Redesigns are a great move. They ensure your site is in line with current trends and design standards, and if your site is outdated or not mobile friendly, they can even give you a boost in SEO, too.
But with a new design also comes new potential errors – errors that could frustrate your users, turn away potential leads and lose you sales.
If you want to prevent these issues and ensure your website redesign is as effective and successful as it possibly can be, then make sure you work thorough, comprehensive quality control into the process.
What is Quality Control?
Quality control, also called quality assurance, is the process of testing your website for usability and proper functionality.
It ensures there are no broken links, buttons that don’t work, pages that don’t load or missing content, and it allows you to have the most pleasing, user-friendly website possible.
Not sure where to start with your quality control processes? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help:
Check all the links – Click every single menu item (on every single page), and check that all links in your content, sidebars, headers and footers work, too. There’s nothing more frustrating than a 404 error or a link that leads to nowhere. Be extra sure to check for any links that lead to your development site. As this site will likely disappear once you go live, they could pose a problem in the future.
Submit your forms – If you have contact forms, email forms or other areas of your site that require submissions, try each and every single one out. Input the information, and verify that you received notification in your inbox.
Look at it on different browsers and devices – Don’t just do quality assurance in one browser or on one screen. Go through each step on every browser – Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE – and check it out on different devices, too. Does it work and look right on mobile phones? Tablets? Ereaders?
Read your content – Take time to read every single word of your copy, and make sure there no grammar mistakes, typos or spelling errors. Those are a huge turn-off for readers, so you’ll want to get them handled before going live.
Check out your images – Look at each of your images with a scrutinizing eye. Are there any watermarks still remaining? Are they clear and easy to see? Do they load fast? Are they positioned properly? You want to make sure your images are as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Test ecommerce, payment and other added functions – If you have added functions on your website (i.e. people can pay, purchase items or download things), then test those out, too. Make sure they work on every browser and device.
Loading times – Take a few minutes to evaluate the loading time of each page. Slow loading times annoy users and they lead to lower search engine rankings as well. If your pages are taking more than 3 seconds to load, you may need to downsize some images or eliminate some of the bulkier functions on the page just to be safe.
A great web design firm will include quality control as a standard part of its services. It will also have designated experts who know what to test, how to test it and what to look for. At Steadfast Creative, we offer just that. We always include quality assurance in every project we manage, and we stop at nothing to ensure our sites are functional, beautiful and user-friendly.