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Your original project plan should always allocate time for formal testing. Ideally, you should identify a person to serve as the Quality Assurance Lead. This individual's priority will be to create a realistic QA plan, manage the testing process, prioritze issues, insure that high priority issues are solved and conduct the final review and release of the site.

Quality Assurance Testing

  1. Content - accurate, understandable, spelling, grammar (review conducted by content contributors / content editors)
  2. Links - review site for broken links using an automated tool like WebXM
  3. Functionality - does the site perform the functions defined in the original project definition, create task list and conduct methodical testing
  4. Validity - validate (X)HTML, validate CSS
  5. Accessibility - automated section 508 tests using an automated tool like WebXM , manual section 508 tests
  6. Browser/OS/Resolution - test site on the target browsers your defined earlier either manually or using browsercam
  7. Connection Speed - use the Web Page Analyzer to get analysis and recommendations on the speed/size of your pages
  8. Usability - conduct informal or formal usability testing with your target audience
  9. Search Engine Optimization - review your site for semantic markup. Read 10 Tips on SEO by Alan K'necht in his article entitled SEO and Your Web Site
  10. Load Testing - contact your server administrator to discuss load testing techniques
  11. Security - request automated SecurityXM Scan, review file authorizations, review authentication method, conduct authentication test

Prioritize Issues

Taking the time to conduct testing prior to production is an important element in launching a high quality site. However, if you wait until the site is perfect, you will never launch. There is a balance between perfection and realistic quality that must be struck. As you monitor the list of issues that are uncovered during the testing phase, prioritizing them in at least three categories:

Refine Site

After all of this good work, make sure you actually implement the priority 1 changes to the site before release.

  Updated 2006 November 5
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