How Should You Select a Website Testing Company?
(Very Quickly & Carefully)
(Very Quickly & Carefully)
The way you select the right website testing company can be the difference between disaster and delight. Why? Because website testing is different than “normal” software testing. Learn the difference and you will save time, money and embarrassment.
If you are wondering if testing your website might be a wise investment, we’ve written an article that will help you learn more about the perils and benefits of website testing.
On the other hand, if you’re already convinced of the value of website testing, and are exploring your options, read on.
The biggest challenge you will face is the cost. For most website testing projects, there is just too much work to be done for too little budget. This is a very common situation and requires a smart, highly efficient website testing company, not one with the lowest hourly rates.
Here is a laundry list of issues we’ve seen as we’ve learned how to be the website testing company that you can count on.
When you first talk with TESTCo, one of the “hard” questions we’ll ask you is “What are your goals?”. Here’s why that’s a really valuable question for both of us to understand.
Cheaper prices (rates) don’t always result in lower costs for you and that’s especially true when evaluating website testing companies.
Low prices tend to correlate with higher risk, repeat work, missed deadlines, blown budgets, and unhappy customers. When prices are low, the project almost always takes longer and is less valuable than desired.
Higher prices tend to correlate with low risk, accurate deliverables, on-time deliveries, budget compliance and happy, satisfied clients. When prices are higher, the project is almost always delivered on time and on budget with a very high perceived value.
But, this isn’t absolute and you need to be comfortable with your informed decision about what is best for you and your project.
The primary risks that are sought, found and eliminated on most website testing projects are
A – Keep the current customers
B – Don’t lose any attracted prospects
Your job will be to determine if the total cost you pay is worth the risk and hassle you want to avoid. The Sweet Spot!
You’re looking for a website testing company so you can reduce your risk, right?
Here are some of the most common strategies used to reduce prices. Note how these strategies increase your risk.
1 – Beginner and Junior testers are cheaper than experienced Test Engineers
2 – The website testing company has little or no overhead – offices, testing tools, computer equipment, mobile device library or high-speed network connections.
3 – Individual testers are cheaper than a QA Team with a Test Engineer and QA Manager.
4 – The website testing company is new and willing to operate at a loss to grow.
In the end, the Price you choose to pay will have an impact on the overall cost of your project. Lower prices tend to have more risk and higher prices have a great certainty of success.
If you know your risk tolerance then you will have an advantage when selecting a website testing company based on their ability to achieve your goals within your budget rather than the lowest price vendor.
Additional reasons to avoid low price strategy vendors include:
If you happen to see some of these early warning signs, you should be on the alert that this may not be the website testing company you’re really looking for.
1. Very Few Questions Asked. Website testing covers a lot of ground – functional testing, usability testing, cross browser testing just to name a few of the most common areas. Your needs for your website are unique. The only way to understand your project and your needs is to ask a lot of questions. You want detailed and specific help for your unique project, right?
The vendor should take some time to get to know your business needs and how they can incorporate their services. Lack of asking educated and detailed questions is an immediate red flag for any testing provider. A qualified testing provider will do their due diligence before embarking on any project with your business.
2. A Boilerplate Proposal. You’ve seen this before. You’re given a slick PPT and the first 15 pages are boilerplate bragging about the website testing company. Your information, the data you need to make a smart decision about your project, is plugged into more boilerplate in the last two or three pages. Isn’t this proposal supposed to be about your project? These kind of boilerplate proposals can be a template that these testing providers use for every customer.
This tells a lot about their services because they have generic presentations and will likely offer generic results. If a company gives a presentation that’s not focused on your business, you should evaluate their credentials more. Vendors should be customer-centric in their approach to QA testing; a customer-focused vendor will prioritize your business’ needs and finish projects in a timely manner.
3. No Specific Actions or Plan to Achieve Your Goal. If you knew how to do a website testing project, you’d already have it done, right? You haven’t so you’re depending on an expert to help you build a plan to achieve your website testing and business goals. Your proposal should have a detailed plan and explanation of how they will help you achieve your goal. If this is missing, what are you really paying for?
A vendor should explicitly state the time and amount of work it will take to manifest your project and meet your business goals. The work done should be reflected accurately on the billing you receive. Vendors who don’t discuss the specific actions it takes to finish your project leave a grey area in which you can get charged for in unseen circumstances. If you’re ever in doubt as to how much work a vendor has done, ask them to provide you their most recent report so you can see for yourself. Using tools like scorecards and reports are a great way to see the progress made on a project.
4. Low Rates but Uncertain Timeline. Low rates don’t always equal low costs. Low rates can indicate weak engineering talent or uncertain project management. The real cost of your website testing project is calculated as the hourly rate times the project duration. A low rate and long or uncertain project timeline is a warning sign that your project may not be successful or delivered within budget.
Reiterations to projects can be extremely costly both financially and with the time delays for the project. Missing deadlines will push teams back and this continues onto future deadlines because of all the catch-up work. A vendor should provide daily reports of the actions done, so even if you’re falling behind you have a great idea in regards to the progress the team is making.
These warning signs don’t always indicate or predict failure. But, if you see two or more of them in your search for a website testing company, you might want to pause and do a little more research to prevent a terrible project or worse, a failure.