The Importance of Testing on the Web

It’s no secret among web developers that testing is important: between hearing the buzz of test-driven development spread through the industry, and living the experience of squashing critical bugs in production, we know the value of good quality assurance practices. But does the average web user consider how much time and effort goes into testing their favorite websites? Maybe not.

There’s a reason it’s called quality assurance. A website that’s been tested well is a website that’s reliable and easy to use. It’s a website that loads quickly and works in every context. And there are a lot of contexts: from OS (Windows or Mac?) to screen size (smartphone or extra-large monitor?) to browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE, oh my!).

It’s easy for testing to get pushed to the backburner of a project; squished into a tiny portion of the schedule. But letting that happen can be a big mistake. Website errors or inconsistencies can cause customers to lose confidence in your services.

There’s a saying: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” Meaning, the more people who look at, use, or interact with a product, the easier it is to smoke out the big problems. That’s why it’s important to get as many users as possible to test a website, as early as possible. At RedTree, we facilitate this process in three ways:

  • Everyone on the RedTree team thoroughly tests new sites and site changes, in all leading browsers and with an array of screen sizes.
  • For new launches, we employ third-party user testing with samples that have been specifically curated to get the most insightful results.
  • We encourage our clients to open up testing to their entire team, and to collect feedback from their customers.

Testing should never be an afterthought. Your website might be a part of your marketing strategy, a part of your sales team, or even the main source of income for your company: make sure it’s working for you, by making sure it’s working for your customers.

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