What is Local Website Testing and why is it important?
Local Website Testing and It's Importance
Local website testing is testing your website on a system locally(not on the cloud or somewhere hosted but near you and on your machine). Whether you work solo on a project, with your friend, or with tens of people on Github, you will have the website on your local system when you are making the changes. Since the website is on our local system and running on our local server, we refer to the testing phase as local website testing.
Local website testing is nothing special or a separate branch of testing. Reloading changes on your favorite browser while coding a complex nested div structure is also a part of local website testing. The local website runs on a local server (with an address such as localhost:8000).
Without a global address (URL), we are just left with ourselves staring at our website on our local system wondering is it worth it to test for the website locally? Should I go for local website testing?
Why Local Web Testing is Important?
Local web testing is a precautionary technique to save you from poor user feedback and higher bounce rates. A user can form the opinion of a website in 0.05 seconds only. Can you risk that precious time in the hit and trial method without testing a website locally? It would not be wrong to say that local web testing is a part of the “planning” phase when we develop a website.
Planning to prevent failure in the future. In 2017, the cost of failure due to bad planning resulted in a USD 1.7 trillion loss, as noted by Tricentis. This has been a regular trend every year and therefore, we should always consider local web testing a requisite because of the following reasons:
Early Bug Hunting: A local web testing is helpful in catching bugs early into the application. Responsiveness cannot run on the risk of being rectified after the production. With local web testing, we can scrutinize our target devices and run a checklist on them to see if everything works fine. All the bugs caught in this session can then be rectified before the end-user sees the final product.
Prevent Real-Time Bug Fixes: When we check for responsiveness on a local web testing server, we don’t have to worry about fixing them and updating the website in real-time. This enhances the user experience as a real-time fix can hurt the credibility of the website.
Lower Bounce Rate: A website with responsive issues on an end-user mobile device is of no use to them. 88% of the users are less likely to return to a website with a bad experience.
For example, if you have repeated tests of UI, it is better to go for mobile test automation than leaving the website in a hurry. Such stats prioritizes the need for local web testing as bounce rates directly influence the conversion rate and ultimately the business revenue and market presence.
Good Google Indexing: Google has started prioritizing mobile-friendly websites on mobile searches. In September 2020, Google announced that they will be switching all the websites to their mobile-first indexing strategy with smartphone crawler.
Responsive web design is a part of creating a mobile-friendly website and therefore will hurt our page rank when the crawler crawls our website. The result? Lower Google rankings, lower visibility, lower traffic, lower conversions and ultimately lower business impact.
It feels quite necessary as a web developer to test for website responsiveness locally. A major challenge in local web testing is to collect a large number of browsers and perform tests on them. Although our basics are now brushed up, let’s see if we can overcome this challenge and perform local web testing for our website.