Testing your blog and design is VERY important whenever you’re switching to a new blog design or even now if you haven’t tested before. It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that because it looks ok on your computer it will look ok for everyone else. Sadly, this is not the case. If only testing were so easy! It’s also very important to test aspects of your blog such as the search bar, email subscription, share icons, etc.
In reality there are a lot of different computers out there with different screen widths and many different browsers/versions they could be using. Do they have a laptop? Desktop with a larger screen? Or giant monitor? Are they using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 11, 10, 9, or even worse 8? Blog designs can look off on different sized screens and something that worked in Chrome may not work in Internet Explorer.
You can’t ignore these other devices and browsers because a lot of your readers could be using that (you can ignore Internet Explorer 8. VERY few of your readers will be using that). The trouble with testing these different browsers and computer screen widths is that you may not have them to test with. I know there are various applications out there that allow you to simulate different devices/browsers, but they are often limited free versions or you have to pay to use them.
Testing different Browsers and Screens
Chrome and Firefox would be easy to test. If you don’t have them installed, simply install them on your computer or maybe go to the library and see if the computers there have them. For Internet Explorer, if you have a Windows computer, you’ll have it installed. Open up Internet Explorer and press the F12 key. That will open up a screen like below:
Switch to the Emulation tab. You scan switch the Document Mode setting to test your site in different versions of Internet Explorer. If you’re on Mac and need to test Internet Explorer, try going to a library/school computer. They’re typically windows computers.
For Safari, you’ll need access to a Mac computer. If you don’t have one, maybe ask a friend to quick test out how your site looks on their computer.
For screen widths you’ll need to search around for other people you know that have larger and smaller screens than your own to test that.
There can be a lot to keep track of when you’re working on a new blog design! To help with that, I’ve put together a checklist of things to test in your content and design.
Blog Testing Checklist
For each of these, scroll through your blog and check the design, such as how your header looks, your menu, and if there is a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen. Horizontal scroll bar = BAD.
- Using Chrome
- Using Firefox
- Using Internet Explorer
- Version 11
- Version 10
- Version 9
- Using Safari
- Using a tablet (if you have responsive design)
- Using a phone
- Using a large computer monitor
You don’t need to test these on all the different devices/screen sizes. Although, if it visually looks different when you’re testing the design, it may be a good idea to test the functionality as well.
- Test your search bar
- Subscribe to your newsletter. Were you added? I’m a subscriber to my newsletter so I can always be sure that it is sent out whenever I publish a new post
- Social sharing icons. You don’t have to actually share them. Just click the buttons to test that the popup/screen changes to connect to each of the social platforms.
- Click on your menu pages. Do each of the links work?
- Do the links/icons to your social media sites work?
- Look through multiple different posts. If you’re installing a new design, does everything look ok in the post?
- Click on links in your sidebar. Do all of them work?
- CLICK ALL THE THINGS! Not really, but you should go through various aspects of your blog to test your site as a new reader visiting your blog
Hopefully that helps! If you find something wrong, try and fix it. Now sure how? Try Google. Did someone else design this for you? Maybe they can help! Still not working? If it’s a premade theme, maybe buy a different one or purchase a custom theme. Still no? Maybe it’s time to start crying…