeout limits
- Whether account creation is simple enough for the average user
- Whether log in and check out options are functioning correctly
- Whether the customer is encouraged to create an account upon purchase
- Whether the payment getaway service is smooth and working as it should.
Functionality across eCommerce sites is vital and we must also check that this is working and up to speed because of the crucial nature of this function. All algorithms have to be up to date and working as this could affect many other aspects of the website if they are not.
Sites are complex and always need updating, whilst your QA may be complete that doesn’t mean that your site will forever be up to date as there are always new updates and features being added to the online world. Therefore, your site should be updated regularly so that the website does not become dated, difficult to use, and boring. Your site will convert as long as the online presence is felt by the customer, your website needs to be simple to use and navigate, kept up to date, and should make it easy for the customer to convert.
Here at verb marketing, we have years of experience in developing, creating, and redesigning websites. We have designed websites for clients of all types, from small businesses to large corporate platforms, and even eCommerce stores. Our web developers and designers work alongside our clients to develop bespoke websites that suit their exact requirements. We offer a range of different services from graphic design and branding development, to web design and custom platforms, to find out more about what we can offer and to see some of our previous work visit our website.
If you need advice on how to improve your website or would like more information about our web design services contact Verb Marketing on 0330 107 5344 or [email protected].