Web Testing Company

When “Just Test It” Isn’t Enough

If your goal or the goal you give to a web testing company is “go fast and break things” then you should skip this.

But, if your goal is to build websites and web apps that delight your clients and that propels your company to achieve its goals, then there is something for you to learn in this post.

We’re occasionally asked to “just test this for us” and we’re happy to do that. After all, we’re a software and web testing company. It would be silly not to.

But, if you knew a little more about what is possible with software testing and quality assurance, would it influence your decision about which web testing company you choose and what you asked them to do?

OK, then, here’s what’s possible that you might be missing when you ask a web testing company to “just test” your software.

You want it tested to find the defects that will cause your software or web application to ABEND (any old JCL/Cobol programmers out there?), crash or disrupt your customer from achieving their goal.

You want defects!

But Wait, Just Defects?

Yes and no.

Yes, you want as many defects as your web testing company can find for you. After all, it’s better that we find them than your customers and prospects, right?

And, all software has defects, right? It just goes with the territory and that’s why all software needs to be test.

But, what if you could also reduce the number of defects your team produces and figure out how to build software faster?

Would it help you, your team and your company if merely by having your software tested, you also found out how to measurably improve your software production speed and reduce your software development costs?

The Hidden Secret of Effective Website and Web App Testing

Here’s a secret that few people take advantage of – your web testing company should also have a QA Manager that can help you pinpoint broken places in your software development process where you are building your web software inefficiently or ineffectively. The QA Manager should help you see where you’re either doing it poorly or doing it wrong.

And yet, most people never take advantage of this hidden gem for one of two reasons.

  1. You just don’t ask your web testing company how they could help you build better software. In most cases, this is because most web testing companies simply sell you a tester. When you have a Test Engineer on your project, you’ll have the confidence and opportunity to ask where they think your process could be improved.
  2. Your web testing company doesn’t provide an experienced QA Manger on every project. An experienced QA Manager has seen and successfully completed hundreds of software testing projects. They’ve seen it all! An experienced QA Manager has an enormous toolbox just packed full of QA and Testing methods, processes, tools, tips and tricks that they’d love to share with you. And, you’re hearing from your web testing team every day (you do get daily status reports, right?) and these are the perfect opportunity to get advice and feedback from your web testing company’s QA Manager on how you might improve your software production process.

You should expect more from your web testing company. More than just defects or bugs. You should get help to improve your process so you spend less time and money in the future.

Give Your Web Testing Company Clear Goals If You Want Clear Outcomes

You will almost always need more testing than you can afford. It’s just the nature of software and the art/science of software engineering. You already know this. I’m sorry that it is this way and hope you’ll find some hope and relief in this article.

Since there is more testing work than you can afford, your web testing company will need to decide what to test and how to test it.

Clear goals prevent wasted time and money chasing the wrong thing.

Clear goals for your software testing company will ensure that you are satisfied with the outcomes and value they produce for you.

Clear goals are the #1 factor leading to effectively achieving your goals.

Crystal Clear Constraints Equal On Time Results

You can only afford so much. Budgets are budgets and we all have to make do with less sometimes. Sometimes, even your patience and available time are a constraint – you hired a web testing company to help – why are they asking all these questions?

That’s fine and expected. But, you still need to get the testing coverage you need in the timeline you’ve got so you can achieve your business goals.

Clear constraints (money, time, talent, patience, etc) will help your web testing company make accurate promises, plans, and estimates.

Clear constraints help us further understand your goals and how we can help you.

Lack of clear constraints is the #1 reason most projects end abruptly without completion.

 

Clear Strategy Equals Repeatable and Sustainable Results

For TESTCo, Strategy is the process of assembling a set of assets with advantages and actions relative to achieving the goal. A solid Testing Strategy will help us achieve your goals within your constraints.

There is always more than one way to skin a cat or test your software.

“Just test it” is a strategy but it ignores almost everything you need to be successful.

“Testers” Usually Don’t Have a Strategy

“Test Engineers” and “QA Managers” have a library of different testing and QA Strategies they can employ to achieve your goals. That’s why TESTCo only employs test engineers. That’s why a QA Manager is assigned to every project. Your web testing company should provide these for you!

