The moment your new store goes live is both exciting and terrifying. The best way to ensure the former and avoid the latter is by testing your store completely. It is worth missing a ‘Go Live’ deadline if a major issue is found and resolved before public exposure.
Create a testing checklist for the front end makes sure you don’t miss anything vital.
Most of the Admin Console functionality will have been tested during the store setup and preparation, so this list is for testing the storefront:
- Navigation: Verify pages, links, menus, language/currency selections and any 3rd party additions perform as expected.
- Content: Verify that images are not missing, test items are unpublished, spelling is correct, styles appear as expected, etc.
- Account Management: Create a test customer and login / logout of the account, try ‘FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD?’, add a shipping address, verify the links such as ‘View Your Wishlist’.
- Cart Operation: Add products to the cart as both anonymous (not logged in) and registered (logged in), vary the quantity before/after adding to the cart, delete items, add variants, color/sizes, Kit products, add Upsell / Recommended products, Order Options, etc. Login / logout and verify expected results occur.
- Cart Modifiers: Create a Coupon and Gift Card and test functionality on cart contents. Verify quantity discounts occur appropriately.
- Taxes: Verify proper taxes are charged for the proper States / Countries.
- Shipping: Test for correct shipping methods and correct pricing (both domestic and international if applicable), verify Shipping & Tax Estimator returns expected results both anonymous and registered.
- Payment: Verify correct Payment methods are displayed.
- Checkout: Complete purchases (using test / sandbox environments only) for each payment and shipping method combination. Test functionality of off-site methods used such as PayPal and Google Checkout, again using only the test/sandbox environments. Verify Receipts for content and calculations. Include usage of Coupons and Gift Cards if applicable.
- Order Management: Verify the testing orders processed correctly into the admin console, process the payments as if they were real, including Refunds, Voids, Ad-Hoc charges/refunds, and shipping. Understand the abilities and limitations of your payment gateway. Many have testing abilities for specific scenarios, so now is the perfect time to take advantage of them.
When your store passes the front end tests, have someone unfamiliar with the site try to ‘break’ it. This is where unexpected scenarios or considerations from actual customers come into play.
Finally, set your shipping and payment gateways to ‘Live’ mode and run through a real purchase with a real credit card.
Set up a coupon or test product for a few cents and be aware that there will most likely be a transaction charge from your payment provider.
This pocket change is well spent for the peace of mind it provides.