Your Complete DIY Guide to Website QA (Quality Assurance)
Web Quality Assurance (QA) checking refers to a process of ensuring that everything on your website is set up and working as expected – from internal links and code standards to legal licensing. Everything that doesn’t function properly is considered a bug, and we don’t like bugs, do we?
Whether you are working with a marketing consultancy or running your marketing in-house, the proper steps should be meticulously followed before a website goes live for the world to see. All checks are equally important to ensuring that your website is user-friendly and fully prepared for use by all customers.
In this post, we’ll explain in detail what web quality review is and explore popular QA tools that help organizations with the review process.
Table of Contents:
What Is the Website Quality Assurance Process?
Quality assurance is a method for preventing unwanted functionality/design flaws and defects from ever making it to your website or web app. QA’s focus is on ensuring that the quality of the product is in line with what the client wants and expects. This is achieved through carefully thought out processes and criteria, along with experience and a sharp eye for detail.
Good quality assurance should always be carried out separately from the design and development processes. It is carried out to check the website’s or web application’s functionality. While testing a product’s user interface (UI) and evaluating your UX, the QA process identifies design flaws and development mistakes.
Why Is Quality Assurance Critical?
It is necessary to have quality assurance standards in place to offer high-quality products consistently. Following stringent criteria will bring to light hidden defects that could compromise user experience, ruin site functioning, and trigger many difficulties throughout the website. Additionally, QA can stop a poorly functioning website, protecting your company’s reputation as well as time and money.
Additionally, it is more important than ever to concentrate on online QA, given the rising expectations of today’s modern web users and the increased emphasis that search engines like Google are placing on UX.
Implementing thorough website QA testing in more depth will:
- Identify potential issues to enhance your website’s functioning.
- Help you appear more reliable and develop your brand (because having a buggy site makes you look bad).
- Because you can identify problems early on before they turn into greater ones, this will ultimately save you time and money.
Web Quality Review Stages
Every development team’s quality assurance process will have a different set of stages. However, they essentially consist of the following:
- Requirements analysis. The criteria for both functional and non-functional websites are first examined by QA engineers. They make sure they are precise and consistent, and they clarify them as necessary. This assists the team in producing the desired outcome and preventing future fixes.
- Test planning. QA engineers proceed to the planning stage based on the data acquired during the analysis. The strategy, scope, budget, timelines, resources, testing kinds, necessary software, problem reporting methods, and more should all be part of a thorough plan.
- Test design. Engineers in quality assurance create test cases that address the project requirements. The cases describe the requirements and procedures needed to determine whether a specific feature is functioning properly. They also develop automation scenarios if the project involves automation. Additionally, they set up the testing environment.
- Test execution and bug reporting. QA engineers now execute the cases they’ve prepared or run automated scripts. They either create automated reports or keep track of the bugs with specialized bug-tracking software.
- Regression testing. Regression testing is carried out by QA engineers to ensure that everything continues to function as intended and that none of the new modifications have had an impact. Later, it ought to be done each time a new feature is added.
Quality Assurance Testing Types
There are 5 top testing types that you need to know about.
Some of them are pretty technical, and some of them can be done by you with a little extra effort. Here I have explained each quality testing type and the ones you can implement at your end.
- Functionality Testing;
- Performance Testing;
- Automated Testing;
- Usability Testing;
- Security Testing.
Website functionality testing is the most straightforward and essential type of web application testing, which is done to check if all the product’s components perform as intended.
Software testing engineers use the information they gathered at the initial phase of requirement analysis as their test cases to test a website. It helps them check whether the project is running as expected or not.
Usually, functional testing is carried out to verify the workflows and user interface. It also involves testing the stored database for better and synchronized connectivity.
By going a bit deeper, you’ll know that measuring a web application’s functionality majorly relies on White Box and Black Box testing. This helps testing engineers review all the integrated components of a product for its quality check.
- Black Box Testing: This type of functional testing lets check the software functionality without giving importance to the internal code.
- White Box Testing: On the contrary, White Box is referred to as “glass box testing,” which verifies the internal code, internal design, and data structure to deeply analyze the product’s quality levels.
