How to Test WordPress Website Upgrade
WordPress is probably the most popular website content management system (CMS) available today. It powers more than 27% of the websites on the web. If you’re running a WordPress website, then you already know how important it is to keep up with the latest versions to ensure that your site remains stable and powerful.
With each new version launch, WordPress makes some major changes to how the software functions internally. This can bring about some serious consequences if you’re not careful. For this reason, it’s critical that you keep track of the changes made in each new version so that you can determine how your website will react to these changes. And, hopefully, how you can best take advantage of them.
The Importance Of Testing
You’d be surprised how many website owners think that testing is unnecessary. Even more surprising is how many think that testing for bugs is sufficient to maintain a good level of performance. While these might seem like acceptable practices in the early stages of a project’s lifetime, they are both very poor solutions. The truth is, testing should be a continuous, on-going process. This way, you can assure yourself that your website is performing at its optimum capacity without fear of any negative repercussions in the future.
Knowing how to properly test a WordPress website can be extremely valuable, particularly as updates to the software become more frequent and major. This is why we’ve decided to share with you a guide on how to test a WordPress website and the various elements that you’ll need to consider. We hope that this resource will prove to be helpful to you as you continue developing your site and taking advantage of all the wonderful new features that WordPress has to offer.
How To Test A WordPress Website
As we mentioned above, WordPress is constantly changing and evolving, which makes it a bit more challenging to test. To ensure that you’re prepared for anything, it’s a good idea to follow a few simple steps.
The Preparation Step
The first step to testing is to prepare your environment. This means installing the latest version of WordPress to ensure that you have all the necessary requirements to run the software. It’s also a good idea to run through the setup process once to get everything configured properly. This will help you avoid any unexpected troubles later on.
Another important step is to create a backup of your site. There are various plugins and services that you can use to create full backups of your site (including its content) and environments (such as its settings and database). Having a backup is essential because it allows you to restore your site’s functionality in the event that something goes wrong during the testing phase.
Once you’ve taken the time to prepare your environment, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step Two: Create A Plan
As previously mentioned, testing is an ongoing process, which means that you should plan for it. Just because you’ve prepared your environment and backed up your data doesn’t mean that you should rush headlong into testing. Instead, you should set a test plan and work your way toward it. This plan should include everything from what you’ll be testing (such as new features or functionality) to when you’ll be testing (such as immediately after the official launch of each new version of WordPress).
The reason for this approach is that you don’t want to rush the testing process and discover a major flaw in one of the newest versions of the software. Instead, you should follow the process and ensure that your site is stable and error-free before you begin using the new features. This is why you should always test new versions of software after following a few simple steps (such as the ones described above).
Creating a plan is essential because it will help you keep track of all the testing that you need to do. Be sure to add the dates and times to your schedule so that you can keep track of your progress. As you work through your plan, you’ll discover what needs to be tested and when.
Step Three: Identify The Test Participants
The next step is to identify the test participants. This is an important step because it means that you’re taking the time to properly test the software and aren’t simply assuming that everyone will be able to use the new features. Just because a few people managed to use a new feature in the latest alpha version of WordPress doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to use it.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re assuming that everyone will be able to use every feature, you’re setting yourself up for failure. As you work your way through the setup process and use the various tools that WordPress offers to test different features, you’ll be presented with a long list of possible participants (users or groups).
You should always start by testing your site on a private environment. This ensures that you can easily isolate any errors that might occur during the testing process. When selecting your test participants, you should consider the following:
- Your target audience (e.g., who will benefit the most from your site)
- How experienced are they in using WordPress or similar content management systems?
- How much time do you have to devote to this testing process?
- What are your resources (i.e., financial resources, human resources, etc.)?
When answering these questions, you should try to come up with a short list of users who meet the following criteria:
- They should be able to use the WordPress interface (which we’ll discuss in detail below)
- They should have a computer or connected device with Internet access
- They should have a reliable Internet connection
- They should live in the same geographic area as you
- They should be available to test the software on the dates and times that you’ve set
- They should be willing to provide feedback as you work your way through the testing process
- They should be able-minded, meaning that they should be able to provide appropriate feedback in regard to your testing activities
Step Four: Choose A Test Device And Operating System
After you’ve created your list of potential participants, you’re ready to move on to the next step. The next step is to choose a test device and operating system. When it comes to website testing, you’ll typically want to use multiple browsers (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) on multiple operating systems (e.g., Windows, macOS, and Linux).
The reason for this is that not all browsers work the same way, which can lead to errors or unexpected behavior. For example, Internet Explorer and Edge don’t always display all the HTML elements in the same way. This can lead to errors or unexpected behavior when building a web page.
As for the test device, we recommend using a virtual machine. This ensures that you’re testing the software in a safe, contained environment, preventing any adverse effects on your own device(s). If you’re using a Mac or Linux device, then you should look into purchasing a Virtual Machine (e.g., Windows 10 Enterprise Edition or Fedora 29).
Step Five: Install And Configure The Required Software
Now that you’ve prepared your testing environment and have a plan in mind, it’s time to install and configure the required software. This step is extremely important because it means that everything is ready for testing. Once you’ve completed this step, you can begin using the new features of WordPress without fear of any major issues.
To get started, you’ll want to visit the WordPress website and download the latest version. Once you’ve done that, you can use the WordPress interface to create a new blog post. You’ll also want to make sure that you install the official WordPress images to create a good first impression for your visitors. A simple way to add illustrations and photos to your blog posts is through the use of image inserts. You can find a huge number of stock images that you can use for free (or at very low prices) on sites like Creative Commons.
The Final Step
Once you’ve tested the different elements and new features in WordPress, the last step is to review the results and identify areas for improvement. This is an extremely important step because it allows you to determine what worked and what didn’t work in your particular environment. This will help you properly plan for the future.