“Just Test It and Hope For the Best” is also a strategy, it’s just not a very good one. That’s one reason you want to be careful about hiring a company to test your software, website and apps.

Lack of a strategy is the #1 reason for looking foolish to your boss or customers.

Goals, Constraints and Strategy Equal Value and Delight

You know you need testing for your software, website, or web application and you also know you have a limited budget.

Sure, you can get it “tested”.

But, why?

If you’ll share your Goals and Constraints with us, we’ll show you that you can have more.

Your boss and customers will appreciate it.

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Website Testing Service

DIY Website Testing Versus a Website Testing Service

You have a website – an important website –it represents your company (or is your company), and you want to make certain it works properly. You know the site should be tested, but should you consider a website testing service, or gather a few employees, friends and relatives together for an afternoon of testing while munching on pizza? One option costs money, the other doesn’t (okay, you have to spring for a few pizzas).

You might ask yourself, what do other companies do? The sad truth is that too many businesses either don’t test their websites or just do it poorly.

They pay for price on the back end — high bounce rates, abandoned shopping carts, customer complaints and not enough lead forms or converted sales.

Some folks just check it on their own computer/phone and call it done. Who needs  outsourced website testing services, right?

While that’s  better than nothing, it leaves you wide open for delivering a user experience that hurts your business. Let me make it simpler and easier for you with this report.

What follows is great advice for setting up a test plan for your website. I’ve even included a link to a free report, “Website Testing Cheat Sheet”.

What Does it Take to Test a Website Yourself? The DIY Method.

First, you’ll need a Goal, a Strategy, and a Plan.

Sure, you can just sit down and start testing but you probably won’t get what you want. Why? Because you’re just performing semi-random testing to see if you can find some “bugs”. Sure, that’s helpful but not very economical or efficient.

Set the Goal for Your Website Testing Project

Zero defects? Works okay for 90% of users/visitors? No critical defects but some annoyances are okay? You’re about to spend your time or money in a business activity, so you DO want a return or positive outcome for your time or money, right?

If you know what your quality goal is, then you can easily determine how much time and money it’s wise to spend in achieving that goal so that it does produce the outcome or return that you desire.

This holds true for doing it yourself or using a website testing service. Knowing your goal helps you determine the best budget for your website testing project and achieving your quality and business goals.

Now That You Have Your Goal, What is Your Strategy?

A Quality or Testing Strategy is a collection of Assets (people, resources, time, money, etc), each with a unique Advantage that can be used or perform a certain Action to achieve your goal.

One strategy is DIY Website Testing – Use your time (Asset) where you are experienced with your application (Advantage) and is already paid for (Advantage) to run ad-hoc tests (Action).

Another strategy is Outsourced Website Testing Services – Use trained professionals that you pay (Asset) who have and use an industry standard testing strategy (Advantage) to build and run a regression testing suite (Action).

These are two very simple examples among countless quality and testing strategies. The best strategy is the one that achieves your quality goal for the lowest cost with the highest outcome or return.

It might help to think of strategies as various ways to optimize Faster, Better and Cheaper!

Every strategy needs a plan to coordinate the Actions of the Assets with Advantages (Strategy) that you’ve selected.

Is it the Plan or the Planning?

Plans are important for every website testing project. But, at TESTCo, we’ve learned that the planning is much more valuable than the plan. Why? Most plans blow up within the first 10-20% of the time allotted. The requirements might or night not change but some of your assumptions are almost guaranteed to be wrong or change. The environment or situation around you is the most common change that impacts a plan. Someone always seems to need something sooner than they thought previously. Or, your best and most important technical person goes on an unexpected vacation. What happens to the plan when something changes or goes wrong?

You replan–and quickly!

But, the second (and third and fourth, sometimes) time you replan, you’re smarter and more effective in your planning. Why? Because you’ve already thought through most of the requirements and assumptions and you’re simply factoring in changes. You get a little smarter and a little better every time you need to replan. And, almost every replan provides better outcomes and greater accuracy.

At TESTCo, our website testing service plans tend to be very accurate, but only because we’ve done so many of them and already have backup plans and test engineers ready to go if (and when) a change happens.

So, Why Plan (or Re-plan) if it’s Going to Blow up Anyway?

