How to test your new site before launching

This isn’t an extensive list, but it will get you from having a new + pretty website to having confidence in your new + pretty website.

Different browsers

The first way to ensure that your site will be a great experience for everyone that visits is by looking at it in different browsers.

There are emulators available that will display your site as though it was in another browser, but I really don’t recommend these at all.

Since browsers are free to install on your computer, download them for testing + know that you can uninstall when you are done. If you want to cover the gamut of available browsers, you’ll want to test Chrome, Safari (Mac only), Firefox, Internet Explorer (PC only) +/or Edge (PC only).

Once you have the browsers installed, open the site in that browser + work your way through every page. Not just the ones in your menu, but also the search results, 404, thank you pages after opting in + any client-specific pages.

If you only have a PC or a Mac, check out your local library for the other type. If you’re a PC user, head to the nearest Apple store for an hour + you’ll be able to test on one of the many devices they have set up.

Protip: I have a checklist of the pages created that I use for each of the 6 browsers that I test in. Plus, putting a checkmark in each page box is super satisfying at the end of a project!

Different devices

Just like testing in other browsers, testing on different screen types is really helpful to know that your visitors all have a good experience.

Instead of relying on emulators, try to get your hands on different devices to review the site content.

Maybe you offer to buy a friend lunch as long as you can use her Android phone before the food arrives to test your site. Or partner up with a handful of business owners to swap devices for a site review. (Testing throughout the life of your site is never a bad idea.)

I like to test our custom WordPress sites on a desktop computer, laptop, at least one tablet but usually two, an older iPhone, a newer iPhone + an Android. Plus, all of that time reviewing pages in different browsers + on different screens gives me a chance to catch typos!

Your device collection may not be as large as mine (actually, I hope it isn’t, cause mine is ridiculous.) If so, head to an Apple store, a Target, or some other store with electronics for sale.


While you are viewing your site in different browsers or on different devices, give yourself time to test every form you have.

How is your contact form working? Does the thank you message/page make sense? Do you get the email when a new entry is filled out on the site?

What about your opt-ins; do they work as they are supposed to? Are users able to tab through the name + address field with their phone keyboards?

Testing these things before you promote your site will ensure you don’t lose subscribers to form troubles.


Just like forms, you’ll want to test any other special functions that your site has. It could be a slider, a jump to the top link, dropdown menus in your navigation, FAQ toggles or accordions to show + hide content as needed.

Again, you can do this while looking at the site in different browsers to accomplish two tests in one go. Doing this helps speed up the process — I know it can feel overwhelming before you start.

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