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The Comprehensive Guide for Testing and Deploying Your Website or App

Why Testing and Launching Your Website or Software Application Matters

Releasing a fresh website or software application is a thrilling moment for any business or individual. It could be a tool to streamline your operations, an e-commerce platform, or a blog to express your ideas to the world. The thrill of anticipation is always there as you get ready to unveil it.

But before you do, there’s a crucial step you must not overlook: testing and launching. These are two distinct yet interconnected phases in the development process of any software application.

Testing is all about identifying and fixing errors, bugs, broken links, page speed issues, and any other factors that could disrupt the user experience on your website/application. It’s your chance to make sure everything functions as planned before making it public.

Launching, on the other hand, is the process of making your website/application available to everyone in your target audience. This is the moment when all your hard work comes together and is released to the world.

This is a significant milestone in your project development cycle. While these two stages involve different tasks, they are both crucial steps towards ensuring the success of any web-based project – whether it’s for personal blogs or large corporate websites.

If you don’t thoroughly observe the proper testing and launch phases before going live with your project on the internet, you may encounter many issues. These could lead to user frustration, resulting in poor reviews, and render all the effort you put into design aesthetics, UI/UX design, etc., worthless. No matter what type of website/application you’re launching, don’t underestimate these steps!

What to Do Before Launching

Ensure All Links and Errors are Fixed

Before you launch your website or software application, it’s crucial to make sure all links are functioning correctly. Broken links and errors can disrupt the user experience and create a negative impression of your product. Manually testing each link on your website or application can be incredibly time-consuming, so consider using a tool like LinkChecker or W3C Link Checker to automate the process.

Test Across Different Devices and Browsers

Your website or application should work flawlessly across different devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Moreover, with the variety of browsers available today (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari), it’s crucial to test that everything works as intended across all of them. You can use a browser testing tool like BrowserStack or Sauce Labs for cross-browser testing.

Ensure Optimal Website/Application Speed and Performance

The speed at which your website or application loads significantly affects user experience and engagement. If pages take too long to load or if there’s lag in functionality such as scrolling through content or loading media files, users may quickly lose interest. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to identify any bottlenecks in your website/application’s performance.

Verify All Forms are Functioning Correctly

Forms are a vital component of websites and applications as they allow users to interact directly with businesses. Before launching your website/application, double-check that all forms are working correctly without any issues that can hinder the user’s experience.

Review Spelling, Grammar, and Formatting

Grammar errors and spelling mistakes can make you appear unprofessional, so please take some time before launching to check for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and formatting. Remember, first impressions matter, so make sure you meet your target audience’s expectations. Pay close attention to how you present your message to resonate with your customers and keep them coming back for more.

User Testing

Recruit Testers from Your Target Audience

Once you’ve completed your pre-launch checklist and fixed any major bugs, it’s time to start user testing.

The first step in user testing is to recruit testers from your target audience.

This can be done through social media, email campaigns, or by reaching out to existing customers. It’s important to find testers who represent your target audience and who will provide valuable feedback on your website or application’s usability.

Create Test Scenarios to Simulate Real-World Usage

Next, you need to create test scenarios that simulate real-world usage of your website or application. These scenarios should cover a range of actions that a user might take while on your site or using your application. For example, if you’re testing an e-commerce site, you might create scenarios for adding items to a cart, checking out, and navigating through different categories.

Encourage Users to Try to “Break” Your Website or App – Yes, You Need to Do This

It might sound odd, but your website or app should be robust enough to handle unexpected user behavior.  Users might accidentally or intentionally do all sorts of unusual things, like clicking buttons too quickly, in an odd order, using the browser back buttons then going forward again and refreshing the page, or anything else you can think of.

The goal is that no amount of misuse should freeze your website or app, or allow it to malfunction in a harmful or surprising way.

Common Problems That Can Occur If You Don’t Stress Test Your Software:

  1. Users can be double charged if they become impatient and click the Complete Purchase button too many times or too quickly
  2. Users can complete a purchase using a fake card number such as “4444 3333 2222 1111”
  3. Users can’t retrieve password if they lose it
  4. Users enter a lot of information, such as on a Checkout page and then if they click the back button for instance, the data is all lost, they become frustrated because they need to re-enter the data and they give up on the purchase
  5. There are many more
Do your best to learn what to test for. Here’s a handy guide “What To Test For When User Testing Your Site or App”

Collect Feedback on Usability, Functionality, and Overall Experience

Once you have recruited testers and created test scenarios, it’s time to collect feedback on usability, functionality, and the overall experience of using your website or application. This feedback can be collected through surveys, interviews, or by observing users as they interact with the site or app. It’s important to ask open-ended questions that allow testers to provide detailed feedback about their experience.

This information will help you identify areas for improvement and make any necessary changes before launch. User testing is a critical step in the launch process because it allows you to collect valuable feedback from actual users before releasing your website or application to the public.

By recruiting testers from within your target audience and creating realistic test scenarios, you can gain insight into how users interact with your site or app in real-world situations. Use this information wisely as it will help ensure that the launch is successful!

Fixing Bugs

Rank Bugs Based on Severity and Impact on User Experience

While testing your website or software application, you’re likely to encounter various issues. Some might be minor, while others can cause significant problems for the users.

Therefore, it’s important to rank bugs based on their severity and impact on user experience. To do this, you can create a spreadsheet with all the reported issues and categorize them based on their level of importance.

Issues that affect the core functionality of your website or application should be given higher priority than those that don’t. Similarly, bugs that cause problems for a large number of users should be addressed before those affecting only a few.

Collaborate with Development Team to Fix Bugs Promptly

Once you have identified the most critical bugs, it’s time to collaborate with your development team to fix them promptly. Depending on the complexity of the issues, some bugs may take longer to fix than others.

However, it’s important to keep track of progress and ensure everything is moving forward smoothly.

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