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Testing is part of the development stage, but it's so important that it warrants its own stage. The secret to testing is to get to it early. Produce the tough parts of the website a in secluded code tool like CodePen. This then allows you to test it on multiple devices with ease. If you are using a tricky piece of functionality like a navigation area, then you can save so much effort and stress but get to it early in the web design process. Web development is tricky and even when you have built over 200 commercial websites, it just takes 1 line of code to render the website useless in certain browsers.
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BrowserStack - A great web design tool
A fabulous tool we also use is BrowserStack which allows testing websites on more than 3000 devices. An astonishing collection of testing environments comes in very handy when trying to get to the bottom of a bug.
You may think “What on earth would you need to test in that many devices, most people just have an iPad and iPhone?” Many do, but our websites are built to serve everyone, not just people with the latest and greatest new browsing devices. Even a software update on an iPhone from version 15.3 to 16.1 can mean that your site will break. So when you put together Samsung mobile devices, Google Pixel phones, all different laptops, and thousands of different tablets, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
Emulators which allow you to test on different projected devices are good tools to test quickly but unfortunately are not 100% accurate. They can be used for initial testing, mainly differences in sizing browser windows but to test truly and you need to test in a native device. That can be done in a tool like the mentioned BrowserStack. There are some purists that stand by only testing on actual physical real worked devices. There is an argument for that. At Media Surgery we have around 19 different devices we regularly test on. That includes different laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Then we use BrowserStack to then test further on older devices if possible. This covers 99.8% of cases.
Another often overlooked practice is web performance. This is how the actual website performs in speed-focused tests. Does the website load on an older device quickly? Are there any big jumps in content when viewing different parts of the sites?
Web performance is a part of the Google ranking algorithm, if your website loads slowly then it can be detrimental to search engine rankings.
A good way to test speed is to do what is known as “throttling” this slows down your connection speed used by the browser and you get to see how fast your site is in real-time. It can be quite an eye-opener if you have a slow-loading site. We have all been there, and it's very frustrating when web pages don't load quickly and as we expect them to.