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This blog entry is the fourth section of our ongoing series on: 5 Tips for a Successful Web Project. The sections include:

  1. Understand what Scope Creep is and how it impacts your project
  2. Consider that writing your own content might be harder than you think
  3. Assign a single point of contact for communication/decision making
  4. Make a plan for acceptance testing
  5. Figure out Hosting, Domain Registration and SSLs

Today’s post concerns Acceptance Testing.

Acceptance Testing is one of the single most important tasks you will be assigned in a web project. When your development team has completed the coding and internal testing on your new website, they then turn it over to you for a specified period of time to perform end-to-end testing. End-to-end testing is when you check to make sure that your project is performing the way it is supposed to, that it’s correct from start to finish and everything is communicating and connecting properly.

Sometimes clients struggle to make end-to-end testing a priority. Other times, they approach testing a website without a clear idea of what they should be looking for. This can cause problems for the developers when it comes time to launch.

How do you make the most of your end-to-end testing?

  • Be prepared.
    Know when the testing period is coming and make sure to schedule that time internally with your required resources. Initial testing takes more than “a couple of hours” and many projects require more than one round of testing. Plan for a test/fix cycle: a time where you report issues, your developers review them, fix them, and send them back for you to test again.
  • Make a plan.
    Everyone moves more efficiently when a plan is in place, so make one well in advance. The best time for this is right after signing off on the project, while the details are fresh in your mind. A testing plan can be as simple as:

    • a list of tasks you want each person to review
    • a flow chart of expected behavior
    • a detailed script of if/thens

Start small and increase the level of detail as time allows. And, don’t forget to solicit the input of other team members; a different approach can often catch more potential issues.

Last post on this subject:  Figure out Hosting / Domain Registration / SSLs and all that jazz

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