HTML and CSS Reference
In addition to content, functionality, and usability testing, there are other types of
testing. For a newly implemented or maintained Web site, two other types of tests should
be conducted: compatibility testing and stress testing. Compatibility testing is done to
verify that the Web site works with a variety of browsers and browser versions. Initially,
test using the browsers that your audience is most likely to use. Different browsers display
some aspects of Web pages differently, so it is important to test Web pages in several
different browsers to verify they appear correctly in each browser. If you have used
technologies that are not supported by older browsers or that require plug-ins, consider
changing the content or providing alternative Web pages for viewing in older browsers.
If your audience uses both PC and Macintosh computers, you need to test the Web pages
using browsers on both platforms. You may also want to test the Web pages in several
versions of the same browser (usually the two most recent versions), in the event users
have not yet upgraded.
Stress testing determines what happens on your Web site when greater numbers
of users access the site. A Web site with 100 users accessing it simultaneously may be fine.
When thousands of users use the Web site at once, it may operate at an unacceptably slow
speed. Stress testing verifies that a Web site runs at an acceptable speed with many users.
There are many cases in which companies did not effectively stress test their Web sites. The
results of this lack of testing have been disastrous, with Web sites locking up when too many
users tried to access the same Web site function. Especially in the case of Web sites used for
e-commerce, it is imperative for the Web site to stay online. A crashed or locked-up Web
site will not sell products or services, and the company stands to lose a lot of money.
Web Site Implementation and Maintenance
Once Web site testing is complete and any required changes have been made,
the Web site can be implemented. Implementation of a Web site involves the actual
publishing of the Web pages to a Web server. Many HTML editors and WYSIWYG
editors provide publishing capabilities. You can also use FTP software, such as WS_FTP
or CuteFTP, to publish your Web pages to a Web server. After you publish a Web site, you
should test the Web pages again to confirm no obvious errors exist such as broken links
or missing graphics.
After a site is tested and implemented, you need to develop a process to maintain
the Web site; users will undoubtedly request changes and timely content will require
updates. You need to ensure, however, that updates to the Web site do not compromise the
site's integrity and consistency. For example, if you have several different people updating
various Web pages on a large Web site, you might find it difficult to maintain a consistent
look on pages across the Web site. You should plan to update your Web site on a regular
basis to keep content up-to-date. This could mean hourly, daily, weekly, or less often,
depending on the site's purpose. Do not allow your content to become stale, outdated, or
include broken links to Web pages that no longer exist. As a user looking for information
related to a specific topic, how likely are you to believe the information found on a Web
site that says “Last update on December 10, 1998” comes from a reliable source?
To help manage the task of Web site maintenance, first determine who is
responsible for updates to content, structure, functionality, and so on. Then, limit update
responsibilities to specific users. Be sure the implementation is controlled by one or more
Web developers who can verify that the Web pages are tested thoroughly before they are
As updates and changes are made to a Web site, consider notifying users with a
graphic banner or a “What's New” announcement, explaining any new features and how
the features will benefit them. This technique not only keeps users informed, but also
encourages them to come back to the Web site to see what is new.