Quality Is Your Responsibility! Here’s Why Your Website Needs A Quality Assurance Plan

Creating a website exactly like the vision you had for it is not an easy task. It must also hold up to the expectation of your customers. Anything to the contrary and you might end up losing the trust of your customers, and thus losing precious leads and revenue. Here’s where a Quality Assurance plan can help you maintain the standards of your website.

As the name itself suggests, Quality Assurance is a way of making sure that you are able to maintain the quality of the product or service that you are offering to your customers. It focuses on improving the quality of your product by making it more efficient and effective as per the defined quality standards. Quality Assurance is popularly known as QA Testing.

Having a QA Test plan for your website is an imperative step for your business and your establishment. A major part of website testing is done to provide for its quality, creating a better experience for your customers. QA testing can often be the difference between a successful and a failed website.

Think Zero Defects!

Think Zero Defects

Having a Quality Assurance Plan can help you work towards building a website with zero defects! But What is a Quality Assurance Plan? A Quality Assurance Plan is a document created by the project team and if followed will ensure the finished product meets all the criteria making it a product of the best possible quality standards. The product should not only meet your customer’s expectations and requirements but also meet your objectives and targets.

An ideal QA Plan comprises the following components:

  • A website testing strategy
  • The objectives of the testing
  • The resources available(manpower, software and hardware tools)
  • Schedule for the tests
  • The estimation for the list
  • The things that need to be delivered before, after and during the whole website testing process.

Once a test plan is set, the QA team who are directly involved in the website testing process creates a QA plan.

How Can I Break It?

This might seem like an absurd question. Why would anyone try to break their service? Any developer asks the question “How can I make It?”, but a QA Plan will find out “How can I Break It?”. A QA Plan will aim to bring out the defects in your website and give you an opportunity to correct them and make sure that you maintain the quality standards.

Here’s why you must create a QA Plan:

  • It helps determine the amount and type of work required to validate the quality of the tested application
  • People who are not a part of the QA team(management team, the developers and even the customers) understand the website testing process and approach for the website with the help of a test plan.
  • The test plan sets all the rules and procedures that need to be followed by the team during the testing process. Just like a guide book or a rule book.
  • Some important aspects like test strategy, test scope and the estimates are contained in the document. They can be reviewed and reused by the management team for future projects. Thus, the test plan helps build stable processes and accumulate know-how.

These website testing plans are made by the QA testers team. There are a lot of different processes for testing a website.

What You Need To Do As a QA Tester?

What You Need To Do As a QA Tester 01

As a QA tester, what will you do on a website? They must completely test and challenge everything that has been developed.Here are the most common responsibilities that a QA tester is required to take up:

1. Running Tests

The main role of a QA tester is to run various tests on software products to ensure the program satisfies all specifications and requirements. They run debugging programs to fix any issues or bugs in a program. Once these problems are solved, they run additional tests before the products are issued for sale to customers.

2. Record Defects And Issue Reports

QA testers record all defect details, create reports stating the type of defects found and the measures taken to resolve these issues. A website tester must have a system for recording and documenting all testing results performed. Maintaining these reports help QA testers to recognise similar problems in the future and provide a quick resolution.

3. Performing Root Cause Analysis

QA testers are responsible for ensuring that the end-users are happy. Therefore, they must determine the problem at its source. The when, where and why of each production defect should be looked into by the testers. Finding a primary cause or a series of interrelated problems may be involved.

4. Assist software Developers

Testers also apply their knowledge early in the software development process. They work closely and together with the developers to recognise the chances of any operational issues, assess risks and resolve those and other issues before the software is complete.

5. Training

Testers will offer to teach their juniors or other team members about all the processes and technologies involved in the websites and applications. They can also explain proper areas in which these assurances should be applied.

The Road to Breaking it Down

The Road to Breaking it Down

As mentioned before the aim of QA Testers is to “Break It”. So the next question is, “How to Break it?”. Now that we’ve learnt all the basic concepts of QA Testing, here’s what you need to do to create a test plan.

1. Product Analysis

A basic starting point is to get to know what the product is and get acquainted with the project documentation. Why the product was created, who’s meant to use it, how will it look, on what environment it would run? When testing the compatibility on different platforms- devices, web browsers, OS’s etc, the latter is important.

2. Developing the strategy

The test manager develops a really important document- the test strategy. It defines the whole process for testing a website.

List of the many things that need to be done here:

  • Which of the tested components of the website will be ‘in scope’ and which ones ‘out of scope’ needs to be decided. Everything that will be tested will be in the ‘in scope’ while the left out will be ‘out of scope’. A precise testing scope has two benefits:
    1. A precise knowledge of what tests will be performed
    2. All the members of the team will know exactly what to test and what not to test.

    For determining the scope of a testing project, the customer requirements are to be considered, the project budget, the project specification and most importantly the skills and talent of the test team.

  • As we know, there are a lot of tests out there and it is impossible to apply them all especially when we have a constraint on the money and time. The appropriate type of tests is to be selected based on the type of project. Select ones that are relevant to the project.
  • For seeing all potential risks like tight schedule, incorrect estimates, members lacking required skills and then suggesting a proper action to handle those problems
  • Plan the flow of the whole process and who will perform the tests and the time by which they will be done
  • Testing should begin only when the specifications are ready, all the resources are available and the testing environment has been set
3. Load testing of your website

To make the interface more user friendly, it is crucial to test the load-bearing capacity of your website. This will help gather data from testing with different inputs and will also give an insight into the faults of the website.

Load testing tools suitable for varied needs and perspective are available. To drive high-value customers, planning load testing is essential.