Great question – because your project and team need your leadership and management. They (maybe just you sometimes) need and want to be told what to do to achieve the goal they’ve agreed is important. They need to know you have some level of confidence and certainty in the project and your plan is a primary component to communicate your confidence.

Website testing services appears to be quite simple. But, with mobile devices and browsers changing and upgrading frequently, a plan to achieve your specific goals will always your best friend.

Planning is even more powerful. A plan just communicates the timeline and the outcome. The process of planning involves (or should involve) almost everyone on the team. Planning provides the opportunity to raise, discuss and resolve issues and doubts about achieving the goal. Talking and discussing how you will achieve a goal will almost always trump a Gantt chart or project plan. Sure, you need the plan but the gold is mined in the plannING!

So, go ahead and replan that rascal if your current plan isn’t on track!

A Quick Checklist to Cover the Basics of Website Testing

Does it work properly?

  • Does every input form correctly save the data and send the appropriate emails?
  • Does every link go to the right place?
  • Does every page and form work properly, even when you use the Back button on the browser?

Does it display properly?

  • Does every page load quickly and fully?
  • Does every graphic render fully and completely?
  • Does every animation display properly?

OK, that’s it.  Congrats, you’re done.

Oh, Wait a Minute. What About Mobile?

Which browser did you use when you tested?

And that browser was running on which operating system?

Oh, you used your phone…great!

OK, which mobile browser did you use?

And what type of mobile device do you have? Apple or Android?

And what operating system version does it have?

Wait! Why are you asking me all these questions??????

Well, here’s a dirty secret about websites and today’s web browsers on desktop and mobile devices.

They’re all different and they all have different “issues” with how they try to display your web designer’s newest and coolest graphics and display treatments.

What does that even mean???

It means that your website may look perfect on a Mac with Safari but render terribly on an Android phone or iPad running the previous operating system.

There are literally hundreds of different possible combinations.

Selecting the Right Browsers and Devices to Test

There are two references to consider when deciding which browsers and devices to test in your website testing project.

  1. Browser and mobile device market share information is frequently published on the web.  Find the most recent research report (I won’t link here because they change frequently, just Google it) and note the most common browsers and devices.
  2. Check your website server logs (or a web analytics application) and find the one that tells you which operating systems and browsers your visitors are using.  No need to test for browsers that aren’t popular and aren’t visiting your site.

Match list #1 against list #2 and pick the combinations that are most popular in the market and most used by your website visitors.

Now, you have your list of devices and browsers (we call them flavors).

You should probably have about 6-12 flavors.

Now, you simply run the same tests on this list of browsers and devices that you ran on your own browser. You can begin to understand why hiring an outsourced website testing service makes sense in a lot of cases.

But I Don’t Have All Those Flavors!

What, you don’t have all those devices and computers on which to test?

Not a problem, there are a bunch of “Cross Browser Testing” tools available. They are very handy and while most use emulators instead of the real devices, you will be able to see and correct most of the defects that occur on the actual devices.

Now you’re ready to test your website.

How Long Will It Take? Counting the Hours.

How much time will you need to complete your website testing project?

The math is easy.

Count or estimate the number of pages and forms on your website.

On average, it takes about five minutes to fully evaluate and test a single web page on a single device.

Now, multiply number of pages and forms by five  minutes and then divide by 12 to get the number of hours it should take to test your website with EACH flavor.

Then, multiply those hours by the number of flavors you want to test.

Now, you have a good rough estimate of the amount of time you’re going to be spending at night or on the weekend testing your website.

A Small Note on Regression Testing and What It Means

Regression testing means “testing it again” after fixes have been completed from the bugs you found during your last round of testing.

Yes, you will find defects when you test – almost every time. If you don’t find any defects, you should be very suspicious about the quality of the testing.

After you find the defects, your developer or software engineers will read your defect (write it very carefully and thoroughly so they can quickly reproduce it and then fix it) and make changes to prevent that defect from happening.

This will need to be rested to confirm that it has been fixed. This is called validation testing – you are validating that the defect you found has been accurately fixed.

There is also the possibility (or even probability) that your developer or software engineers accidentally caused another defect somewhere else when they were fixing the defect you found. Make sense? They fixed something but that fix caused another defect.

