• Irit Levi

7 Steps to properly test your website or software

Updated: Mar 24

Having a website for your business has sort of become the norm. Whether you have an online or offline product or service, you want potential customers to be able to find you quickly and easily. And when they do find you, you want them to have a great experience.

Depending on your sales and marketing funnel, your website or app may be critical to your business or nice to have.

Either way, if you've decided to develop a website or application, it becomes the window to your business. Statistically 21% of users browse online before buying in-store. And only 8% of users never research online before purchasing offline.

So making sure your site or app are functioning properly is key.

Once you've decided to start development it becomes a run against the clock to get things live as soon as possible.

Cutting corners is never recommended, but many companies think that they can shorten the process by shortening the amount of time spent on testing and quality assurance (QA).

In 2019 companies spent 23% of their IT budget on testing, as opposed to 35% in 2015.

But cutting on QA may mean that your users will see buggy software, or worse yet, that there may be security issues in your software that you're unaware of.

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your software is presenting you in the best way possible:

1. Use a testing environment

2. Use separate development branches for your release

3. Use testing documentation

4. Have as many testers as possible

5. Use development software

6. Test components as well as integrations

7. Fix & retest

Use a testing environment

Testing your software should be done in an environment as close to your live product as possible. This means it should be a clean server, different from the one where on which you develop.

Having a clean environment means the bugs you find are in the actual product and not due to someone uploading code or running development tools exactly the second you were performing the testing.

Mimicking your live environment also means there is less of a chance things will start to fail when you go live.

Use separate development branches for your release

If you're using a code repository like GitHub or Bitbucket, have a branch for your release and test that branch on your QA environment.

In general, working with branches is recommended. A branch is actually a pointer to a snapshot of your software. Adding new features on a separate branch means you can implement and test the feature before you integrate it into your software.

Using a separate branch for testing means that when you finally approve your version and push it live, it will be the version you tested, and not a version with features developed or fixed after testing.

Another advantage of using branches, is that if something does go wrong on the live site, you can always rollback to a previous version on the branch.

Use testing documentation