Website QA testing is essential to ensure that the digital experience you want to create for your site visitors is the same experience they’re actually having.
The customer experience on your website has all sorts of implications. Outpacing brand and price combined, CX drives two-thirds of all customer loyalty.
While bad experiences will cause a loss in loyalty and revenue, customers won’t usually describe the issue to help you fix it. Just 1 out of 26 customers will complain if they’re unsatisfied. The rest will churn or bounce without saying anything to your company about it.
That’s why you need top-notch website QA testing to help you find the issues that are causing silent churn and abandonment.
In this post, we explore which types of websites need QA testing, what methods of testing should be utilized, and the top strategies for insourcing and outsourcing this critical work.
What websites need QA testing
Which companies need ongoing QA testing for their websites?
The vast majority of enterprises and medium-sized businesses need weekly or monthly testing, while small businesses can handle this quarterly.
These types of websites should be tested weekly as well as with each new release:
High traffic websites
The higher the traffic, the higher the stakes.
With 500,000 or a few million monthly website visitors, you have more revenue to lose and to gain with your website.
Unfortunately, companies with large amounts of traffic might forget about the importance of QA in favor of marketing tests to increase conversions. But bugs and errors that marketers might miss could cause much larger conversion leaks than lackluster copy.
QA testing can make or break your eCommerce revenue.
49% of online shoppers have made an impulse purchase after receiving a more personalized experience. Meanwhile, 88% of shoppers won’t return to an ecommerce site after having to deal with a bad user experience.
An ecommerce company of any size and with any amount of traffic should prioritize QA.
Another form of website QA testing is web application testing. Web apps and other web-based SaaS products require ongoing testing so that users can achieve their tasks and goals with no interruptions.
As an example, Testlio provided website application testing services to a top-ranked shopping app that needed to test their web app through a complicated 10-country buildout. Specifically, they needed payment testing experts with real devices in 10 specific countries to evaluate the customer and merchant purchase experience. With the extensive testing, they were able to improve on all areas of the customer experience and cement their position in the marketplace – coincidently, they have one of the highest Apple App Store ratings in the segment.
Small web applications that function as marketing channels instead of products must also be tested. Examples include loan payoff calculators, quote generators, design suites, and paint color testing studios.
Consumers expect a brand’s mobile website to be as good or better than their desktop website. 40% of mobile consumers navigate to a competitor’s website after an unsatisfactory mobile experience, and 57% won’t recommend a company that has bad mobile UX.
However, most companies still aren’t taking mobile optimization seriously enough. For companies that do and that build their sites with a mobile-first mentality, ongoing mobile site testing is a critical next step.
Methods for website testing
If a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of website users will bounce. QA testers can discover bad load times via performance testing.
Testers can also find currency or payment method errors with payment testing and examples of lazy, unimpressive translation through localization testing.
All in all, these are the different methods that you’ll want to employ when testing your website:
- Functional testing
- Usability testing
- Payments testing
- Regression testing
- Mobile testing
- Localization testing
- Exploratory testing
- Location testing
- Performance testing
You might manage some of these inhouse and work with a vendor for other methods.
Strategies for insourcing and outsourcing website QA testing
How can you apply all of these testing methods to your website to ensure an amazing experience for both new visitors and long-time customers?
You’ll need skilled resources on board.
Fully in-house QA team
You can build out your entire QA team in house. Roles and responsibilities that you’ll need to cover include QA management, automated QA, and both senior and junior QA testers who can take on various levels of complexity.
Keep in mind that when building an in-house team, it’s very difficult to cover all device types, locations, and cultures.
You might also struggle with slow releases, as there will be some waiting for results from QA. Distributing your team across different geographical time zones can help with this somewhat, as QA testers can test while engineers are sleeping.
QA manager working with freelancers or vendors
Most companies need to have some inhouse QA resources and some that are outsourced.
The benefit here is that you can have an inhouse QA manager who works closely with the engineering team, intimately knows your app, and sets goals for testing cycles.
This person can manage freelance QA testers or testing vendors who are able to provide location and device coverage, while ideally working at different hours than the engineering team in order to increase the speed of shipping website updates.
A new but growing approach to outsourcing testing, networked testing offers burstable teams of skilled and experienced QA testers.
The inhouse QA manager has one point of contact with the networked testing company and doesn’t have to manage the QA testers who are assigned to the project.
The vendor uses a flexible model to provide the right amount of resources as needed. For example, a client might need 2 testers per week and then 20 during an important release.
Networked testing is often utilized for device coverage, localization testing, usability testing, functional testing, and exploratory testing.
Crowdsourcing is a popular software testing solution, and it can work for website QA testing as well.
If you’re not familiar with crowdsourcing, it works like this: A QA manager or other product stakeholder goes to a crowdsourcing site to request testing. The QA manager has to select the testers they want to hire, manage how they cover the app, direct them in quality bug reporting, and validate website coverage.
While some crowdsourced testers are skilled and experienced, many aren’t. They aren’t well vetted by the crowdsourcing vendor, nor are they compensated fairly. They’re often paid per bug which incentivizes them to write duplicate and low-quality reports which the QA manager must then sift through.
We’ve all been on a bad website before. We’ve all left a bad website. You don’t want to give your customers or site visitors any less than what you expect and demand.