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Image via UX Booth

Sometimes all it takes to make sure you’re not caught unawares is following a checklist.

Every developer has been there. The point when, after all the long hours of hard work, it’s time for your website or online application to go live.

Crossing your fingers and hoping that nothing goes wrong is not enough to guarantee a smooth transition after you release your public version. Even after all the work, things can still go wrong if you’re not well prepared.

As you are well aware, there is a lot more to websites than meets the eye. Websites and applications often contain other components like databases, dynamic code, or even calls for the APIs of other websites and applications.

So, what do you need to do before taking that last and final step?

It’s best to create a checklist for you and your team to go through to ensure that the only problems you encounter are the ones that couldn’t have been avoided!

Here’s a list of 10 things we recommend that you remember to include when creating your testing checklist:  

1. Always double check your website fuctions are working correctly. Even if you’ve already checked, do it again. It’s worth it!

2. Check to make sure your search facility is returning results.

3. Make sure there are no dead links anywhere on your site and check the interactions between pages. Websites get indexed, so make sure your links lead to valid pages.

4. Are your links styled correctly? Consider web conventions and site breaks to make sure text will not be mistaken for links.

5. Check your website display and functionality in different browser variations. It’s also worth making sure that your website still works well without the use of JavaScript or Flash.

6. Check your website display and functionality in different operating systems and platforms.

7. Validate your security certificate and make sure that you’re backing up all databases that may contain important or sensitive customer data.

8. Find out your page load time and identify elements that might require some extra attention. It is extremely important that your pages load as quickly as possible!

9. Create 404 pages and make sure that they are present if a page no longer exists, or has been moved. In particular, if you website was redesigned, make sure that users are presented links to where that information is now.

10. Check your copy for spelling mistakes, test copy, and correct details. Also make sure that your copy is easily scannable by checking that your style and tone are consistent.

Grab your team and some pens…and get checking!

Remember to keep in mind that this post merely acts as an example of good things to consider when testing a website. However, your own checklist could end up being very different from some of the points we’ve featured here.

After all, products, and by extension checklists, are tailored to fit the specific needs of your individual client and the project you are working on.

What else would you add to your list? 

Feel free to share your own thoughts or suggestions in our comments below – it is always great to share your knowledge with others! You can also find us on Facebook and @testomatocom.