How to QA a Website [+ Free Downloadable Checklist]

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9 min

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January 2021

How to QA a Website [+ Free Downloadable Checklist]

The world is changing faster now than ever before and we are headed into a fully digital environment at full speed as we leave behind all offline business, shopping, and entertainment to embrace everything that the internet has to offer.

Download now: Free Website Quality
Assurance Checklist

This means that any business that wants to stay relevant in the modern age is going to need to work on optimizing their website experience. This means that the user should be able to navigate the site, register, shop, and get proper assistance with ease.

Quality assurance is one of the most essential aspects of web design. But you would be surprised to know that a large number of websites are launched without QA. This usually means the website is going to end up having a series of bugs that could ruin the user experience.

Today, we are going to provide a very useful quality assurance checklist. It is going to help you achieve the best website launch testing plan.

Download now: Free Website Quality Assurance Checklist

Ensure your website launch is a success with our checklist!

table of contents

Go over the graphic design issues first

You need to make sure that your website is looking consistent in terms of design. This is going to be extremely important in order to create a sense of professionalism. Also that is going to help attract more people.

Every aspect of your graphic design is going to be a key factor in the results you get. An important thing to consider; images, headers, or banners that are not optimized are going to slow the site down considerably.

Most people don’t know just how important a single second of loading time can be for a website. The average internet user is not going to wait more than 3 to 5 seconds for your website to load. This may sound like an exaggeration, but that is how impatient website users can be. And that is why you need to optimize your file sizes as much as possible.

Transcend Website Design
Our website design for "Transcend": no heavy graphics used, only lightweight vectors. View project

Also, take into consideration that a graphic heavy website is not always going to be necessary. Minimalist designs are becoming a very popular choice for many online business ventures. It’s all about knowing how to use colors and shapes to create something tasteful and inviting.

Sometimes a simple design can go a long way. And visitors are often more concerned with speed and intuitive navigation than they are with flashy looks. Being able to create a balanced outcome that offers can be tricky. But that is the kind of design that a seasoned designer should always aim to create. One that offers the best of both worlds without compromising quality in any way.

Navigation should be intuitive and easy

One of the biggest problems that websites suffer from is the lack of a good structure for smooth navigation. Some websites have very strange link placement for some of their important sections and this can be very confusing.

The best way to test your website navigation is to ask people who are unrelated to the project to check the site and see if they can find things with ease.

This is a great way to test things out. You can ask them to look for specific menu sections to see if they have trouble finding anything.

This kind of testing process may require more time and resources than you expected. But it will be worth it once you are able to green light the launch with peace of mind. Don’t forget that any issue with navigation could cost your business many potential customers and followers.

There are also some popular software testing websites that can really help with this process. Just keep in mind that the more you put into this as far as getting the job done, the more likely it is that you will get results that are going to last.

Crazy Egg helps you understand your users' interests with tools like Heat maps, Scroll maps and more!

Forms

You need to test your website form before you launch it and you need to see if the visitors messages are making their way to the email you assigned to this purpose. You also need to check if the form is not creating any conflict or ending up on a broken link.

User experiences and contact forms go hand in hand because most people want the fastest possible way to get in touch with you. This is why you have to optimise this process and make it super fast and easy for anyone who needs to get in touch with your staff.

Some contact forms have mandatory fields, but it’s important to keep those fields to a minimum. Many people will grow impatient if they are forced to fill out any sections of the form.

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Adaptability or interoperability

A website may look and function quite smoothly on a PC monitor. But you need to makes sure that it also works as intended on any resolution and device. A responsive site should change according to the device that is being used to browse and this will be crucial for optimal engagement.

This is a huge problem for websites that look amazing on a laptop and desktop configurations, but once you view them on a tablet or smartphone they are not displaying the content or graphics properly.

There are too many situations when people have decided to stop using a website because they have been unable to navigate the content properly on their mobile devices. This is something to consider as an important aspect of your web design and development efforts.

Genius Learning Web Page Design
All of our websites are optimised for tablet & mobile. Check out our projects

Check browser compatibility

This is another important aspect of QA because it will allow you to optimize your website for all the browsers. The reason why you should do this is because some browsers interpret website code differently than others.

This means that a website design could show a frame in one color on Firefox and it could have a different color or not even be visible in Chrome. That is why you have to browse your website with as many browsers as you can and this includes Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

There are some browsers that are more popular than others, so there is nothing wrong with prioritizing the top, but it’s also important to look into the most unpopular browsers. Even if a browser is considered low in popularity, this could still mean that they receive hundreds of thousands of visits daily.

