June 13, 2012

Website Testing Strategy for Personal Website Owners

Once your website is up, you need to iron out a few kinks that focus mainly on how your website is rendered in different browsers and in different hardware platforms. This is to make sure that users do not experience problems in accessing and interacting with your website. With the growing number of mobile users, it is imperative that websites are tuned to perform well on small screen devices like smart phones.

Most website owners would probably create their content using the Windows platform. The website should be rendered well by at least two different browsers that run under the Windows operating system. In some parts of the world, Internet Explorer is bundled with the Windows operating system pre-installed when a computer is bought. With the addition of Mozilla Firefox, you would have a good enough tools at your disposal. Be sure that your website renders well on both the Internet Explorer and the Mozilla Firefox. And now that Google has joined the browsers fray, it would not be bad at all if you try viewing your website in Chrome.

The Mac is another platform that has a substantial number of users but perhaps not as numerous and ubiquitous as Windows primarily because of the steep price of acquiring a Mac computer. Safari is the default browser for Mac computers but maybe it would be worthwhile to install Chrome on the Mac just to see how your website would look like in Chrome running on a Mac.

Linux has come of age and is now slowly but surely gaining inroads into the home computer and business markets as well. Make sure that your website display well on Linux computers. Choose a Linux distribution that you like and install it on a spare computer or dual boot your Windows laptop with it. Mozilla Firefox seems to be the favorite browser for the Linux distros although there may be other browsers that you want to test such as Seamonkey, Konqueror, and Opera.

Android needs special mention because it is specifically designed for mobile Internet devices. A good 7 inch Android tablet would be a good testing equipment on how your website would render on a smaller screen device. Android has a default browser but you can also install Firefox and Dolphin just for the fun of seeing how your website would display on different tablet browsers.

For laptops, you may test your website on at least two different screen sizes: the notebook and the netbook platforms. Notebooks would have screen sizes of 14 inches and above while netbooks will have 12 inches and below. Most netbooks have 10 inches screen size. The text of your content should at least still be readable without much difficulty on netbooks.

Lastly, it may be worthwhile to access your website using a smart phone either a Blackberry or Nokia iPhone. These are the more common smart phones used by professionals which are required in their work. It would likewise be worthwhile if you could test how your website would render on an Android smart phone.

In testing your website, be sure to engage your website and test the tools and gadgets that you may have used in your website. You should take note of areas for improvements and make minor changes based on the results of your testing. Of course, desktops and laptops may still be the majority platforms used in accessing your website. But tablets and smart phones are slowly gaining ground as platforms for accessing the Internet. It would be to your advantage if your website could be made more friendly to these new Internet devices.

Study your analytics to see which platforms are mostly used in accessing your website. Make minor modifications to ensure that your website render well on these devices and platforms. However, look for the trends on which segment is getting stronger and stronger. Your website must be able to cater to those devices in the future.