Testing to Future-proof your Web Site


Testing is required at every step and stage of the Web design, Web building, Web maintenance process.

There are plenty of things that can go wrong, and there are many issues that are created by the plethora of non-compliant browsers.

But, there are also many things that are just plain errors. These errors include:

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Syntax
  • Wrong word meaning in context
  • Cultural insults
  • Legal liabilities

Unfortunately, Web visitors want none of these errors because the errors slow them down. They don't want to have to decipher or decode what you really meant. They are fussy, perhaps becoming ill tempered, when they encounter bonehead and careless errors.

There are two types of behaviors associated with errors of this type on your site.

Internal Responses:
Cussing, grumbling, griping, bewailing the site's creators
Overt Responses:
Hitting the back button or the Favorites List and bailing from the site

A rule of thumb is that your site's ability to make a sale decreases proportionately to either the level of a visitor's irritation or the level of inappropriate words uttered under their breath.

However, the speed that the visitor leaves your site is proportional to their gripe and irritation index.

The rule for finding these errors if proofreading and more proofreading.

The rule for finding your own errors is to get someone else to proofread your work after you have checked the work two or three times yourself.

Link Errors

Some errors occur because the hyperlinks do not work.

This can be on your site, or to other Websites.

Visitors do not like these errors, either.

Testing links is an ongoing process. The links that functionied yesterday may not function today (or tomorrow if they still work today). The sources of broken links are:

  • Site managers delete pages that are no longer needed
  • Site managers move pages
  • Sites go out of business
  • Sites upgrade and change page names
  • The products and services are no longer offered by the site
  • Servers crash, and the linked page will be available soon

Hidden Errors

There are a number of other errors that plague Websites. Some of these are:

  • Junk code left over from WYSIWYG editors
  • Junk code when attempting to save pages created from other programs (Such as MS Word™)
  • Just plain sloppy coding

Preventing Errors by Constant Testing

The time to correct any error is immediately when the error is discovered.

The easiest way to find proofreading errors is by repeated reading of the page in a browser.

Use a spell check program before saving each page, but beware that spell checkers don't catch every spelling error. Example: “The spell checker done find this mistake.”

Link to additional CSS information on this site.