Three Ways to Test Your Website Before Launch

It’s the day your team has been working hard for. All of the planning, content writing, photography selection, and development is behind you – your website is ready to launch! Or is it? One of the most crucial steps of launching a website or webpage is to test its functionality. This part is especially vital if the site has custom design and functionality.

Your website is the face of your brand. As consumers access web content through different platforms and demand more and more functionality from websites, it’s important that your site works like it should! If it doesn’t, you could lose important business and conversions.

The best way to eliminate website errors and launch a website that consumers can rely on is to find problems before they’re live. Let’s walk through three tests you must run before a website can be considered ready for launch:

  1. User experience testing
  2. Browser and device testing
  3. Content testing

Three tests you should run before launching a website

1. User Experience Testing

It’s important to understand that you are not your user. You may know your company, products and services best, but all of the different users visiting your site could have very different ideas of how your site should function. So how do you do user experience testing? Come up with a list of commonly executed tasks users will face, then have real people accomplish them. Watch over their shoulders (literally), and resist the temptation to influence their actions. Ask for their thoughts, but don’t lead them. They’ll lead you.

If you’re ready to go to the next level, work with a professional user experience (UX) designer. Their main focus is to determine how users are experiencing your product, so they’ll see things no one else can.

2. Browser and Device Testing

There are hundreds of devices on the market, and consumers access the web with all of them. Your website needs to be compatible with a significant number of devices, platforms, browsers, and operating systems so that no matter how users find your site, it’s working as intended. A site will open differently on a touch device like a phone or a tablet than it will on a desktop. Test your site on multiple different devices to make sure it’s responsive to screen size and readjusts its design accordingly.

Pro tip: Because it’s impossible to test in every browser out there, it’s totally fine to focus in on a select few. Google Chrome has the largest piece of the web browser market share pie at 64%, with Safari, FireFox, and Edge coming in next. You can also use analytics to understand which devices and browsers your target audience already uses.

3. Content Testing

Because content on sites change — websites are not static brochures! — it’s a good idea to try out different content with your layouts. Take into consideration how the content interacts with your design:

  • How do extra long titles look?
  • If you’re using a page builder, how do different elements look next to each other?
  • How does your menu hold up with long page names or nested pages?

Put up your most “extreme” content (longest titles, unique layouts) and test how well the site functions.

Testing for a more people-focused website

Website testing doesn’t need to stop once you launch. It can be an ongoing and organic process as you gather insights and analytics into how users are interacting with your site. But don’t obsess over perfection – that can lead to an always-changing site that visitors can’t rely on. When building your site, consider your minimum viable product (your less-than-perfect-but-still-acceptable threshold) and commit to it to avoid scope creep.

Your website has a purpose – to establish brand credibility and create lasting relationships. Testing your site before launch ensures a better user experience, and helps turn first-time visitors into frequent customers.

We want your website to be amazing every time someone visits it – let us help!

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