Website QA: A Worksheet for Nixing the Glitches

31 May 2024


Quality Assurance, or QA, for a website is about finding and eliminating troublesome glitches, omissions, and errors before your site’s visitors have to deal with them; or more likely, refuse to deal with them and go elsewhere in a hurry for what they need.

It’s also about ensuring you have excellent, effective content that works for you 24/7.

Doing QA right means examining every aspect of your site, as we’ll discuss here.

Why is website QA so important, anyway?

The time and effort exerted, usually by multiple parties, to design and build your site, its content, and its functionality show that a digital hub is a high priority for your business. And rightly so because, for most businesses, the first and primary place they interact with customers or clients is online.

So, the importance of making your digital interactions the best they can be, from the second those visitors land on your organization’s site, can’t be overstated.

And making sure they land there quickly is an essential part of website QA, too. As a Google survey showed, 53% of users will bounce from a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

Proper QA can ensure that, once they’re on your site, they won’t have to grapple with problems while viewing and using your content. Which is good because, as the statistic above shows, they won’t grapple long—and will probably go elsewhere to find a better experience.

QA is your friend. Not only for those vital reasons, but for another just-as-vital, connected reason: Your reputation—it’s priceless and can be damaged when your site doesn’t serve visitors well.

So, let’s take a look at the website elements that need to be inspected before your big “go live” day arrives.

The Elements of QA for Websites

Quality assurance that ensures a polished, smoothly running website covers the following:

  • Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling. (As writers, we can’t help listing this first.) Well-written, error-free content reflects professionalism, which visitors extrapolate to how well you know your business.
  • Completeness and Accuracy. Has anything been left out in the process of transferring your original copy as written to digital format? Does something need to be added? Are there inaccuracies caused by “dummy copy” that was left unchanged?
  • Visual Consistency. Both for branding purposes and ease of use, it’s important to keep the fonts, text sizes and colors, alignment, and spacing consistent throughout your site.
  • Adaptation to Any Device. Not all browsers read website code the same.Your site should appear and function consistently on any device your visitors choose. Users may give up if your content doesn’t look or work right on their smartphones or laptops.
  • Browser Friendliness. Your content must also appear and work right on all the browsers your visitors are likely to use. Even some lesser-known browsers can get significant traffic, and you don’t want to lose those users between “cracks” in your site’s compatibility.
  • Simple, Effective Graphics. Keep them uncomplicated and avoid using too many, but make the ones you do use are interesting, useful, and worth the space they occupy.
  • Easy Navigation. Viewers should be able to flash between your pages at will.
  • Links That Work. Malfunctioning links are discouraging and are not a good sign to your visitors.
  • Functioning Forms. Onsite customer forms should be easy to complete and should make it to their destination. Forms are all about function—you want them to grab information and say, “Thank you.”
  • E-Commerce Friendliness. If you’re selling anything on the Web, your purchasing gateway, customer account set-up, ticketing, or reservation systems must work, and work fast.
  • SEO for High Rankings. Well-chosen and well-placed keywords plus authoritative, original, and useful content will help your site’s pages land near the top of search results—where you want to be.
  • Security for Visitors. Last, but decidedly not least, are the security features your site uses to protect your visitors and business.
Image by Pexels

Website QA Worksheet

All the categories just discussed are covered in this tool. It’s a detailed list to help ensure that all your site’s QA-related “boxes” are—literally—checked before your site goes live for your customers’ or clients’ eyes.

Copy it, modify it as needed, add your own business-specific notes to it, and then use it to ensure everything looks great and runs smoothly, no matter where and how users access your site.

I. Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling

For each page:

  • Check for grammatical errors. Microsoft Word features a grammar checking function on its Review tab that finds grammar and punctuation errors and gives you correct options. Services such as Grammarly will find and make corrections for you.
  • Check for spelling errors. Also, be sure you’re spelling words correctly in the language your readers use. For instance, British English varies from American English in many cases. In Word, you can turn on a spell-checking feature at the same time you turn on grammar checking. There is also a language option button on the Review tab, so you can choose the specific language version in which you want to proofread your copy.

