• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 15. Testing Your Site > Site Launch Checklist

15.1. Site Launch Checklist

Don't wait until you've finished your site before embarking on a thorough strategy of testing. By that time, serious design errors may have so completely infested the pages of your site that you may have to start over, or at least spend many hours fixing problems that could have been prevented early on.

  • Preview early and often. The single best way to make sure a page will look and function the way you want it to is to preview it in as many Web browsers as possible. Use Dreamweaver's Preview command (see Chapter 1) to preview your page in every browser you can get your hands on. Make sure the graphics look right, that your layout remains the same, and that advanced technologies like Cascading Style Sheets, Dreamweaver Behaviors, and layers work as intended.

    For a thorough evaluation, however, you should preview your pages using every combination of browser and operating system you think your site's visitors might use. Enroll co-workers, family members, and household pets, if necessary, in this effort. At the very least, test your pages using Internet Explorer 5 and 6, and (to a lesser extent) Netscape 4, on both Mac and Windows. If you have access to an AOL account—like 34 million other people around the world—use it. And as the population of Netscape 7, Mozilla, and Opera users grows, add these to your test schedule, too.

    Unfortunately, you'll discover that what works on one browser/operating system combination may not work on another. That's why you should preview your designs early in the process of constructing your site. If you design a page that doesn't work well in Netscape 4 on the Mac, for example, it's better to catch and fix that problem immediately than discover it after you've built 100 pages based on that design.

  • Check pages in target browsers. Dreamweaver's Check Target Browsers command (see the facing page) is a helpful diagnostic tool; it analyzes the code of your Web pages and checks for compatibility with various versions of Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.

    Once again, take this step early in the process of building your site. After completing a preliminary design for your home page, for example, use this tool to see if the code will work in the browsers you're aiming for.

  • Validate your pages. Dreamweaver MX includes a new tool that lets you compare your Web pages against agreed-upon standards for HTML and other Web languages. It checks to make sure your pages are valid (that they conform to these standards).

    Valid pages are more likely to work on all Web browsers—not just Internet Explorer. And if you envision your site on mobile devices such as cell phones and palmtops, valid pages are again a better bet. In fact, you can even validate your Web pages to see if they conform to Wireless Markup Language (WML).

  • Check for accessibility. Not everyone experiences the Web in the same way. People with poor vision, for example, will miss out on the beautiful, full-color banner and navigation buttons you've created. To help you build Web sites that don't shut out people with disabilities, Dreamweaver MX can check your Web site to make sure it conforms to Section 508 (a regulation mandating that Web sites built by or for the Federal Government are accessible to those with disabilities).



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint