In the rush of making your business online presence outstanding, unique, and perfectly tailored, there is often one part missing: testing.
This vital element is frequently overlooked or underestimated, but it is crucial to understand that testing is an essential part of web development, providing measurable benefits to any software implementation.
The QA (Quality Assurance) team is responsible for analyzing whether the software product meets the expected requirements and ensuring that it is free of defects. Proper testing of the software product not only ensures dependability, security, and high performance, but also saves time and money, and increases customer satisfaction.
In this article, we will explore the importance of website testing and how it can improve your digital presence. We will examine the risks of neglecting this essential aspect and provide compelling reasons why implementing a website without testing will be incomplete and ineffective, posing considerable risks to your investment.
Is testing really necessary?
Imagine you’re back in high school, writing your political essay about democracy. You plan it, write the pinpoints, then elaborate, add an intro, add a summary, and, here you go – it’s done. You just nailed it, and you know that there's everything you wanted to say.
But wait a second… Did you not double-check it?
Okay, to be confident the work is good enough, you read it one more time, make a few adjustments, and it’s done… again.
But are you sure you haven’t made any grammar errors? How are your spelling and punctuation? Isn’t your reasoning too complex? Is it long enough to meet the requirements? Is your writing even legible? Can you update your work and still meet the deadline? The list of admissible and vital questions might go on and on.
In this analogy, writing and possibly double-checking the work is what developers do. All the following questions, doubts, bulletproofing, scope-checking, and other analyses – this part falls on the tester's shoulders.
The testing process must be methodical and thorough. Web QA testers must check the entire web system end-to-end before releasing the website live. This way, they can evaluate how well the website meets its intended purpose, and in turn, evaluate the overall performance of your new investment.
What actually do testers check on my website?
Website testers perform multiple tests to ensure its functionality, performance, security, usability, and overall quality. The specific tests they conduct can vary depending on the project's requirements and goals, but here are some common areas that web testers typically focus on:
- Documentation assessment: Testers are often involved in requirement reviews, design analyses, and project bottleneck identification.
- Functionality Testing: This involves checking whether all the website's features and functions work as intended. Testers validate that buttons, forms, links, navigation menus, and other interactive elements work without errors and are intuitive to use.
- Usability Testing: This evaluates the website's user-friendliness. Testers assess the site's layout, design, and overall user experience (UX) to ensure it meets usability standards and is easily accessible to all visitors.
- Content Testing: Testers review and validate the accuracy and consistency of content, including text, CTAs, images, videos, and other media.
- Accessibility Testing: Ensures the website is accessible to individuals with disabilities, complying with accessibility standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
- Cross-Browser Testing: Verifying that the website displays and functions correctly across different web browsers (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) on various devices (e.g., desktop computers, tablets, smartphones).
- Cross-Platform Testing: Ensuring that the website looks and works consistently on different operating systems (e.g., Windows, macOS) and devices (e.g. TVs, smartwatches).
- Performance Testing: This includes various tests to assess the website's speed, responsiveness, and scalability.
- Security Testing: Testers identify and address security vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could expose the website to attacks or data breaches.
- Localization and Internationalization Testing: For websites serving global audiences, testers check that the website works correctly in different languages, regions, and cultures and that it handles internationalization features appropriately.
Why testers are better than developers? (in testing!)
In simple terms, devs test their work from the code perspective and testers check the implementation in a bigger picture. Just let people do what they do best.
Developers are better off using their skills to code, build, and transfer ideas into practice. QAs (testers) are better off using their analytical skills to test and recommend improvements. Manual testers also address defects in customer workflow and other aspects of application functionality that can be missed by developer-based code testing. Testing needs patience, a human-centered mindset, and the ability to cross-check several parts of service (and competitors!) at the same time.
QA tester checks every single form field, button, and function on several devices and platforms. You're not wrong if you think that developers could do this as well.
However, a dedicated tester is highly specialized and trained for the task. Developers can stay focused on coding, while testers handle the quality assurance aspect. This specialization leads to improved productivity and a more streamlined development process.
Furthermore, testing can happen simultaneously with development, which speeds up the implementation process when a tester is available to perform it.
Such a clear division of roles saves time and effort, reducing the overall costs.
Developers are visionary creators who breathe life into ideas. No wonder it happens, that they are not so prone to find flaws in their creations. When developers test something they have coded, they may bring unconscious or unintentional bias into the testing process.
Moreover, developers can become “feature-blind”. When they are working on a particular feature with a precisely defined scope, it’s hard to even think of some unintended ways of using the feature, therefore they miss some common issues.
A dedicated QA tester is a neutral party that can access the project in an objective, impartial way, putting oneself into an end user’s shoes with no knowledge of how the software is made. This gives much better results in understanding the real usage of an app or website.
Testers have in-depth experience with a variety of web and mobile applications against which they can compare your project. Not only from a code perspective, but also usability, performance, UX, accessibility, SEO good practices, innovative animation implementation, API integrations, and much more.
Knowledge and experience with various applications, websites, and other digital products can help comprehend and empathize with a diverse user base. It enhances the ability to efficiently identify and solve a wider range of issues, make informed decisions, and optimize the testing process, resulting in improved product quality and reliability.
What testers save me from?
The consequences of skipping website testing depend on the complexity of the project. It can result in a range of negative effects, affecting the website's functionality, security, user experience, and overall success. Here are some examples of what testers save you from:
User frustration and loss of trust.
Usability issues, including confusing navigation or slow load times, can result in a negative user experience, leading to decreased user engagement and potential loss of customers. A poorly functioning or untested website can also damage a brand's credibility and trustworthiness, driving customers away.
Negative impact on SEO and search rankings.
Search engines prioritize user-friendly, secure, and well-optimized websites, so neglecting testing can result in lower search rankings, reduced organic traffic, and missed opportunities to reach a wider audience. In essence, not testing a website can hinder its visibility and competitiveness in search engine results pages, ultimately hampering your SEO efforts.
Increased development and maintenance costs.
Detecting and fixing issues after the website is live is more costly and time-consuming than addressing them during the development and testing phase. Early testing might also prevent you from failing to adhere to legal requirements, such as accessibility standards (especially important for public institutions but soon - also for the e-commerce industry) or data privacy regulations, which can result in legal consequences and financial penalties.
Security risks and data breaches.
Without testing, security vulnerabilities may go undetected, exposing the website to hacking, data breaches, and other cyber threats. I guess the consequences are self-explanatory…
Despite the myth of infinite war between developers and testers, mature organizations understand that close collaboration between the QA and dev teams leads to higher productivity. Manual testers enhance the success of coded tests by providing the much-needed human factor to anticipate unpredictable user behavior. Combining their analytical yet human-centered mind and developers' deep understanding of the code will lead to overall better results.
Tester add to the development phase an objective, human-centered, analytical point of view that is not biased towards implementation.
From project start to finish, fruitful collaboration between testers, developers, designers, and managers will ensure you a reliable, secure, and user-friendly web presence that will meet your highest expectations.
Testing ensures the quality your digital presence deserves
By assuring that your software projects have a diverse team of specialists, including QA testers, you can guarantee that your website will be optimized for user experience, functionality, and security. Not only will this boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it will also enhance your brand's reputation and increase your online visibility. Don't wait until it's too late – start testing your website today and stay ahead of the competition.
Eager to start your new project and see all this in practice?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and meet our testers to get what you desire.