WordPress Testing: A Complete Guide (For Beginners & Experts)

Your WordPress site might have eye-catching graphics, stunning design, and top-notch content, but all these things become worthless if the user experience is not up to the mark. Even the most visually stunning site can fall short, potentially harming your online business.

Even though WordPress releases updates from time to time for better stability, bug fixes, and security vulnerabilities, what if they bring unexpected other bugs instead?

There are chances that your website might benefit from the update but also get severely hit by it due to incompatibility issues or other bugs.



Instead of solving one problem, it seems to multiply them, leaving your website’s functionality hanging by a thread. One moment your site’s running smoothly, the next, it’s plagued with glitches.

Out of frustration, your visitors bounce off to competitor sites or leave behind abandoned carts in your online store.

This is why WordPress testing and troubleshooting are required. Properly testing your WordPress site like a pro is the best strategy to tackle all of your website’s problems.

WordPress testing is not just about fixing bugs; it’s about bringing out the best of your website for an unparalleled experience for your visitors, keeping them hooked regardless of the device they are using.

Once you’ve tested and fixed all the bugs, you can ensure a higher retention rate, a drop in bounce rate, better user experience, and hence, better ROI.

Let us first understand why WordPress testing is essential and How can it benefit you?


Why WordPress Testing is Important?

Once you have created a WordPress site, made some changes to it, and made it live, it might appear okay on your screen from all aspects, and it might also appear the same for your teammates. But what if:

  • The WordPress site is not compatible with other browsers.
  • The mobile view doesn’t look great and isn’t functional.
  • Graphics, buttons, or content are all scrambled up on other screen sizes or devices.

This is not the end; it can even get worse than you might have imagined. So make it an integral part of your WordPress site maintenance routine and achieve all the benefits and consequences mentioned below:

  • Experiment with Design and UI: Testing your WordPress site lets you try out new looks and features without risking your live site.
  • Consistent Traffic: A smoother WordPress site ensures a steady flow of visitors to your website. Failing to test properly can result in losing visitors, damaging your site’s reputation, and affecting your overall business and profits.
  • Generate Leads: If the website works fine, it attracts more customers who are likely to convert and enjoy a positive experience.
  • Skyrocket Sales: Responsive, Bug-free, and Faster websites have always been the first choice for anyone, it leads to improved user experience and hence Boost sales.
  • Maintain Business Operations: You can keep your site running smoothly while trying out new ideas, so if anything goes wrong during testing, it won’t affect your main site’s traffic or income.
  • Detect Visitor Issues: Testing helps you find problems from the visitors’ point of view, like slow page loading or issues with menus on mobile devices.
  • Prevent Security Risks: Trying out new plugins and themes in a testing environment helps you catch any security issues before they affect your live site.
  • Benefit for Beginners and Advanced Developers: Testing is useful for both beginners and experienced developers. It allows them to experiment safely and ensure everything works perfectly before making it live.
  • Avoid Problems with Direct Updates: Making changes directly on your live site can lead to glitches and errors, affecting your site’s performance and reputation.

Read: 🚩 22 Best Ways to Speed Up WordPress Performance


What is WP testing?

If you still have no idea what WP testing or WordPress testing is, check out this simple explanation:

WordPress testing generally refers to the process of evaluating and checking a WordPress site or application from all aspects, such as performance, stability, usability, and security, to ensure everything is up to the mark.

It’s just like visiting a doctor for a regular checkup, where he or she examines you thoroughly, performs certain lab tests, and conducts a physical examination. Then, based on the examination reports, medication is prescribed.


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What are the most common types of WordPress testing?

Now you know, why WordPress testing is important, its benefits and consequences, let’s take a look at some of the most common strategies you can follow for WordPress testing:

  • Functionality Testing: Verifying that all features and functionalities of the WordPress site work as intended. This includes testing links, forms, navigation menus, search functionality, and any other interactive elements.
  • Compatibility Testing: Ensuring that the website is compatible with different web browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.), operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.), and devices (desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.).
  • Performance Testing: Assessing the speed, responsiveness, and overall performance of the WordPress site. This includes testing page load times, server response times, and how the site performs under different traffic loads.
  • Security Testing: Identifying and addressing potential security vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the WordPress site to prevent hacking, data breaches, and other security threats.
  • Usability Testing: Evaluating the user experience (UX) of the WordPress site to ensure that it is intuitive, user-friendly, and meets the needs of its target audience.
  • Regression Testing: Re-testing previously fixed bugs and features after making changes or updates to the WordPress site to ensure that no new issues have been introduced.

How do I test my WordPress site?

Now, you know the importance of testing your WordPress site, let us dig into the step-by-step process of How to do it in the very effective manner just like a professional.

Step 1: Choose and Setup Testing Environment

The most important and initial step you need to follow is to choose a testing environment first. These environments are very crucial and helpful in recognizing the value of testing your website in different environments without harming your actual/live website.