Generally, both functional testing practices are used by software engineers to make the product quality-approved before launch.
They use White Box website quality assurance testing techniques during the development phase so that all the major changes can be done then and there.
On the other hand, Black Box testing is picked later as it is considered effective at the time of final product testing.
Performance testing is also the most crucial part of the website quality assurance testing checklist. The purpose of performance testing is clear; it tests the system for stability and scalability issues under different load conditions. It also figures out the potential bottlenecks to check the website’s structure and operations under high stress.
Being one of the most important web application testing scenarios, this test ensures that the system has high performance and behaves correspondingly when utilized by the users.
Organizations typically prepare and follow a performance web testing checklist to evaluate the product’s processing/execution speed, workload speed, efficiency, and data transfer rates. Measuring these performance factors is helpful in knowing about the weak links integrated into the software.
Performance testing can be deep tested by conducting load and stress testing. This can be calibrated by evaluating the below checkpoints.
- Determine if the application is running seamlessly under variegated Internet speed.
- Check how the system behaves under normal and peak loads.
- Check if the system is still running efficiently even if multiple users access it at the same time.
- Inspect if the web application is ready to handle simultaneous user actions for DB access via specific pages.
Web Stress Testing
- Check how the system reacts and responds when stressed and after being pushed beyond its soft limits.
- Check if the website is ready to bear the continuous load.
- Check the performance metrics of the memory, CPU, and file handling operations.
Automated quality assurance website testing came into the picture when software engineers and testers started facing issues with manual testing practices. They find manual testing expensive and time-consuming that often fails to identify potential bugs in software.
Traditional manual testing requires a skilled team of testers who manually check each button and functional component to assess what’s working fine and which component needs to be fixed.
But in the Automated QA for web testing, all can be done in a more accurate, quicker, and easier way. The reason why automated testing is highly appreciated is due to the highly specialized code programs written by skilled programmers to check the severe vulnerabilities of the finalized software.
Due to the fast-paced problem-solving practice and accuracy in results, this technique is being widely adopted by tech organizations to make their products quality-assured. The best part is that the industry has already produced various automation testing tools to make this testing much faster and more accurate.
In a web application, both the user interface and user experience must be significantly considered during the development and testing phase.
Another reason for this is the increasing modernity in consumers that demands beautiful and flawless websites across the web. Here, following the user interface testing checklist is a great option to check the quality level of your web application.
Usability testing is the second most crucial phase of the website testing checklist, where human and computer interaction factors of a system are measured, and loopholes are identified for further correction.
Process of Usability Testing
- The process typically involves selecting and inviting random customers for the usability test of a web application.
- Here, the development team is responsible for monitoring the user screen to know how the selected customers are interacting with the website.
- The team observes and notes down the frustrating points according to users and corrects them to bring quality improvements to the product.
- Finally, they figure out the broken pathways and complicated navigation processes that make the web application complex to be used by users.
Usability testing can be strengthened by taking expert reviews to know if they have something exceptional that can uplift the product and improve quality as well. This rigorous usability test helps find hidden vulnerabilities and also provides the possible ways to correct or improve them.
Security directly pitches data privacy that necessarily needs to be maintained in all phases of software development. No matter how much secure your product is, malicious elements find smart ways to harm it through brutal hacking attacks.
If you test your product for security parameters, your product will automatically gain traction across the web. The application security testing checklist that software testers follow to measure the security levels is given below.
- Check if the web page contains important data like passwords, credit card numbers, secret answers for the security questions, etc., that are to be submitted via HTTPS (SSL).
- Check if the password, credit card numbers, and other data are displayed in an encrypted format.
- Check for SQL Injection for any page in your application that accepts user-entered information to access a database.
- Verify that the error message shouldn’t display any important messages.
- Test if the session is expired or the user has logged out; they shouldn’t be able to navigate further into the system.
- Check if both secured and unsecured web pages are accessed directly without login.
- Test the “View Source Code” option is disabled for the end-users.
- Verify that all the cookies are stored in encrypted form.
- Check if the password rules are implemented on all authenticated pages, including set password, change the password, and forgot password.
- Test and make sure that users shouldn’t be able to log in with the old passwords once it is changed.
