When you’re setting up your new blog you carefully align images and choose just the right colors and fonts. The whole time you’re designing you’re testing, testing, testing so everything’s perfect on opening day. Once you launch, though, your worries aren’t over. You need to test your blog continuously – forever.
So many things can effect the way your blog appears in a browser. Your content managements system, example. Most bloggers use WordPress and, as easy as it is to set up and manage it still needs to regular updating to adjust to new browser programs. And each time you update your WordPress there a possibility that something might get jostled in the process. It only takes one little bit of errant code to mess up your beautiful blog.
And while we’re talking about browsers, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox also perform updates to their programming. Some people accept these automatic updates and some don’t, so there are people out there still using versions of IE that are more than six years old. It’s hard telling what they see when they visit your blog.
The plugins that you use on your blog and even some of the scripts, like Aweber or Adsense, also have updates and again, any time you have any type of update to deal with it effects your whole blog.
So it’s important to regularly test everything on your website to make sure you’re providing your visitors with the best experience possible. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you need to start digging into the code yourself. There are online sites you can visit that do the testing for you.
Browsershots.com will test your website to see how it appears in more than 120 different browser versions. It can take up to an hour to process through the whole thing so paste in your URL and go get some dinner. When you come back you’ll have 120 different screenshots of your website so you can see what it looks like to your visitors.
After that, all you really need to look at is your site’s load time and you can test that at Firebug.com if you’re using Firefox and Pingdom.com if you’re using another browser. Then, it’s on to testing all your links, which you can do by downloading the free WordPress plug in, Broken Link Checker.
So you see, it’s easy to test everything on your website every month. The hardest thing you have to do is copy and paste your URL and then sit back and wait for a few results. Make this a priority every month. A whacked-out website isn’t pretty and visitors usually don’t stick around. And speeding up load times, fixing broken links and repairing your code are also good for SEO. Your website is just like your car. Keep it tuned up and it’ll run like a top forever. Forget to change the oil even once and you’re in big trouble.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!