QA & Testing: what goes into a successful site launch?


7 Minutes

Quality Assurance & testing - what goes into a successful site launch

Launching a website is a crucial milestone for businesses and organizations. However, a successful site launch isn’t just about design and development; it’s also about ensuring the quality and functionality of the website. This is where Quality Assurance (QA) and testing come into play. In this blog, we’ll explore the various elements that go into a successful site launch through effective quality assurance and testing.

22% less time is spent fixing issues when you have a high-performing team that takes care of issues before a launch.

We know the excitement of unveiling a new website is sometimes barely contained after all the time and effort put into it over days, weeks and months but you do need to pump the brakes a bit before the end. Ensuring a smooth and successful launch and beyond requires meticulous planning, particularly in the realm of quality assurance (QA) and testing.

So how do you make sure you’re doing all that you can do when you’re in the final stages of site launch? Here are a few tips that we recommend if you have all the time and resources to do so.

1. Setting clear objectives

A successful site launch begins with setting clear objectives. You need to define what your website should achieve, both in terms of functionality and user experience. By having well-defined objectives, you’ll have a clear roadmap for the QA and testing phase. This includes understanding the target audience, intended features, and performance benchmarks.

2. Comprehensive test planning

Once you’ve set your objectives, it’s time to create a comprehensive test plan. This plan should outline the types of tests, testing methodologies, and a timeline for testing. Common types of tests include functional testing, performance testing, security testing, and usability testing. The goal is to identify and address potential issues before they affect the end users.

3. Functional testing

Functional testing focuses on ensuring that every component of the website functions as intended. This includes testing features, forms, links, and any interactive elements. Testers check for broken links, incorrect calculations, and functionality issues that could disrupt the user experience.

4. Compatibility and cross-browser testing

In today’s multi-device and multi-browser world, it’s crucial to test your website across various platforms and browsers. This step ensures that your website looks and functions consistently regardless of the user’s device or browser choice. Compatibility testing involves checking for issues related to different screen sizes, resolutions, and browser versions.

5. Performance testing

Performance testing is essential for assessing how well your website handles traffic. This includes load testing, stress testing, and scalability testing. Performance testing identifies bottlenecks, slowdowns, or crashes that could occur during a surge in user activity. It helps ensure that your website can handle the expected load without compromising user experience.

6. Security testing

Security is a top priority for any website. Security testing identifies vulnerabilities that could lead to data breaches or other security threats. Testers assess the website’s security measures, including data encryption, access control, and protection against common web vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

7. Usability testing

Usability testing assesses the website from a user’s perspective. Testers evaluate how easy it is to navigate the site, find information, and complete tasks. The feedback from usability testing helps in refining the user experience and ensuring that the website is user-friendly.

8. Regression testing

After making changes or fixes during the QA process, it’s crucial to conduct regression testing. This ensures the new updates don’t inadvertently introduce new issues or break previously working features.

9. Documentation and reporting

Throughout the QA and testing process, it’s essential to maintain detailed documentation of the tests, findings, and any issues identified. This documentation is valuable for tracking progress and sharing insights with the development team. Clear reporting enables effective communication and collaboration between testers and developers.

10. Continuous improvement

Quality assurance and testing should be an ongoing process. After the initial launch, regular monitoring and testing help to identify and address new issues that may arise over time. Staying vigilant and continuously improving your website’s quality ensures a consistently positive user experience.

How TU does it.

At Twirling Umbrellas, we ensure each site we build for clients is built to be all it can be. From content to design to development, we are meticulous in our work. QA is part of all that. Here are a few ways we ensure your site is ready to hit the ground running, right out of the gate.

UX review and testing.

Our UX team thoroughly reviews all site pages on desktop and mobile from the user’s perspective. We put ourselves in our users’ shoes to identify potential pain points and ways to improve the experience. 

Brand and content

  • Ensure the brand is applied consistently across the site according to brand guidelines and digital style guide (colours, typography styling/sizing, graphic elements etc)
  • Look for and correct any content errors 

Usability testing

  • Test navigation, links, and downloadable items  
  • Review the site’s animations and interactive elements to ensure proper interactivity, speed, timing, and style 
  • Test key features, such as search, filters, forms, checkout process, to make sure everything is functioning as expected and that any instructions are clear for users
  • Review and ensure appropriate success and error messages   

Testing specifically for mobile users 

  • Make sure content and imagery are in the ideal order for mobile users
  • Ensure adequate spacing between touch targets (nav, links etc) 
  • Make sure that non-standard content such as tables, tab systems, and maps are adapted appropriately

Coordinate with dev

  • Provide dev with recommendations that help streamline, clean up, and optimize the user’s experience
  • Meet with our development team for any clarification and/or to refine various solutions

Development review and testing.

On the development side, our team tests and checks on things from a technical perspective. This includes but is not limited to: 

Content

  • All content is in place and no placeholder text is left behind
  • Checking all downloadable files are available and in the right place
  • Ensure all pages have meta titles and descriptions

Usability and accessibility

  • Proper permalink structure is set 
  • Print-friendly CSS for accessibility
  • External links open in a new tab for usability 
  • Test navigation, links, and downloadable items
  • Ensure there are no broken links left 
  • Ensure tap target sizing is adequate for mobile

Performance

  • Ensure images are optimized for loading speed
  • Check all downloadable files to ensure they’re opitimized 
  • Enable Gzip compression 

Codes, plugins, security  

  • Check code formatting
  • Security checks ensuring that reCaptcha is on all forms
  • Ensuring plug-ins and WordPress are all up-to-date and that licenses are activated and properly set

Once these two groups have done their testing, both separately and together, your site is ready to launch whenever you’re ready to go. Once the site is live, there is another round of tests to ensure that everything is working as it should be.

Pushing the bird out of the nest.

A successful site launch is the result of meticulous planning, thorough quality assurance, and comprehensive testing. By setting clear objectives, creating a robust test plan, and addressing functional, compatibility, performance, security, and usability aspects, you can significantly increase the chances of a seamless website launch. Remember that the process doesn’t end with the launch; it’s an ongoing commitment to maintaining the quality and performance of your website.