Usage share of desktop browsers

Usage share of mobile browsers

Link validation

It’s essential for you to ensure that every single page on your website is working properly. Broken links can have a terrible effect on your reputation. And some people may consider that a weakness that shows you are not serious about your business.

The best thing you can do is click every single link on your site. From the home and about us tabs, to the contact us section and the FAQ. The idea is for you to go over everything and to make sure that it all works as intended.

There are many websites that look great and they have amazing content. But that can all be ruined if any of the sections include broken links that lead to error pages. People want to be able to have a great web browsing experience that is free of any serious bugs or setbacks.

Complex process testing

There are many websites that have more complex features such as booking systems, forums, interactive applications, etc. This requires a very detailed and thorough effort in the testing process.

If your website offers any kind of dynamic content, you need to be more careful when it comes to how you approach QA and how much time you spend in this process. There can’t be any kind of bugs or issues with this content if you want your website launch to be a success.

Even if your website has no complex or specialized content as of now, you should always make sure that you can test it even in the most basic functionalities. This is going to set your website apart from a sea of competitors.

Ecommerce

There are many things that you need to check when you are planning to sell products online. This is a complex process that has many stages and they all need to be working properly in order for the result to be a successful purchase.

The first thing to work on is the payment gateway that you are going to use and also the number of payment options you plan to offer. Some websites only offer credit card options, while others also have PayPal and other similar systems.

You also need to create an account creation process that is going to be simple and easy for your potential customers. Then you need to test and see if everything goes smoothly when someone is looking to register for a purchase.

Keep in mind that any setbacks with this process can mean the difference between a paying customer and someone that leaves and never comes backs again. Being able to optimize the registration process is truly crucial for the success of your eCommerce site.

Carbo Jewelers eCommerce website design and development

Ecommerce jewelry website "Carbo Jewelers" we designed and built in WordPress

There are many online sellers that have failed to achieve the expected sales because their eCommerce efforts lacked the optimization needed for a smooth process. You need to make sure that your team spends all the time required to test every single part of your eCommerce process.

Once you are able to create a system that is efficient and easy to use for shopping, you will be able to focus on attracting customers instead of worrying about how good their experience is going to be when they use your website to shop.

The good news is that many eCommerce sites are using templates that work very well for this purpose. This means that you are going to be able to setup an eCommerce site without too much effort.

Search Engine optimization

This is just as important as any of the other aspects of QA that we have mentioned so far. You need to start by implementing a proper tracking and monitoring solution to be able to measure your results. Google Analytics continues to be one of the best available choices for this purpose.

You also need to ensure that all of the content you publish on your website is fully optimized to provide optimal engagement when looking to climb the ranks. This means that you have to make use of the best keywords in your niche and you need to be monitoring the efforts closely to decide your next move.

Sometimes the work you are doing for SEO may not be ideal and analytics are going to provide the insight you need in order to determine if you need to change your strategy. Those who get involved in SEO are often going to do this without any specific strategies. And it is very likely to end up being inefficient.

Google Page Speed Insights
We like to use Google PageSpeed Insights to check our speed!

Proofreading

Your entire website needs to go through a proofreading process to guarantee that all of the content is going to be indexed and ranked. Not only is this important for SEO; but also for the overall presentation of your website.

Proofreading every single section of the website is important, but you also need to consider plagiarism checking to be essential in this process. If your website has any content that is too similar to existing content online, you may find that it will be banned from the search engine results.

We love using Grammarly's free chrome extension to check our content!

Final thoughts

You need to be optimize your website in a way that is going to ensure optimal results for your business. This is why you have to dedicate enough time to quality assurance and the tips we have mentioned above are going to help you get through this process as quickly as possible.

The best way to close this is to remind you that taking your time is always going to be important. Launching a website without proper QA could cause serious damage to your business reputation, so don’t rush this process.

General FAQ

What is website QA?

Website Quality Assurance (QA) is the process of ensuring a website is up to a certain level of quality. This involves assessing the content, design, functionality, security, SEO and forms to check they’re all up to scratch.

Do I need to carry out QA for my website?

The average internet user is not going to wait more than 3 to 5 seconds for your website to load. Users are spoilt for choice in terms of high quality, fast, optimised, engaging websites and if yours isn’t of good enough quality it will soon be left behind!

What is a website quality assurance checklist?

A website quality assurance checklist is a step by step list taking you through all the individual criteria for possible defects your website could have.

How can you test the quality of a website?

A good start is by going through a checklist and crossing off any potential defect one by one. Google Pagespeed Insights is a handy tool for testing the speed of your website, among other factors such as accessibility and SEO.

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