You need to find these and chasing them down can be maddening sometimes. This is called regression testing – testing again to make sure nothing else was broken during the latest round of fixes.

And, theoretically, you can keep doing this until you have Zero Defects. But, you should consider that performing regression testing until you achieve Zero Defects will probably be very expensive. Think ahead and plan for at least one round of regression testing (they do tend to go faster than your first round of testing) and possibly two rounds depending on the number and severity of the defects you find in each round of testing.

That’s Too Long!

Yeah, I’m sorry.  I knew you’d probably be surprised when you actually did the detailed math for testing and regression testing.

Website testing is relatively simple but it’s not easy. There’s a LOT of ground to cover, a lot of repetition and it requires an intense attention to detail – especially when you’re looking at the same pages over and over, just on slightly different devices.

If you have a small(ish) website and/or you aren’t very busy, you can certainly do this yourself.

Be careful, though, and make sure you’re paying close attention as you do it – website errors can be sneaky and hard to notice. Maybe get a pot of coffee ready?

Rather than consume more caffeine, seriously consider outsourcing your website testing project to a website testing service that can run the necessary tests while you and your team focus on other priorities that build and grow your business.

A Website Testing Service is Sounding Pretty Good Right Now

I understand. We have a number of clients who came to us after they tried testing their site in-house.

We can help in a number of different ways:

  1. We can answer your questions. Just ask, and we’ll be happy to answer.  No charge!
  2. We can help with your research. Don’t want to figure out the right flavors? Let us tell you what we’d propose!
  3. We can test it for you. You’ll be surprised at how affordable we can be – we definitely cost less than what it would cost to do it yourself!

Here’s additional information about the TESTCo website testing service.

At Least Do Something!

Please, at least do a little testing on your website.  The rest of us who visit your site will be thankful.

If you can’t do it yourself, we can help you. It doesn’t hurt to talk. Click the blue and green button in upper right of this page to request a call back, or reach out to me by phone right now. 888-254-9709

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Web Testing Services

Common Web Testing Services Explained

You’re looking for Web testing services, but we know you’re really looking  for Website testing or Web app testing. Correct? You’ve come to the right place.

We typically see three types of testing when someone asks us to provide Web testing services.

Functional Testing Gets the Inputs and Outputs Right

Does your website or Web app gather data, collect information or calculate any sums?

Does your website create reports or display graphs of data?

Or, maybe your website looks up data or connects with other databases to show the results?

Ever wonder if it’s possible to crash your website or web application with “bad data”?

If you want this type of web testing service, you’ll probably want some Functional Testing to make sure that the inputs and outputs all behave properly. What could go wrong? Usually, not much if your users are behaving as well. But, if they get confused and press the “Back” button one too many times, does your Website or Web app help them or just crash and make them start over? Functional Testing will find these problems for you before they frustrate your prospects and customers.

This is the primary concern for most people that want web testing services.

Cross Browser Testing Requires More than a Tool

Do your prospects & customers use a wide variety of desktop and mobile devices to visit your Website or Web app?

Have you tried your website or web app with something other than your favorite browser?

Can you see from your server logs that your prospects & customers use different browsers and operating systems?

Did your website or web app developers use some “tricky” code to get your site to do something “cool”? Will that “cool” code run on all browsers or only the one your developer uses?

If so, you’ll probably want some Cross Browser Testing (XBT) to make sure that you website or web app displays properly in the most popular browsers, devices and operating systems. Why could this be a problem? Some of the newest browsers and mobile devices won’t display some HTML/CSS code properly. The most common approach to solving this problem is to rent or buy a Cross Browser Testing Tool.

We use this approach as well. However, there’s more to using a Cross Browser Testing Tool than first meets the eye. Most Cross Browser Testing Tools emulate a mobile device/operating system/browser. This usually works but when it doesn’t, you won’t really know unless your very familiar with which tools work best and which devices don’t emulate very well. Additionally, just using the XBT tool is challenging if you genuinely want accurate test results. Sure, almost anyone can use them but we’ve found that an expert can get much more value with much less frustration from the XBT tool than an average or new user.

Load and Performance Testing

Are you worried about your Website or Web app crashing due to too many prospects or customers?