- Verify that users are restricted from logging in to the system if they enter the wrong passwords more than three times. Additionally, check for cross-user logins according to the configuration of the sessions.
- Check if there is a restriction on the number of forgotten password requests sent per day.
- Verify that system cookies are not storing the passwords.
Just because you have a responsive design doesn’t mean your site displays and works properly on all browsers and devices. You still need to conduct quality assurance.
Due to the nature of mobile, you also need to consider some mobile-specific factors. Remember, a quality desktop experience looks quite different from a quality mobile experience.
With mobile, it’s more than just identifying bugs and critical errors (which goes without saying). It’s about ensuring you have designed and set up a mobile experience that is seamless and easy to use.
- Keyboards: Make sure the right keyboard appears when people are ready to take that step. Whether it is to fill in their email address, phone number, or add their credit card details, make sure that when people tap the field, the right keyboard opens. Numeric for credit card details, text + @ to help complete their email address quicker, etc.
- Error Messages: On desktop, there are many ways to show errors. For example, within the field itself or beside it in a different color. On mobile, highlight the field with the error in red and add short text below to describe the error.
- Load Time: On mobile, images may take longer to load, causing a lag in load time and causing a higher bounce rate. Make sure to reduce heavyweight images, consider the number of images you use and optimize for the best fit. You don’t necessarily have to use the same images as on desktop.
- Think Cross-Device: As many as 65% of all online shopping starts on mobile and continues to other devices (tablets/desktop). Make sure your mobile experience allows for people to save items for later or receive an email for future reference. At Banana Splash, we’ve added a ‘save for later’ pop-up to many of our eCommerce customers’ mobile sites and increased their revenues by over 54%.
- Unplayable Videos: There is nothing more frustrating and annoying than tapping on a video on mobile and getting this notice: ‘Video not available on mobile.’ Make sure your videos work on mobile or remove them before going live.”
Of course, the list goes on and on. When you switch to mobile quality assurance, switch your mindset and adjust your definition of quality, too.
Website Quality Assurance Factors Which Need to Be Tested Regularly
The above has been an effort to make you understand the technical side of testing. Now we discuss the simple ways that you can use to test your site yourself.
Following are the do-it-yourself testing types:
- User Testing;
- Content Testing;
- Page Load Testing;
- SEO Testing;
- Responsive Testing;
- Performance Testing;
- Form Testing.
User testing is conducted to check if the UI of the website is displayed correctly as intended and if the site is usable to the end-user. This can also be considered as a process of software testing different aspects of user experience to identify and implement the best ways for a web application to interact with the audience.
For example, if a new user logs into the application, it must be easy for him/her to navigate and use the site effectively. This will test the functionality and user experience parameters of the app.
Let’s discover the best ways to test a web application on different user design aspects –
Color and Appearance
- Do the hyperlink colors match the standard color that is universally used?
- Does the field background display in the correct color?
- Does the prompt field display in the right color?
- Does the screen and field colors display correctly for non-editable mode?
- Does the site use standard link colors?
- Do all the buttons display in standard format and size?
- Does the general screen background displayed in the planned color?
- Do the page background colors display in a distraction-free tone?
- Check for the alignment of images in the web application.
- Are the images throughout the application optimized for size?
- Are other graphics in the application optimized for quick downloads?
- Are all the button graphics matching throughout the application?
- Does text wrap properly around pictures/graphics?
- Does the screen navigation work as intended?
- Does a scrollbar appear wherever scrolling is required?
- Does the Tab Order specified on the screen go in sequence from Top Left to bottom right (navigation done by pressing the tab key)?
- Is there a link to the homepage on every single page?
- On loading, does a page allows tab focus display on the first editable field?
- When an error message occurs, does the focus return to the field in error when the user cancels it?
Other Useful Factors
- Are all the field prompts spell-checked?
- Are fonts readable by the users?
- Check if the text in the command button & option box is typed in full forms and not as abbreviations.
- Can a user run the system without any hassle?
- Do pages print legibly without cutting off text?
- Does the site convey a clear sense of its intended audience?
- Does the site have a consistent and clearly recognizable “look-&-feel”?
