The Importance of Testing Your website before it launches online

Posted by Helen Curry on January 9th 2015

Launching a new website can be extremely overwhelming. In order to avoid any hiccups, thorough testing has to be done, this helps eliminate anything that could threaten the success of the site and cause any future complications. Any issues with site performance could damage the company’s image, therefore, the site’s back-end has to function perfectly. The usability of your website is crucial, the site has to be easy to navigate and tasks have to be easy to perform in order to make the visitor's experience enjoyable and effective.  

A lot of elements have to come together before a site goes live. Testing throughout the development stage is crucial but often overlooked, which can lead to technical issues on launch day.

By creating a comprehensive checklist you can plan for any issues that crop up and make time to rectify them so the launch isn't delayed. A good method for making sure your site is ready for launch day is to simulate a day in the life of your website to make sure it can handle a high volume of visitors and all pages load and run quickly and efficiently.

However, testing is no easy task, these days there are an almost limitless number of browsers and devices that have to be checked. No longer does everyone use a desktop computer, there are smartphones and tablets to consider which has made testing more complicated and time consuming, but it is more important than ever with more access than ever and readily available on the go.

Analysing the speed it take to load pages and how it deals with high volumes of traffic is essential, especially for a site that is expecting big crowds. Since 2010 Google introduced site speed as a ranking factor into their algorithm. If your site runs slowly, not only will clients and customers be frustrated when using it but it will also be harder to achieve a competitive advantage if your business ranks lower on search engines. A faster site can increase conversions, customers don’t want to wait in a queue, they want things instantly so the quicker your site performs the quicker they can find what they’re looking for. A study by Amazon found that sales increased by as much as 1% for every 100ms of improvement in page load time.

Testing throughout development gives you more opportunity to spot small glitches before they become a real issue once the site launches. By preparing for complications and testing the site the launch day will run smoothly and the client will be happy with the quality of work provided.  

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