II. Completeness and Accuracy

For each page:

  • Compare your web copy to the original written copy.
  • Replace anything that’s missing: Bullets, ends of sentences, and entire sections may have disappeared in the cut-and-paste process.
  • While doing the above, consider whether there is anything that should be added to make the information you’re providing more complete or helpful. If so, add it.
  • Be sure there’s nothing that doesn’t belong on the page, such as a placeholder or “dummy copy” that needs to be filled in with actual information. Possible examples are phone numbers, addresses, product numbers, or anything else that is repeated.
  • Remove any duplicate pages.
  • Check that copyrights are added in the correct spots.

III. Visual Consistency

  • Check that the same fonts, text sizes, and colors are used on each page for headings subheadings, paragraphs, text boxes, etc.
  • Be sure headings, subheadings, and buttons use consistent capitalization.
  • Ensure that spacing and alignment don’t vary from page to page.
  • Make sure all of your images and graphics are where you want them.
  • Ask: Is my brand’s voice consistently coming through on each page?

IV. Adaptation to Any Device

  • Test for this element by accessing all your site’s pages on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • As you test, ask: Do my pages load quickly? Is the text still easy to read? Does the spacing and alignment remain visually appealing? Does the content stay logically organized? Do the graphics appear as they should? Is the overall experience a good one?

V. Browser Friendliness

  • Test by accessing your site’s content from a variety of browsers.
  • As you test, ask: Is all my content showing up on this browser? Does it appear differently on this browser? (Be aware that the newest formats for images may not be supported on all browsers.)
  • Check out the online tools available to test Device/Browser combinations.

VI. Simple, Effective Graphics

  • Ensure that all your graphics are simple and purposeful.
  • Be sure your graphics load quickly. Using the latest formats will help.
  • Be sure all your graphics are properly placed.
  • Remove any graphics that are superfluous space fillers.

VII. Easy Navigation and Links That Work

  • Double check that your links are placed logically.
  • Try every link to be sure it works. If your site is large, there are tools available to do this for you.
  • Test for ease of navigation by giving people unfamiliar with the site a variety of assignments to find “X,” and see how long it takes them to do so.
  • Be sure you have a 404 page that leads to a “page not found message” to let would-be visitors know they’ve mistyped the page they were aiming for on your site, so they can try again.

VIII. Functioning Forms

  • Be sure all the forms you need are included and placed correctly.
  • Simplify your forms, if possible, to make them quick and easy to use.
  • Test them by filling them out and sending them from various devices to be sure customer contact info, messages, and requests are making it to their assigned destination.

IX. E-Commerce Friendliness

  • Test your customer account set-up or registration set-up system by having several people use them on a variety of browsers and devices, log off, and log back in to be sure they are recognized.
  • Test your purchasing gateway and payment functionality by having several people make purchases on a variety of browsers and devices. Be sure they are receiving verification messages.
  • Test your reservations or ticketing systems the same way.
  • Fix any malfunctions or dead ends in the above systems.
  • your reservations or ticketing systems the same way.
  • Fix any malfunctions or dead ends in the above systems.

X. SEO for High Rankings

  • Be sure each page of your website’s content is unique—this is more important than ever.
  • Double check for keywords. Be sure you’ve included the right ones. There are free online keyword research tools available.
  • Be sure your headers and subheads contain keywords.
  • Use a service such as Google Analytics to help check up on how well your SEO strategy is working.

XI. Security for Visitors

  • Ensure you are using a secure web hosting service.
  • Obtain an SSL certificate, so your connections with visitors are encrypted for security. Be sure to renew it every two years.
  • Be sure your privacy policy is prominently displayed on your site.


Shelley Harrison Carpenter 
Shelley’s love of words began in first grade, composing poems for her dear teacher and mentor, Mrs. Blanchard. Her writing career began with several years as a county newspaper reporter, where she developed a love for interviewing all sorts of people. Besides feature writing, her news beats included city government, education, and nonprofits of every stripe. As a determined “adult student,” Shelley graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010 where she also wrote profiles of outstanding adult students for a “Web Weekly” newsletter and edited a grant proposal for a campus office. After college, she wrote English instructional materials, website copy, product copy, and blogs before joining two construction and development ezines as a staff writer, happy to be conducting interviews for each assignment. Several years of intervening employment in corporate merchandising and HR deepened Shelley’s understanding of the workings of larger companies and the written content they require. She now loves being part of the writing teams at The Writers for Hire. When not at a keyboard, she can be seen jogging in her Southern neighborhood or found holed up with a biography, a vegetarian cookbook, or a vintage TV show.

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