What to Do Before You Report Site Issues to Your Developer

Written by  on Nov 15, 2018

If you work with a web developer to design, build, and maintain your company’s website, then your developer knows your company’s website like the back of their hand.

what-to-do-before-you-report-site-issues-to-your-developer

And this close relationship makes it easy for your developer to quickly find, understand and fix any issues that may arise.

But for those of us who aren’t web development gurus, coming across potential functionality issues on our website can be harder to diagnose or even describe.

But one way you can help your developer find and fix any potential issues by knowing how to report the issues accurately. 

Think about it this way—if you bring your car into the shop, your mechanic will be able to diagnose any issues with your car much quicker if you can describe what your car is doing (or not doing). You don’t need them to spend time looking at your transmission when your brake pads are squeaking. 

Testing a few potential issues on your own before you report to your developer can save you and your developer time, and save you money.

So whether you find a bug or just something that you think could be optimized to reach your customers more effectively, properly reporting the issue to your developer can go a long way to getting it resolved quickly and painlessly.

How to Test Your Site

If you’ve got a site that just went live, then you and your developer will want to work together to test everything you can and make sure it’s all functioning properly.

Here’s a quick checklist of things you should test for:

Speed

  • Click through all the pages on your site and check to see if any seem to take longer to load than others. 
  • Make note of these. Then run all the pages on your website through a speed tester such as pingdom, which will provide a speed “grade”, full report, and even suggestions on how to improve that page’s speed.
  • Any pages with low scores should be worked on.

Errors

  • To find errors, you need to go through your site with a fine-tooth comb, looking closely at every single page, clicking on every link, trying every button, filling out every form, etc. Try every variation that you can think of.
  • On forms, make it a point to try inserting complex content, odd characters, and exceeding the character input limit to see if it causes the form to crash or fail in any way.
  • Make note of whatever doesn’t work properly.

Mobile Compatibility

  • More and more people are browsing on their smartphones, which means your site should be ready for them.
  • Make sure everything on your site looks good and works on a variety of devices.
  • You can use a device emulation service such as MobileTest.me to show you what your site looks like (and how it works) on a wide array of phones and tablets.

Before You Report a Problem, Have You Tried…

Sometimes when you encounter an error on your site, it’s not actually your site’s fault. 

It could be the device or browser that’s causing the issue, which means there’s nothing that needs to be fixed by your developer. 

So whenever you come across a link that isn’t loading, a button that causes your site to crash, or other “bug”, try the following before reporting it to your developer:

  • See if it happens in other browsers
  • Restart your browser
  • Restart your computer
  • Reload the page
  • Clear cookies and history

You’ll still want to report the issue to your developer. But if the issue goes away after trying any of the above, then this information can help your developer solve any issue quickly.

How to Report a Problem

You’ve thoroughly tested your site, found errors, and figured out as much as you can about how, why, and when they occur. 

Now it’s time to report these to your site’s developer.

Communicating your issues clearly will make it much easier for your developer to replicate the problem and fix it. The more details you can provide, the better. 

Here are tips on how to most effectively report problems with your site to the developer:

  1. Copy/paste the entire URL of the specific page of where the problem is occurring.
  2. Write out in detail the exact actions you take that lead to the bug. For example, if a form isn’t working correctly, don’t just say “this form isn’t working”. 
  3. Instead, explain in sequence what you did, even providing the exact content you entered into each field, and exactly what happens when the bug occurs.
  4. If any error messages are displayed, copy/paste the full message and send it along to your developer.
  5. Whenever you can, include screenshots of the page where the error is or that shows the problem, whether it be bad formatting, missing content, a broken link, or a bug.
  6. Keep it as clear and concise as possible. Try to stick to just the details regarding the problem so your developer can read through and understand the problem easily.
  7. If you stick to these simple tips, you can ensure you will narrow down the issue for your developer and get it resolved as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Knowing how to properly identify and report any site issues is well worth the effort. A slick and well-functioning site can do a whole lot for your online business.

When BKMedia built an entirely new website to suit the needs of a client, their site saw a huge jump in quote requests: up 241% in just one year!

The web design and development professionals at BK could do the same for your company.

Whether you’re just jumping into the online game, or struggling to find the right developer who can help you make the website of your dreams, look no further than BKMedia.

Learn about our design and development services today >

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