If your home based business has a website (and most likely it does) have you tested it lately? Testing a website involves many things and you probably don’t want to get bogged down on the process of testing. But at the same time, it’s important to test a website periodically to make sure the most important things are functioning.
Things change over time and sometimes you don’t even have control over the changes. For example, your shopping cart host or web host might upgrade their software. These kinds of changes can cause unknown cascading effects. You won’t want your customers to experience the problems so it’s best that you (or someone you can trust) do the testing. Here are some things that top the testing list.
Order and Payment Process – If your website involves selling online with a payment system, this is probably the most important thing of all. If your customers have problems with the ordering system, they’ll probably click away and go somewhere else and you don’t want that. Just run through an order a few times. If the system has several options, you may have to do several test orders to iterate through the options.
Broken Links – Nothing says ‘unmaintained’ like broken links. Particularly image links that don’t work anymore. If you have links that go to sites outside of yours, these in particular need to be tested and corrected (or removed) if they don’t work anymore.
Browser compatibility – There are many different web browsers and to make matters more difficult, there are various versions of each browser. It’s difficult to test for each and every browser so just test for the most widely used ones. Those would be Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. These two browsers can co-exist on the same computer, so there’s no reason you can’t test them. Test to see how your website renders and functions in each browser.
Functionality – Last but not least, test the functionality of other working aspects of your site. These might include such things as email list sign-ups, wish lists, and guest forums.
Having components of your home based business website that don’t work will ultimately cost you customers and can also harm your brand. What about you? Do you have testing tips or comments for a small or home business website? Share them here.