Do you know how many prospects or customers can visit your website or web app before it overloads and crashes?

Adding server resources is easy today, but they aren’t cheap. How will you know when to turn on more servers?

If so, congratulations! We hope the good part of your concern (too many prospects or customers) comes true and we can also help you make sure the “crashing” part doesn’t happen.

Load testing generally answers the question, “How many users can my Website or Web app handle before it becomes too slow or crashes?”.

Performance testing generally answers the question, “When and where does my Website begin slowing down or performing poorly?”

Load Testing will typically be your biggest concern. Load Testing will give you a quick analysis of the user loads (number of simultaneous users of your Website or web app) that show performance problems. With this data, it’s a straight forward task to build reserve capacity for your Website or Web app that will engage when specific user loads are reached.

API Testing, or Not

API Testing can be included or ignored in your website testing services depending on how you use them.

How connected is your website or web app to other websites and web apps? Maybe more than you realize!

Is your “front end” separate from your “back end”?

Is the “back end” used by other website or web apps?

Sometimes, your website or app is built so that the “front end” is separated from the “back end”. This means that the “front end” website or app, where you input information and read responses, is unique, separate and autonomous from the “back end”. The “back end” is also a unique and autonomous system where your server application and databases store the user info, combine or compare it with various other data sets and then send outputs back to the “front end”. This front end/back end situation is largely a technical decision based on your unique situation and preferred technology.

The “front end” communicates with the “back end” by using API calls. API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs provide a simple and effective method for communicating between the “user side/front end” and the “server side/back end”. This allows development (and testing) to occur at different times without impacting the end users.

Do you need to include API testing in your website testing services?

Sometimes and it depends.

If you only have a single front end and a single back end, then your APIs are primarily a convenience connection and don’t typically need testing.  Why? Since you only have a single front end and single back end, the only time the APIs are used is through the front end and front end testing can usually provide you with the quality and confidence you’re looking for. The possibility of overlooking an API in this situation is very small.

But, if you have multiple front ends or your front end calls multiple back ends, then you’ll definitely want to get your APIs tested. In this case, the possibility of overlooking an API call that is faulty is quite high if you only test through the front end.

Each API testing situation is unique. The decision to include API testing in your website testing services is your choice. We’re happy to take as much time as you’d like to explain our approach and recommendations.

Web Testing Services, Web App Testing, Website Testing — Call It What You Want

Yeah, there’s really no such thing as “web testing” but we know what you mean and we’re happy to help with our Web app and Website testing services.

Sure, you can do this yourself , but our clients have told us time after time that we find bugs they miss, and we do it faster. Better and faster wins every time.

Ask for help. You will be surprised at how easy it is.

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Website Testing Services for the Average Bear

When it comes to website testing services, you might not be smarter than the average bear. Or, you might not know if you are.

That’s OK, I can help you sort through some of the techno-babble about getting some help with website testing so you can quickly become smarter than the average bear.

You see, when it comes to software testing, hunting, farming, being a Dad, or training a dog I am smarter than the average bear.

If you ask me about psychology, event management or finance then I’m definitely not smarter than the average bear. Best we stick to the subject of website and web app testing right now, okay?

Cutting Through the Clutter of Website Testing Services

As I scanned internet articles to see what was being written on the subject, I noticed a few things that could be confusing or misleading to the average bear.

Let me sort through those things now to help you find an outsourced website testing company that work best for your unique need and business goals.

Set the Right Goal

First, set a goal. Know what you want.  A SMART goal  is great – even if you don’t know all of it.

But, you may not have a “goal” and that’s OK, too. Use these simple questions to figure out what you really want from your website testing services.

  1. Do I want website testing because it’s something I “should” do or because I’m concerned about the cost of losing customers and prospects to bugs and glitches? This answer will help you (and us) understand why you want website testing services.
  2. What does it cost me to get a new prospect to visit my website or eCommerce store? What is the lifetime value of one of my customers? This answer will help you understand the risk of loss from bugs and glitches that website testing can help you prevent.
  3. Do I have time before I need to release my website to fix the bugs and glitches that the website testing finds? This answer will help you understand if you will get real value from your website testing work.

