When you are ready to launch your new website it is vital you spend time testing the final results, even if you have made it yourself or have paid a lot of money for it. Things do go wrong when you go from testing and building to live, so you have to take the time to sit down and test the site in full, asking friends, family and anyone else to also test the site before it gets indexed or advertised.
Below, we look at our top ten things you simply have to test before the website goes live and starts getting traffic.
Make sure your menus work, especially if they are drop downs or some other interactive type of menu. Go through and make sure all of the menus open and are in the correct order and in the right place.
Try to be consistent and make sure all of the text is of the same font, or at least the same family of fonts. Sometimes, if you do not code the page or the CSS correctly, it can lead to having multiple font types on the page, which looks really bad and quite unprofessional unless you plan this.
If you have 10 or 100 pages, you need to click through ALL of them and make sure they work, because everyone one of these pages could become a landing page in some way so its vital you do spend the time checking all pages and just making sure everything is ok.
Depending on the browser being used, you may or may not be aware of images not loading when you test your site. Firefox manages to hide non loading images very well, but Internet Explorer will give you the red cross of death, so make sure your images load and are property alt tagged up, which helps people with limited vision to use your site better.
Check the videos load quickly and completely, as a slow video will drive people away and an incomplete video will just leave users frustrated and quite annoyed that they spent time to view something that is simply not finished.
If your site contains outgoing links or a lot of internal navigational links, make sure they all work by testing them before the site goes live. It is also sometimes a good idea to have a paragraph in your terms and conditions to mention that you have no control of what is contained on the site they follow the link to, as if the outgoing site gets hacked you do not want it reflecting on your business.
Producing a contact form is one thing, producing one that works, sends the email to you and also tells the user it has been successfully sent is another. Make sure that you test all of the contact forms on your website, which might be a time consuming exercise but a vital and definitely necessary one.
Does your site have a phone number on it? If so, dial it and make sure it connects to you. Such a simple thing to say but there have been a few instances that we have seen where people mistype the phone number and do not spot it for a long time after, imagine how many calls you might of missed!
It is crucial to make sure that you try your website in all of the major browsers, which include Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and for Mac users, the Safari browser. Even though the two most common browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox, Chrome and Opera have quite a loyal following so you need to make sure the site works the best it can in all browsers.
Speed is a vital aspect for any website, especially as it is now one of the ranking factors in the Google algorithm. People will not want to spend ages waiting for a site to load so its vital you make sure the pages load as quickly as possible and as fluidly as possible as well.