The Difference Between Alpha and Beta Testing
How to assess the two and why they matters.
Let’s say you’ve just completed designing a website. Congratulations! But before starting any inbound marketing strategies to bring traffic to your site, you’ll want to test out the features of your website to ensure the user experience is as flawless as possible. Do social media channels check out? Does the information from your form submissions send inquiries to the proper channel? Are there any video glitches? These are the questions and items you’ll test during the website review stage also known as the Alpha and Beta Testing.
Alpha and Beta Testing provide insight to the overall functionality and usability of your website. You’ll be able to gather feedback and measure the success of your web development, design, and content before it’s ready for public launch.
What is Alpha Testing?
Alpha Testing is used to identify bugs and other functionality issues before the website is viewed by external users. This stage should occur towards the end of software development, but before Beta Testing, and is typically tested by the organization developing the site, and sometimes internal employees.
This Alpha Testing Checklist is a great reference for the types of items the development team will be reviewing and testing. They’ll be assessing your search engine optimization (SEO) to verify if your tools are properly installed and that your heading styles are coded correctly. And they’ll also be making sure your website is ADA Compliant, and that any visual or design elements are consistent and displaying properly.
After ensuring the back end of the website is functioning properly with Alpha Testing, it’s time to review what the user will experience on the front-end.
What is Beta Testing?
The second stage, Beta Testing, is used to gather feedback on the quality of the user experience and test the product in a “real environment” before the website is launched to the public. Testing is conducted by a limited number of “real” external users with the aim to complete tasks that the typical user would perform while using your site. User feedback is logged by the Beta Testing users and given to the development team to ensure the website is ready for official release. Most of the feedback given in Beta Testing will be implemented in future versions.
Use our Beta Testing Checklist, for a list of tasks you’ll need to test and review as “real users.” You’ll find tasks like checking the website on a variety of displays, screen resolutions, and operating systems. Or clicking through all the links to make sure they take you to the proper location – basically any task that a real user would perform while using your site.
Why is a website audit important?
Without Alpha and Beta Testing you could miss errors within your website, causing a decrease in user experience and ultimately, their potential business. It’s best to fix all potential issues in advance to ensure your website is ready for launch and provides a great experience for your users, and ultimately increases your sales generation.
Where to Start
Download the Alpha and Beta Testing Checklist to ensure your website is on the right track and ready for launch.
Or, reach out to a digital agency for help! Assessing the functionality of a website can be a completely different animal from designing one, but that’s what Pyxl is for. Our team of seasoned designers, strategists, and developers work hard to offer best-in-class web solutions for all of our clients. We’ll work with you every step of the way to design, build, and launch your website. For more information about what Pyxl has to offer, contact us today!
Wondering how our team of experts ensures your site is ready for launch? Check out our video recording for a behind the scenes look at Pyxl’s process for designing, developing, testing, and launching websites successful
Updated: Nov 02, 2020