There are not any right or wrong answers to these questions. The answers are important but the thinking and reasoning you do while answering those questions will shed light on what you really want and we can easily help you turn that into a website testing services goal.

Here’s why knowing your goal is important. Testing is an activity – and it can be performed for as long as you want it performed – regardless and without respect to your goal.  You’re probably more interested in the outcomes of testing – defects, bugs, test plans, test cases, etc – than just knowing someone is testing it. If you know your goal before you start looking for help with website testing services, you’ll get the outcomes you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’ll definitely get some “testing” but you won’t know if it is helping you achieve what you actually want.

Don’t Be Over-Sold by Tool Vendors

Second, Tools! (Hat tip to Tim the Toolman, who always got excited about tools and machines.

Almost everything I read on the internet about website testing services seems to be about how a great tool can solve your problem.

Yeah, like having a hammer get’s you a birdhouse. Not so much. Tools are only as good as the person using them. So, this begs two questions.

  1. How long will it take to learn how to use the tool?  They seem easy in the demo but have you actually tried using it?  It may not be as easy as you think.
  2. Even if you know how to use the tool, will you know where to use it most effectively? Just because you can easily and quickly run a bunch of tests, how will you know they are the right tests applied to the right place in your website?

Humans are more important than tools. Tools help humans be more useful.

The Human Element in Website Testing Services

Third, Testers! Now we’re getting to the heart of the matter.

I’ve learned that there is a difference between a Tester and a Test Engineer. We don’t hire testers and you should look very carefully before you hire them yourself.

Here’s why.

Testers do very well when they are told what to do. They don’t do so well when given a testing problem to solve.  They just don’t have the mindset, education and ongoing training to come up with good alternatives or judgment to select the best course of action.

Test Engineers are seekers, finders, and solvers of quality problems. They have university level degrees in math, engineering, and computer science and are actively engaged in ongoing training in quality assurance and control. Sure, they cost a little more – so does a nice car – for a great reason. They both deliver more value per dollar than a less expensive choice – like a tester.

Name Dropping in the Buzzword Jungle

Fourth, Buzzwords like Services, Technology, Systems, Industry, Functional, Performance, Security, Usability can lure you into a trap. Remember, you’re hiring website testing services, not a copywriter.

When it comes to website testing services, having deep knowledge and experience in some set of buzzwords is far less valuable than having seen and completed hundreds of website testing projects.

If you’re looking for a match between your situation and what the website testing services company can provide, look to the references and testimonials and give them about 10 times the weight you’d give to their buzzwords matching your buzzwords. Even better, reach out and talk to the reference/testimonial yourself!

Trust Your Brand to a Crowd of Strangers? Really?

Lastly, there’s the whole crowdsourcing thing.

Sure, some things might be better, faster and cheaper when crowdsourced. But, when what you’re interested in crosses the line from “opinion” to “expert advice”, you’re probably going to get better and more valuable results from an expert rather than “the crowd”.

I know (and so do our clients) that a dedicated QA Team with a QA Manager and a Test Engineer, even for a tiny project of a day or so, can deliver a far more valuable set of results than a semi-random group of internet users.

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. We take the time to make sure our testing work focuses on and delivers the value you need to achieve your business goals. Here’s a page about our website and web app testing services.

We’d like to help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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Reviewing Website Testing Companies

There are three things you should think about when reviewing Website testing companies.

If you have a clear idea of these three critical aspects of working with a website testing company, your selection process will run smoothly and your “best choice” will be very obvious.