Certain parametric to consider while load testing:

  1. Throughput: It is the amount of bandwidth used by a website while performing the load-bearing test. It says the volume of data sent and received from different servers.
  2. Error Rate: The frequency of errors occurring in the website while processing requests and the phase during which they occur.
  3. Response time: It is the time a website takes to respond during peak or average times.
4. Define the test objectives

The goal usually is to find as many software defects as possible and fix them so that the tested website is free from all the bugs before it’s release. However, creating a 100% bug-free product is next to impossible. So you need to find and fix all the bugs considered critical to the proper functioning of the product and then launch post-release updates and bug fixes.

Two steps that need to be done:

  • A collective list of all the features of the website that will require to be tested
  • Define the overall goal of the tests based on the list
5. Define the test criteria

Test criteria are the guidelines on which the testing procedure of the product can be based. There are 2 criteria types:

  1. Suspension criteria- When this criterion is met, the testing is suspended until the development team can resolve any issues that would cause the criteria to be met. Website testing can continue after this. Suspension criteria mean suspending the complete or part of the testing activities.
  2. Exit criteria- This criterion is used to determine whether a given test activity has been completed or not. Exit criterion should be a part of the test plan and should be decided while planning.
    Some examples of exit criteria:
    • Verify if all tests that were planned have been run that is all the test cases have been executed
    • Verify if all the high priority areas have been completely tested and all the critical bugs and issues have been resolved
    • Verify if the coverage of the requirements and functionalities for the website has been given
    • Verify if the software development activities are completed within the timelines
    • Verify if all the software development activities are completed within the projected cost
    • Reaching the targeted percentage of passed test cases
6. Planning the resources

The plan is a summary of all the different types of resources(human resources, equipment, materials etc) required for the testing process.

  • Human Resources: Make a list of all the team members who are going to participate in the testing process and also the roles they will play in the process.
  • Other system resources: List of all the non-human resources needed for testing the project.
7. Planning test environments

A test environment consists of all the different components needed to perform the needed task for your website.

Different types of environments:

  1. Test environment – A testing environment is a setup of software and hardware for testing teams to execute test cases without worrying about breaking any functionality which could impact the user experience. Once the work is done, they can be handed off to the testing team for further tests.
  2. Staging environment – This is the part where all the bug fixes and latest features will be tested before being deployed to the production. It is strongly recommended that a staging test are performed before deployment so that the testing team can find any issues that could occur in production.
  3. Production environment – This is the part which the end-users see.
8. Testing schedules and time estimations
  • Test estimations: This is the time needed to complete the whole process of testing. It’s best to divide the whole process into small tasks and provide an estimate. Then they can be added to see how much time is required to finish everything.
  • Project schedule: A proper schedule helps you get a clear image of how the work on the website is progressing. Few important things needed to prepare a good schedule for the website testing:
    1. The deadline for the project completion should come first as it will define the time-frame in which the schedule must fit.
    2. Arranging working days and employee availability also helps in the proper arrangement of the testing activities within the schedule.
    3. Estimating the time required to complete all the tasks related to the website in advance.
    4. Knowing potential risks allows for the allocation of extra time to deal with those.
9. Testing Deliverables

These include all the documents, tools and reports that are produced and maintained in support of the tests. Depending on the phases of the project, there are different deliverables:

  1. Deliverables provided before the testing begins like the test plan, test specifications and test case.
  2. Deliverables provided during the testing process like test scripts, test data, error logs etc.
  3. Deliverables provided after the conclusion of the test like test results, defect reports, release notes.

A Website QA Checklist You Need to Tick Off Before Your Website Goes Live

Often in a hurry, we overlook small errors before making the website live and then later receive negative feedback from users. This website testing checklist below will help avoid any mistakes while launching a site.

  1. The first thing you need to check is the functionality of your website. Create a layout in your mind that breaks down how your website should look and how it should work. If you don’t know where to start, here’s the basics that you need to check: Dropdowns, buttons, checkboxes, input fields and forms.
  2. Now move on to checking your site’s process flow. Check whether the experience the user will have is what you had in mind for them.
  3. You also need to make sure that all the links in your website are functional and take the user exactly where you want them.
  4. Take time and secure your website from spam links. No one will want to visit the site if they are irritated repeatedly by spam links.
  5. Check browser compatibility. Users can access your site from any browser, device or operating system. Test your website with every browser other than the targeted few.
  6. You must also check the cookies on your website for proper functionality and their impact on your site’s security. Make sure that they are not active after their expiry period, they are encrypted before being saved on a user’s device.
  7. Check the site loading speed. Maintaining a site loading speed is one of the top priorities of the website testing checklist nowadays. It has become a Google ranking factor.
  8. Double-check the site’s security with SSL certificate. Having an SSL certificate is the top priority as protecting the site from hackers is your responsibility.
  9. Have a backup solution for a disaster. A lot of hard work and effort goes into creating a website. So, you should have a backup solution installed in case of any sort of disaster.
  10. HTML and CSS validation. Minor HTML/CSS error doesn’t harm a site’s result but it is recommended to verify that the code is proper and clean.
  11. Lastly, find out the small errors in the website(like any type of typo errors). This is an important part of a website testing checklist. Take some time out to proofread the content as many times as possible to ensure error-free content.

Now go and Create Your Own QA Test Plan!

Now go and Create Your Own QA Test Plan 01

As you must have realised by now, the purpose of a QA Website Test Plan is to improve, analyse, measure and controls the entirety of your website and make sure that the output created is the best one possible. The test plan we’ve provided covers important processes for testing a website and contains all the information you will needed for testing a website. Now you can create your own QA Test Plan and create a website that holds up to the vision you have!

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Originally Published May 24th, 2021, Updated June 8th, 2021
KK patel

KK patel is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. W3Dart being his brainchild, KK has always been a proactive problem solver. His tech prowess, combined with his leadership skills, led to the creation of this unique and powerful feedback tool. He KK patel loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.