You will be free to make as many changes as you want or play with your website’s features, functionality, or design as much as you like without harming your actual website.

To make this possible we have two types of testing environments available.

  • Local environment: You can host your website on your computer, so changes won’t affect your live site. It’s best suited for developers who like to try out new features and find bugs.
  • Staging environment: This is a copy of your website on a server. It’s great for testing big updates and showing clients how their site will look before it goes live

How to Setup Testing Environment using Staging

As we have already mentioned, a staging site is a replica of your original website on the same server. The only difference is visitors cannot access the staging site. However, all the features and functionality would be the same as an actual customer would experience.

The best way to set up a starting platform/environment is via your web host. Unfortunately, not all web hosting provides this feature.

But at WPOven, you will have the privilege of unlimited Free staging sites included in all plans and to create one is super simple.

You need to log in to our WPOven dashboard > Sites tab > and click on the “Stage Site” button.

Stage site

-You can see the new staging site in the sites list.

Staging Site

-To access the staging site, you need to access via the ‘Direct Link‘ option.

WPOven Staging Site

How to set up a local testing environment?

The local environment is exactly the same as a staging environment, the only difference is you need to host your website on your own server or computer.

  • To install a WordPress testing environment locally:
    • Install an AMP stack set for your computer.
    • The AMP stack comprises Apache, MySQL, and PHP, simulating your live WordPress website.
  • Popular methods for local WordPress installation include:
    • WAMP
    • XAMPP

For more details, you can also refer to our blog, on: 🚩 What is LocalHost? and How to Build A Website


Step 2: Choose a perfect tool for testing different aspects of the website

Once you have successfully cloned your WordPress website and hosted it on either a local or staging environment, you are ready to perform several experiments.

Install different themes, and plugins, change overall design, alter functionality, etc. When you are done, note down all the changes.

After that, you are ready to perform tests for any bugs, glitches, UI issues, or functionality problems.

1. Testing the Functionality of your WordPress site

For testing your website functionality you can follow these 5 different ways:

1.1 Cross-browser testing

You must ensure that your website functions properly and appears correctly to your visitors across different popular browsers.

This is important because various browsers are constructed differently, and they handle website elements uniquely.

For example, if you visit a website like WPOVen.com on the Chrome browser, it might appear and function slightly differently compared to the Safari browser.

Although Chrome holds a significant market share in terms of worldwide browser usage, some users still prefer alternative browsers such as Firefox, Edge, and Safari. You don’t want to leave any stones unturned.

You can also use some automated tools like lamdatest or Smartbear for cross-browser testing.

1.2 unit testing

Unit testing is a simple yet highly effective method that helps you thoroughly test the functionality of your WordPress site. With this approach, each unit or small part of your WordPress site is tested to ensure it works perfectly.

This method is crucial because even the smallest change in the code can disrupt the entire website’s functionality. For example, Suppose your website is like a puzzle, and unit testing is like examining each puzzle piece to ensure a perfect fit.

You can use tools like Travis CI or PHPunit to automate these tests for you, but it’s preferable to perform them manually while working on the site.

1.3 visual testing

Visual testing or Visual Regression testing allows you to ensure that all the design elements and layouts of your website are in their place. It’s like checking if everything appears perfectly as it has to be after making certain changes such as changing the theme or updating plugins.

This method helps you to spot any issues such as buttons disappearing or scrambled content, which you might never notice otherwise.

For your better understanding, we have activated twenty-twenty WordPress themes on our staging site. As you see in the picture below, the home page looks fine and all the elements such as button layouts are perfectly in the right position.

Detect visual errors with visual WordPress tests

But when we switched to the twenty-twenty-three theme, the position of the button changed. This is why a local or staging site is very important to conduct any tests before making it live.

Run visual tests
1.4 Mobile/tablet/desktop responsiveness testing

You might be surprised to know that more than 60% of internet users access websites via their smartphones and tablets. This huge dominance shows how important it is for the websites to be well-optimized for screens of all sizes i.e. Mobiles, Tablets, and Desktops.

For this, you can directly try to access the website on your mobile device and ensure all the elements are in the right position.

For desktops, you can use the WordPress Customizer option:

  • Log in to your WordPress Dashboard > Go to Appearance > Customize.
  • Click on the mobile or tablet icon at the bottom to preview your site at specific screen sizes.
Test WordPress responsiveness with the WordPress Customizer
Test WordPress responsiveness with the WordPress Customizer

You can also use Google Chrome’s Developers tools:

  • Open a page on your site in Google Chrome.
  • Right-click on the page and select Inspect.
Test WordPress responsiveness with Google Chrome Inspect
Test WordPress responsiveness with Google Chrome Inspect
  • Find the Toggle device toolbar at the top of the popup.
Click on the Toggle device toolbar in Chrome Inspect
Click on the Toggle device toolbar in Chrome Inspect
  • Click on it to instantly adapt your screen.
  • Use the Dimensions dropdown menu to test your page on additional devices like different iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models.
View your website in mobile view with Google Chrome Inspect
View your website in mobile view with Google Chrome Inspect
1.5 UI testing

UI or User Interface testing mainly refers to theme testing, in which website components that a user or visitor generally interacts with are examined. It helps in minimizing the chance of a poor user experience.