  1. What Are Your Goals? – Specifically, what outcomes do you need your outsourced software testing team to accomplish for you? Not the activities but the outcomes. The activities may look like testing but the real business value is accomplishing your goal. What is your goal and why is it important? Share that with your outsourced website testing team and see what happens. If they are inspired, then you’ve found a strong candidate.  If they only want to know how much work you have for them, you should keep looking.
  2. What Are Your Constraints? – Sure, the budget is a big constraint. But, are there others? Do you have a promised due date for your next release? Do you need tight coordination with a variety of teams to meet your goal? Is this project big and visible to a lot of people? Share these constraints with your offshore software testing team and see what they say. Are they excited about the additional challenges? Do they offer a variety of strategies to accommodate your constraints? Or, do they just want to know how many testers you need and how long you need them? A lack of testing and quality strategies might indicate they don’t know any testing or quality strategies. If so, you should keep looking.
  3. What Are Your Expectations? – Everyone has them but few recognize how we are influenced by them. Your expectations are going to one of the prime measures of how satisfied you will be with the process and outcomes. While expectations aren’t goals, they are very important. To add to the problem, most of us are generally unaware of our expectations as something important. Mostly, we just recognize when they aren’t met. This leads to dissatisfaction and then disappointment. Share your expectations with your outsourced website testing team. Gauge their reaction. Most will be interested in meeting your minimum expectations. A few will ask you to explain and may even question your expectations. This is good! They’re asking those questions so they’ll have a deeper understanding of why your expectations are important and how they can incorporate them into their daily software and website testing process. If you don’t get a rise by sharing your expectations then you should probably keep looking.

Comparing Website Testing Companies

What will it take to win your confidence that a website testing company can achieve your goals? That depends on what you want.

Website testing can cover the very simplest issues like testing for accurate rendering on just a few browsers to very complex issues like load and performance testing. But that’s mostly technical jargon. You probably have some business and project goals that are related to your website that you definitely want to achieve. Explain your business and technical goals to your proposed website testing company and then listen as they explain how they will work with you to achieve your goals.

It can be difficult to compare two or more items if the criteria are hard to measure. Here are a couple of simple but very important aspects of a website testing project that you can easily use to compare your preferred website testing companies.

  1. Do they understand your goals and constraints? Are they able to repeat them back to you and then show incremental progress as the project progresses?
  2. Do they have several strategies or are they a one-trick-pony? There is almost always more than one way to accomplish a goal and the constraints on the goal usually determine which strategy will deliver the highest value for the lowest cost. Do you understand and agree with their strategy or will they just “test it for you”?
  3. Do they have the talent to execute the strategy? Test Engineers are twice as productive and twice as effective as “testers”. QA Managers add even more value with analysis, reporting and planning to keep the Test Engineers fully productive on your website testing project. “Testers” do what they’re told – usually without any supervision. How much talent and confidence do you want for your website testing project?

A simple Yes/No score comparison between your preferred website testing companies should provide you with an easy solution for picking the best solution for your needs.

What Does it Take to Have Real Confidence in a Website Testing Company?

If you are seeing danger signs that erode your confidence in the website testing companies with whom you are working, it’s not too late to give TESTCo a call – here’s why!

  1. A 90 Minute Start. We know you’re in a hurry and under the gun.  But, we need a basic amount of information about your website testing project so we can accurately achieve your goals and objectives. (Isn’t that what it’s all about?)  Don’t worry though, we’ve done this before (a bunch) and have a list of questions already prepared so we can get started quickly and effectively. We assign a QA Manager to every project (at no additional cost) so that we always have all the information and access we need for our Test Engineers to get your work completed accurately.
  2. The Basics. All great teamwork requires effective communication. It’s basic stuff really – writing status reports and participating in daily stand ups – like brushing and flossing every day (twice please). Our Test Engineers know this and do it as a natural part of their working process. Testers that other companies use typically just test what they are told to test.
  3. Leverage and Assets. Your website (and the website testing project to launch it) can either be an expense or an investment. An expense is once and done.  An investment creates an asset that provides leverage for future opportunities and produces a regular return (new prospects maybe?). If your website is an expense, then just skip this.

Here are a few tips about selecting a website testing company.

TESTCo, One of the Few Website Testing Companies that Delivers Business Value Every Day

If your website is an investment, then you’ll want to make sure you’re getting every bang for every buck you spend. In website testing projects, the test cases and test plan are your assets.  They measure and validate the quality of your website – today and then again next quarter when you update it.

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. Honoring promises produces trust and confidence. You want confidence that your website will meet your quality standards and represent you and your brand effectively.

Once you start talking to us, you’ll notice the difference between TESTCo and other website testing companies. Once we start working for you, you’ll know you made the right choice. Let us prove it.

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website testing

The Case for Website Testing

Are you one of those companies that doesn’t conduct systematic website testing after a site refresh? By systematic website testing I’m referring to a planned and thorough testing of the site for functionality and user experience.

