Learning to pay attention to detail is not always easy!
So your web developer has built you a beautiful new website and has asked you to make your final review in preparation for going live. What should you look for?
As part of any good web development agency’s process, your site should have already gone through a vigorous internal quality assessment (QA) process and there should be scarcely a problem for you to find at all. Still, even the most talented and diligent web developers are still human and might miss something once in a blue moon, so it’s a good idea to do your due diligence and double check. Besides, this is your website, so you need to make sure you’re proud to show it off.
Things to Look For:
Accuracy to Original Design: Compare the original design that you approved to the end product to ensure that the coded version is true to the website design you love. Keep in mind that some adjustments may have been discussed along the way, but you should know about them and there shouldn’t be any surprises. Are the font styles right? Do bulleted lists look the way you expected them to look? If you have any rollover effects, make sure they’re working beautifully.
Images: Look at the images on your site and make sure they are picture perfect. Check for any lingering watermarks and ensure your images look the way they should and have aesthetically pleasing spacing around them.
Content: Check that you have all of the pages you need for your debut, and that all have proper grammar, spelling etc.
Menus and Links: Click on all of the menu items and links to make sure they all go where they should and that there are no pages with content missing. Links may also include PDFs and other documents you are offering for download from the website and email addresses for contact purposes. You can check that links open either within your site window, or open a new window as you specified.
Email Forms: Fill out your own email forms to make sure all of the fields are correct and working well. Then check your email for the results to ensure that you actually get the submission that the form is supposed to send.
Browser Check: Check your website on multiple browsers. Depending on what level of design and programming you purchased, older or less common browsers may have some compatibility issues, however be sure to check your website on the most common players: Internet Explorer 7 or above, Safari, and FireFox.
Testing: If you have any e-commerce or custom system components, test them! Try processing a payment and be sure it gets into your bank account as set up through your third party payment gateway. Keep in mind that if you put through a charge, you’ll have to go back and refund your own money later.
An Exception to the Rule:
Search functionality: This is one of the few features of your site that may not yet be working when you first see it. Currently many systems search functionality is connected to Google, so it won’t be operational until your site goes live and has been seen by Google. This is good! You want Google to index your permanent domain, not the development URL used by web developers to build your site. Even after you’re live, the site search will be set up, but you won’t see any results until Google indexes your site. Still, in the days and sometimes weeks after you go live, it’s a good idea to go back and check it.
Sometimes Excellence is Better than Perfection
Your website is an extension of your business and needs to represent your quality and sterling reputation, but it will never be finished and most likely it will never be perfect. Your site will never be finished, you will always be nurturing and building it alongside your business. Once you have assured yourself that nothing is broken or missing and that it is in line with your vision, it’s time to set it free. A wise web developer once said that once your site is as good as or better than your existing site, get it live!