Don't Forget the QA

Est. Reading: 3 minutes

In the fast-paced world of digital transformation, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching a new website or digital product. Yet, amidst all the hustle and bustle, one crucial step should never be overlooked: Quality Assurance (QA). Recently, I came across a website that had been redone by outsourced developers. The result was a disaster—missing cornerstone pages, years of user comments wiped out, and an impending sharp decline in organic visitors. This glaring oversight underscores why QA is not just an afterthought but a fundamental aspect of any digital project.

The Importance of QA in Web Development

Quality Assurance is more than just catching bugs; it’s about ensuring that the final product aligns with the initial vision and meets user expectations. In web development, this means verifying that all functionalities work seamlessly, content is intact, and user experience remains uncompromised.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control Concept - Modern graphic interface showing certified standard process, product warranty and quality improvement technology for satisfaction of customer. uds

Imagine spending years building a community through valuable content and interactive features like comments. Imagine all that hard work vanishing overnight because proper QA protocols were ignored. That’s precisely what happened to this particular website—cornerstone pages disappeared, and invaluable user-generated content was erased.

Why Cornerstone Pages Matter

Cornerstone pages are the backbone of any robust SEO strategy. These are comprehensive articles on key topics within your niche that drive significant traffic to your site. Losing them can be catastrophic for organic search rankings.

When these essential pages go missing due to poor QA practices:

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  • Search engines can't find your most important content, leading to lower rankings.
  • Users can't access critical information, resulting in a poor user experience.
  • Brand authority diminishes as cornerstone content often sets you apart from competitors.

The Value of User Comments

User comments are more than just chatter; they are rich sources of engagement and authenticity. Comments provide social proof, enhance SEO through long-tail keywords, and create a sense of community among users.

Removing years' worth of comments not only strips away this engagement but also:

  • Reduces time spent on page as users no longer have discussions to read.
  • Lowers SEO value since search engines index these comments as part of your site's content.
  • Destroys community trust, making users feel their contributions aren't valued.

How Proper QA Prevents Such Disasters

A diligent QA process involves multiple stages—from initial planning to post-launch monitoring—ensuring every aspect of your website functions as intended.

Planning Stage: Setting Clear Expectations

Before development, set clear expectations with your team or outsourced developers regarding what needs to be preserved during updates or redesigns. This includes identifying cornerstone pages and understanding the importance of maintaining user-generated content.

Development Stage: Regular Checkpoints

During development:

  • Conduct regular checkpoints where both developers and stakeholders review progress.
  • Ensure automated tests cover critical functionalities like navigation links, forms, and interactive elements.
  • Validate that existing SEO structures remain intact.

Pre-launch Stage: Comprehensive Testing

Before going live:

  • Perform thorough manual testing across different devices and browsers.
  • Use tools like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console to identify missing pages or broken links.
  • Review database backups to ensure no data loss occurs during migration.

Post-launch Stage: Continuous Monitoring

Even after launch:

  • Continuously monitor site performance using analytics tools.
  • Encourage feedback from real users who may spot issues missed during testing phases.

The tale of the poorly redone website serves as a stark reminder: Don’t forget the QA! Quality Assurance isn't just about finding bugs; it's about preserving everything you've worked so hard to build—your cornerstone content, your community's trust, and your brand's credibility. By integrating meticulous QA practices into every stage of web development—from planning through post-launch—you can safeguard against costly oversights and ensure your digital presence thrives in today's competitive landscape.

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