Too many companies, I’ve learned over the years, don’t take website testing seriously enough. Employees  will be asked to set aside a few minutes of their day to  “go through the site” and note any errors or broken links. That’s a start, but don’t mislead yourself into thinking that all the bugs are going to be found with this hit-and-miss method.

In today’s world, if your website doesn’t work properly, quickly and easily on the device the person is using then you just lost a visitor, prospect, new customer or, worst of all, a repeat customer. In every case your brand image takes a beating, too.

Most consumers won’t tolerate a business website that does not perform on their device. They will go to the next business on the list!

Ask yourself, how much is each visitor worth to your business? Each lead?  Each  new customer? Each repeating customer? Is it worth the risk NOT to test your website after you change it?

The 1-2-3 of Testing Websites

There are three critical areas to test on most websites – functionality, cross-browser/devices, and page-load speed.

  1. Functional Testing insures that each button performs the intended action properly. Some websites are complex with advanced search, grouping, recommendations and shopping carts. Some websites are simple with just a few buttons to submit a contact request. Most of the functionality will behave the same no matter which browser or device is used so testing the functionality is typically a “once and done” set of steps each time you are finished with your website changes.
  2. Cross-Browser/Device Testing insures that your website’s content, layout and presentation look and behave properly in a variety of operating systems, browsers and mobile devices. This is where it get’s a little complex. There are just too many different operating systems, browsers and mobile devices to test each one within a reasonable period of time.
  3. Page Load Speed Testing. Visitors have little tolerance for websites that take too long to appear on their device. If the page isn’t fully loaded in a few seconds, there’s a high probability the visitor will abandon the attempt and try another site.

Yes, there are tools available online that seem to make it easier to run functional testing and cross-browser/device testing. But, if you aren’t familiar with them or you don’t have a clear idea of which test cases, browsers/devices are most important to your website visitors, then you can easily waste a lot of time.

Who to Test a Website

The good news is that you have several options for website testing.

  1. Big IT Outsourcing Company – if you aren’t already a Fortune 500 company you probably won’t get much help from these guys. It’s not that they don’t want to help you. It’s just that they are so big that they can’t help you and expect to make a profit. If they could help you, they’d need a small army of managers and directors just to make your project successful.
  2. Freelance – the Gig Economy. This might work for you if you already know a freelancer that is very good at exactly what you need (website testing for functionality and cross-browser/device) and is not already booked with another gig.  If you have to go find that person for the first time, be prepared to put in some detailed work to find, select, pilot and then manage the project to success. Online freelancer boards are great and can give you a lot of good information to make your choice. But, there are a lot of non-qualified freelancers that will answer your call to help and you’ll have to spend time sorting the wheat from the chaff.
  3. DIY – Do It Yourself – This might work as well.  It could be you or it could be someone else in your business. If you take this approach, it will work but it won’t work very well. Here’s why – you simply haven’t been trained in how to think about and perform website testing. It’s not hard and you could definitely learn it but your business’s newly launched website probably isn’t the best place to get started.
  4. TESTCo – Safe. Easy. Reliable. Software and website testing is all we do. We’re highly trained in software testing methods and systems. We see hundreds of website testing projects every year. We know the right tools to use, when to use them and what to look for. We are the right size for you so we can complete your small, 1 or 2 day project as easily as we complete larger multi-month testing projects.

Is TESTCo Your Goldilocks?

If you have a website testing project or are just not confident in the website testing that has been done already, please consider that TESTCo may be your Goldilocks – just the right size and temperature!

You can talk with us and find out how we’re different and how that difference can benefit you. We work as an outsourced QA service, or on demand for projects.

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Website QA Gives Confidence

Website QA is an often overlooked aspect of Web Testing as new websites are launched or existing websites updated. Website User Interface capabilities are expanding every day with new technologies that allow browser based websites to behave as if they are desktop applications.

The challenge with web testing that we see is that all browsers do not behave and interpret the code in the same manner. This can lead to visual distortions or usability errors on your website. Today’s web based user has a very short attention span and any problems with readability or usability can cause them to quickly abandon your website. Website QA can provide a quick, easy and inexpensive check to insure that your new or updated website behaves properly in all of the web browsers that are important to you and your customers.

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