So, if you’ve checked your website on all the above-mentioned aspects, finalize the testing process by reconfirming the website on the given points:
- Identify if the users are able to easily and successfully complete the specific tasks.
- Check how efficiently users are able to undertake predetermined activities.
- Post checking the functional aspects, discover and pinpoint the certain changes that are needed to improve website performance.
Content testing is the practice of checking whether or not your web application content is suitable for your audience to explore. It also determines the motive of the web page.
Moreover, you can test the content from a readability and visibility point of view so that it can portray the best example of accessibility and readability in front of website visitors.
How to do Web Testing for Content
- Identify test goals: Your content test goals should be defined properly in terms of your user requirements, content strategy, content context, and target users.
- Monitor content testing: It should be done on the basis of content usefulness, accessibility, and content readability.
- Test content with users: Post setting all the strategies, you can invite a few users and ask them to test the website content to see if it’s optimized in all aspects or needs improvement.
After Setting the Goals, Check Whether:
- Font style and size in all the web pages are consistent.
- All the screen prompts are displayed in the defined and right font style.
- The content while navigating between the pages is displayed consistently over there.
- The text updated on all pages is aligned properly.
- All the page headings are aligned left as per standards.
- The text on all pages is displayed in sentence case.
Page Load Testing
Everyone loves faster websites, and if yours is not optimized for speed, you might be losing the quality audience. Now, you have solutions in your hand as you can make your website faster to load by checking how much time your website takes to load and what factors are causing delays in page loading.
You can utilize the industry-standard tools below to check the website for load factors:
- Pingdom: It’s a trusted tool that is widely used by many small, middle, and large enterprises to gain instant insights into your website’s performance so that a business can outsmart competition with a fantastic user experience.
- Google PageSpeed Insights: It’s a product of Google and so has secured optimum trust among users. Most website analyzers use this tool to make websites faster by discovering the best and weak factors affecting the website speed. Similarly, you can check your website’s loading speed by simply entering the URL.
- GTmetrix: Just like other above-mentioned tools, GTmetrix also provides ways to analyze how the website is performing, unmask the factors making it slow, and lets the website owners discover all the page optimization opportunities.
SEO testing is not as easy as it sounds. Here, you need to check whether a web application is optimized for all the SERPs, including Google. Skilled SEO professionals invest a lot of time in optimizing a website for a variety of factors. Below are the major ones that can help you quickly check your SEO level.
Check for Your Website’s Backlink Profile
- Check for your website’s backlink profile by utilizing Ahrefs, possessing the biggest index of over 15 trillion live backlinks. Being the most used SEO tool, this helps organizations by providing complete insight into their business backlink profile.
Go to the “Check backlinks” button. The results you’ll get will be displayed in the below format:
- Check for your site’s loading speed; this can be done by:
- Compressing images
- Deleting unnecessary files
- Remove or disable unnecessary code with the help of a developer
- Eliminating specific Java-Script code to remove above-the-fold functionality
- Check for the Meta Tags. These should be optimally optimized and should be page-oriented.
- Keenly conduct a check for website content to check duplication. You can check a variety of tools to check content duplication. Use Siteliner, the best tool to check duplicate content on your site. This tool will render the entire website and single out the pages containing duplicate content.
To explore, you can click the “+” option of a particular report.
- Thoroughly check for broken links, which can be easily done by using HTTP Header Status Checker.
- Check for the website’s URL structure.
- Check the website’s target keyword strategy.
- Check whether your
Robots.txtfile is accessible.
- Verify structured data markup.
- Check and update website content.
Proceed further and figure out how you can practically implement all the steps:
Meta Tags: It’s the initial and very best practice to optimize a website for Google ranking. You can quickly follow the below guidelines to optimize Meta tags for your website.
- Meta tags should be written using page-targeted keywords.
- Character length of description should be appropriate and shouldn’t float outside the SERP page layout.
- Use this SEO Snippet Optimization tool to check:
- How your web page will be displayed in Google search results
- How you can optimize your SERP snippets for higher CTR (Click Through Rates)
- Meta Title should be keyword-targeted and written in a specified length. It directly impacts website ranking.
