How to test the usability of a WordPress website prior to launch
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How to test the usability of a WordPress website prior to launch

Your online presence is more important than ever, particularly regarding your website. Whether you are launching a brand new business or are in the midst of a website redesign for an existing business, don’t fail to conduct adequate testing before the site goes live.

Failure to test your site could create enormous problems for your client base and impact your sales and reputation. Nothing is worse than having the phones ringing constantly because the website isn’t functioning correctly or realizing months later that certain purchases can’t be made because of broken links.

Conducting tests is vital to determining if you’re having problems. Websites that allow visitors to make purchases can be incredibly complex, so testing them should be a priority. Due to the complexity, many things could go wrong, leading visitors to abandon the purchase.

Generating traffic to your website can be tricky (and expensive) enough, so you want to ensure you have everything in place to secure the lead when they land on your site. Losing them to something as fundamental as website bugs wastes time and effort.

Testing your WordPress website

Many factors need to be worked out before you can decide how your usability tests will work. First, you need to decide which staff members will be responsible for planning and conducting your tests and what they should look for.

Your staff members should all be familiar with using your website, so when a redesign happens, they need to practice using it and provide feedback on any bugs or problems they encounter before it goes live. This is an excellent opportunity to educate your staff regarding your website so they feel comfortable walking a potential customer through the navigation.

WordPress tech support tips: things to test

Now you’re ready to conduct testing, you may be wondering where to start. Though every website is unique, there are the same key areas to check. Here are our top tips for things to test:

Loading times

Slow page loading times are standard for WordPress websites. Whether it’s down to the wrong hosting provider, poor code, or too many unoptimized images, there are many reasons why a WordPress website is running slowly.

Every second counts regarding page speed, significantly when speed can directly affect the user experience of your customers and your search engine ranking. Ideally, your website should load in less than 2.5 seconds – you can test it at Pingdom.

Navigation

A poorly designed site navigation panel will confuse your customers, making it harder for them to convert. Studies show that people scan your site’s content rapidly and can skip important top-level pages, leading to low visits to pages that should get lots of traffic.

Excessive drop-down menus can also be complicated for search engines to crawl, affecting your ability to rank for key phrases.

The easiest way to test your site’s navigation is to create a list of items for your test subjects to find and see how long it takes them. Some examples could be your contact details, your returns policy, etc.

Responsive design

Now, websites are accessed regularly from phones and tablets; you must test how they look on multiple-size screens. There’s little point in spending the whole time designing and testing your site on a desktop yet ignoring how it looks and functions on a mobile.

Some may argue it’s more critical to test your site on a mobile phone as Google’s Mobile First index will see the algorithm primarily rank the mobile site in the future.

Broken links

Nobody fancies landing on the dreaded 404 error page, and most users are unwilling to stick around on your website if they can’t easily find what they came for.

Broken links can cause revenue loss, a poor SEO score, and visitor frustration. All links within your site, including payment transaction links, should be tested to ensure they function correctly.

The easiest way to access broken links is to use this free tool.

Content

The last but essential check is proofreading all content on your website. If your website is particularly lengthy and has hundreds of pages, you must develop a structured plan to share the burden. Spelling errors happen to the best of us, but when they occur on something as important as your website, they can cause a negative impression of your business. Be sure to get multiple proofreaders to avoid missing any errors.

Most websites will usually have some kinks to work out after they have been created. Fortunately, many resources are available to make usability testing easy to handle. Most businesses benefit from WordPress tech support to keep their website running smoothly.

We will tune up your site to speed up page loading times, fix any emergency WordPress issues, and provide weekly WordPress Core, Theme, and Plugin updates to keep it in tip-top shape. Check out our monthly plans to find out more.

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