For example, some of the fundamental features of a website, such as buttons, menus, and links, are generally preferred by users for engagement.

If any of these components don’t work well, it will severely impact your overall website user experience, and out of frustration, visitors will bounce back to other websites.

To avoid such mishaps, you can experiment with new UI components on your website only in a testing/staging environment.

2. Test the Speed and Performance of your WordPress site

Another important aspect of WordPress Testing is to test the Speed and performance of your WordPress site.

For this, you can utilize various Free testing tools such as:

  • WP Rocket: A fantastic plugin with speed-boosting features such as caching, lazy loading, and GZIP compression. (WPOven offers WPRocket Service in their plans)
  • Cloudflare: Offers a CDN (Content Delivery Network) service to speed up site delivery to users worldwide. (WPOven is a proud partner with Cloudflare)
  • Google PageSpeed Insights: Provides an in-depth analysis of your site’s loading speed and suggests areas of improvement and some optimization advice.

Read: 🚩 WebpageTest: Analyze Website Speed & Performance


  • Broken Link Checker: Helps identify and fix broken links on your website.

3. Test the security of your WordPress Site

WordPress site security is of utmost priority for anyone in online business. This practice helps to ensure that your website defense system is running and working perfectly and able to mitigate or safeguard from any potential online threat or vulnerabilities.

For this purpose, you have to check all software on your WordPress site regularly is secure, including core software, themes, and plugins.

This is because themes and plugins installed from third-party websites might not be secure and are generally loaded with malicious code.

Also, outdated software can become a source of security risk, so keep everything updated regularly.

Here is what you can do from your end.

Core Security
  • For Core software, you can check the security of your WordPress core software, if possible always keep it updated whenever the latest core update is released.
  • For complete peace of mind, the best shortcut you can follow is to host your website on a quality web host like WPOven. It has enterprise-level security features such as DDoS protection, firewalls, malware scanning and removal, hardened servers, CDN integration, etc.
  • Although keeping updated with the latest software is a good practice, sometimes it can also bring compatibility issues with the current website theme. Therefore, always test new WordPress updates on a staging site first, then apply them to your live site.
  • At WPOven, you can easily test updates by selecting your site, setting it to Staging, and running the update. Once safe, push the changes to live.
Theme Security
  • Always keep in mind to test new themes or theme updates only in a local or staging environment.
  • Although a theme update is released to fix security issues, sometimes it can bring more trouble to your website and cause conflicts.
  • If you have downloaded a theme from a third-party website or have trust issues, better test them on a local/staging environment first to avoid any mishaps to your live site.
  • WPOven customers can set up unlimited staging sites with a single click through the Dashboard.
  • You can utilize any WordPress Security plugin such as WPScan for your help.
Plugin Security
  • Just like with themes and core software, you are also required to assess the security of your plugins regularly.
  • Always test new plugins or updates in a local/staging environment first to protect your live site.
  • Utilize any WordPress security plugin to detect any plugin vulnerabilities.

Ensure the best speed, performance, and security with the right web host

Of course, you can optimize your website for better speed, page loading time, user experience, and security from your end.

But at the hosting level, you can strengthen your website’s foundation by choosing the right web host that can provide better security and blazing-fast servers.

At WPOven, we are committed to providing the best security shield and speed for the websites we host.

All our plans are powered by fast dedicated servers located globally with power pack performance. Also, you will enjoy the benefits of WPOven’s Cloudflare-Powered CDN, which has worldwide servers.

If your main concern is about security, WPOven has got you covered. Our enterprise-level security shield includes daily malware scanning and removal, DDoS Protection, built-in bot protection, hardened servers, integrated firewalls, Free SSL, uptime monitoring, etc.


Summary

WordPress is a big fish in web development today, covering more than 43% of the internet. It’s super easy to use, so anyone can build a website with it.

But here’s the catch, with so many websites out there, how do you make yours visible and successful?

The trick is to be unique and offer better features/services than everyone else. That means you have to work on your website and make it stand out.

You can do this by adding cool features or redesigning your website that your users will love. But here’s the thing, if you don’t test your website properly, you won’t know if it’s any good for your visitors.

If your site looks weird or not easily accessible, visitors will bounce back, and that’s bad for your site’s reputation.

So, before you launch your site, make sure to test it well. Try it out for different screen sizes i.e desktop as well as mobile versions first to make sure everything works smoothly.

However, you can ensure your website runs smoothly, fast, and secure by simply opting for a high-quality web host like WPOven. Check out our plans.


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