Header tags improve the search engine visibility for your page’s target keyword. To optimize header tags, you need to:
- Place a single header tag on a web page targeting the main keyword.
- Check how many subheader tags are there on a web page. All need to be optimized with other targeted keywords.
- Browse SEOptimer if you want to check and optimize header tags on a web page.
Robots.txt is a file structure created to tell web robots, or you can say search engines, what pages on your website are to crawl. The best thing is, that you can utilize the
robots.txt file to disable the web pages that don’t need to be crawled.
To check if your website’s
Robots.txt is optimized or not:
- Make sure you’ve not restricted any content on your website that you want to be crawled.
- Check whether any links are blocked because robots.txt don’t follow blocked links on a web page.
- Don’t use robots.txt to restrict the website’s sensitive data (for example, private user information) from appearing in SERPs. To make sure that a URL is not indexed, use the robot’s meta tag or X-Robots-Tag HTTP header instead.
To implement this approach, you have to first check whether your website has
robots.txt or not. For this, you can simply type your root domain and add
/robots.txt at the end of the URL.
So, if you found such a hierarchy, your website has
robots.txt, but if the results appear in the form of a no
.txt page, you need to create one.
You’ll find all the web page URLs in a Sitemap.xml file. This is the next best strategy one can use to crawl web pages more efficiently. This SEO practice also allows users to know the isolated URLs of the website.
You can create, optimize and check sitemap.xml. Steps to follow:
- Sitemap creation: Generating a sitemap is not a big deal providing you’re utilizing the right tools. Check out Google XML Sitemap, a broadly used sitemap generator or plugin.
- Post creation, you need to submit your sitemap to Google through Google Search Console.
- Prioritize high-quality pages on your website. You can prioritize the pages containing:
- Compressed images and videos;
- Adequate highly-optimized content;
- Prompt user engagement through reviews and comments.
- Incorporate only canonical versions of pages in our sitemap. For example, check and see if you’ve added multiple pages of similar types by mistake (like product pages with the same color and appearance).
- Avoid incorporating no-index URLs in the sitemap.
- Create dynamic XML sitemaps for large websites.
Have you ever seen rich snippets? Schema markup is somehow similar as it is placed on a website to bring rich information to users. You can create and use schema markup to test how optimized your website is.
You can implement this SEO strategy to optimize your website’s search opportunities.
- First, go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
- Next, select the information you want to show as markup results.
- Paste the data in the URL or the article that needs to be displayed for markup.
- Highlight and select the types of elements for markup.
- Continue adding markup items according to your requirements
- Finally, create an HTML.
- Next, add schema markup to your targeted web page.
- In the end, you can check all your added schema items by using the Structured Data Testing Tool.
This is how you’ll get a complete insight into the site’s data post schema optimization.
Image Alt Tags
Images are the most important part when it comes to SEO testing a website. To evaluate image aspects, it’s needed to check all the images for ALT Tags.
Using ALT Tags or ALT Text for images defines an alternate text for an image. It’s the text which describes the image or its purpose on the web page.
Test whether or not your website images are integrated with the right image ALT Tags.
If your website is larger and contains multiple pages of similar types, it’s hard to prevent pages from becoming duplicates. It further generates the problem of content duplicity.
Setting the target page as a canonical page is the technical solution for removing duplicate content issues. Doing this will provide users with the different products or key phrases falling under the same category. These days, SEO professionals consider it the best practice to maintain the quality of website content.
Testing URLs to check website quality is a valid point. You can implement it by creating an SEO-friendly website URL. Also, make sure the URL is created using the main target keyword. The best practice for creating a webpage URL is to keep it simple by avoiding underscores and special characters.
Website Speed Optimization: Website speed is the major factor in analyzing the quality of a website. You can check it by using a variety of tools available over the web. Therefore, if you want to uplift your website’s quality traffic, make sure it doesn’t take too long to load.
Mobile Friendliness: A consolidated website look, regardless of the user’s end device, is a formula for success. Believe us, half of your battle ends here if you succeed in making your website mobile-friendly, as these days, more than 50% of users access content on their smart devices.
It’s the easiest testing technique, allowing you to test website appearance on different parameters. The main motive of this testing is to make sure the web application is conveniently accessible on all types of operating systems and smart devices having variegated screens.
If you find the website troubling to access on different screens, you can optimize it by integrating:
- Flexible layouts;
- Flexible media;
- Flexible images;
- Easily adjustable content.
And later, start checking your web application on given factors:
- Check all the controls, text, and images are aligned properly.
- Verify if hover and selection state get highlights and changes colors.
- Check if the text and CTA are designed with a suitable clickable area.
- Evaluate consistency in shading, color, and gradients (if available).
- Check whether the edges are created with appropriate padding options.
- Check text, images, and color, and content style shouldn’t overlap the edges of the screen.
- Verify if the style, font size, and color are consistent for text placed on each web page.
- Check if scrolling is working as expected on the website.
- Determine if all the pages possess perfect readability on different screen resolutions.
- Verify all the links on the website are properly displayed and clickable.
- Check all the input, and output boxes (if they exist) are displayed and taking and provide values as per users’ commands.
- There should not be any horizontal scroll bar on the web page as everything needs to be fit according to the screen size and resolutions.
- While rotating the device, all the content of the website needs to be rotated and displayed uniformly without glitches.
For better insights, you can finally set a few points to check your web application for responsive factors:
- First of all, decide how your app is going to be used. You can get actual insights by exploring Google Analytics, where you’ll get to know the devices customers are using to reach your web application.
- Utilize Analytics to choose the device you want to get the majority of users on.
- By selecting and auditing the device, you can get an idea of how your website will be working on other devices, as it’s not possible to test the website for every device available.
- Set and test what should be appeared when the user accesses your web application.
Form testing is easy and one of the most important steps to checking the quality of a website. And the best part is, there’s no need for technical or coding knowledge to carry out such type of testing. Anyone can easily verify the form by following the below aspects.
- Check if the scripting aspects are working properly or not. For example – if users don’t fill any of the mandatory fields in the form, an error message should appear.
- All the default values should be populated in the fields.
- Check if the user-filled data is sent to a live database and/or is directly delivered to the registered email address.
- The form should be appropriately formatted and optimized for readability.
Use Inline Form Field Validation
The user’s information is checked live as she moves throughout the form — if she suddenly puts an incorrect email address, for instance, the red text will appear below the form field, so she doesn’t have to reach the bottom before learning it can’t process.
Inline message alerts:
- First Name*: Please enter your first name;
- Last Name*: Please enter your last name;
- Email*: Please enter a valid email address;
- Phone Number: Please enter a valid phone number (at the bottom);
- Phone, e.g.: +12536587589 (at the top);
- Organization: Please select your organization;
- Budget: Please select a budget range;
- Message: Please enter your top-level requirements;
- Timeline: Please select a timeline.
If someone directly clicks on the CTA, then all fields will turn red with alert messages.
After considering all the above-mentioned factors, you must have a stronghold on all types of testing approaches. Now, let’s move to the next step; make your development team aware of interacting quality aspects during the product development life cycle.
Tools to Assist with Web QA
In this section, you will be aware of a variety of tools you can utilize to test your web application manually and automatically.
Best Used Manual or Online Web Testing Tools
- Crazy Egg;
- User Testing;
Best Used Automated Tools
The aforementioned are the best tools most web development organizations use to achieve high-quality products.
Check your site, landing pages, test treatments, and email campaigns for bugs and errors. Seems like pretty straightforward advice, right? Yet there are still many sites that just don’t work.
Your UX and QA teams should work together closely so that both can perform their jobs better, resulting in a better-performing site. Also, don’t forget to conduct quality assurance on your analytics. You need to create a set of guidelines with the help of the development team before you begin quality assurance.
Furthermore, if you haven’t conducted quality assurance before, start by going through your funnels. Use scenario-based use cases to complete tasks and fail to complete tasks, both of which will shed light on issues. Use Google Analytics to help you find browsers and devices that aren’t performing as well as others. Quality assurance is time-consuming, so don’t forget to use cross-testing tools or modified strategies to get a more significant ROI faster.
If you have something to add or any questions, you need answers to, feel free to use the comment section below.
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