August 25, 2015

The Importance of Testing, Part 2: Quality Counts

This is the second in a 3-part series on the importance of testing.

In part one of this series, we learned that thoroughly testing your site is also the #1 defense against issues that you may typically not find. If you create test case scenarios outside of how the site is supposed to function (the “Happy Path”), you can account for most anomalies. For example, what happens to your contact form when someone enters special characters in the name field? This may not be a typical occurrence, but it will ensure that your site could handle this scenario if it arises.

Picking up where we left off, the quality of your testing practices can make or break your website, literally, and figuratively. While very thorough testing can assist in catching weaknesses with the configuration of your site, vague, and inconsistent testing can leave your site vulnerable to all sorts of issues. One of the most common issues that can bring your site down is SQL injection flaws, which are caused by a simple failure to reject certain input in form fields. By testing your site’s code to ensure that certain types of input will not be allowed, you can prevent these types of attacks.

Along with visitor satisfaction, quality detailed testing will reduce overall project life cycle costs. By ensuring your site meets certain standards and catches bugs during the testing phase of your project, you will avoid having to fix the code after it is released to production, thus reducing overall project costs. Maintenance to the site should not be confused with testing, as the former typically occurs after issues are discovered in production. Taking a little extra time to carefully test your site will leave your visitors with a pleasurable experience using your site, and it will make your manager ecstatic at the cost savings associated with thorough testing practices!

In the final installment of this series, we will discuss specific tools and tips for assisting you with fast and efficient testing.

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