Staff and Customer Site Reviews
While you’ll always be able to make changes to your Web site after launch, it’s important to ask your employees to review it now, especially those sections related to their workflow. Then be sure they feel free to give honest feedback.
This also puts more pairs of eyes on the content to pick up typos, spelling or other text errors, as well as problems with images, video and audio content.
Then there’s your customer. It’s hard to see your company and Web site exactly from your customers’ point of view, but give it a good try and you’ll get more traffic.
Ask a few trusted clients or potential customers to test-drive your site and give feedback on the following:
- Do you understand, or have any questions about, the information on our site?
- Does our Web site flow? In other words, does the information roll easily from one page to the next?
- Is it easy to use, to find your way around?
- Did you lose patience trying to find what you needed, waiting for pages to load or links to work?
- Do the pages print OK?
- Are images, audio and video the right size?
- Are our products or services clearly displayed?
- Is our shopping cart easy to use? Do you trust it?
- Are all forms easy to understand, fill in and send?
- Do you like how our Web site looks and works? If not, why?
If you have trouble getting volunteers to step forward, offer them a gift card, restaurant coupon, even discounts on your products. The important thing is to get potential users to review your business Web site.
Testing on Different Platforms and Browsers
Just because your Web site looks great and runs smoothly on your Windows machine in Internet Explorer doesn’t mean it will look the same on Firefox, a Mac or other browsers or operating systems. So:
- Be sure to test your site across all browsers, and keep up on new releases or upgrades after you go live.
- Most of your customers will be using Windows XP, Windows Vista and Macintosh OS X, so it’s essential that your site works on both platforms, or operating systems.
- Keep an eye on your server logs, where you’ll find hard data on which platforms your customers are using and much more. It’s good practice to check them once a week.
- Take a look at your Web site on a variety of monitors. Color settings and screen resolutions vary, and an LCD’s quality is much higher than a standard CRT’s. You can’t do much about it, but if you see drastic differences between monitors, fine tune a little to cut the gap.
Tracking Bugs, Confirming Fixes and Testing Links (Again)
When you find bugs, note both them and the fixes in a log or record book. That way, if it happens again, you’ll know what worked or what didn’t.
Once you’ve gone through and tested the site, go back to the log and confirm that everything’s been fixed. This will also turn up any problems that might have been caused by fixes later in the list.
Test all of your links again. Few things rile Web site visitors more than links to nowhere. And don’t rely on the tiresome “Click Here” as your only link “description.” Makes your links say what they do.