Getting bugs on your website fixed

Is there anything more frustrating than finding bugs on your website? In this post we show you how to identify them and, most importantly, squash them
Mar 25, 2020 • 8 minute read
Ayesha Akhter @ayeshasuhail121
Technical Co-pilot
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Pesky bugs on your website? Learn how to squash them all

Regardless if you are designing a website for your business, another client or personal use, it is imperative that your site is free of bugs. Bugs can render your website completely unusable as well as ruin your reputation of your business, or as a website designer. It is imperative that you correct any bugs before you officially launch your website. To ensure that your website is bug-free, follow the guidelines discussed in the article.

How to ensure that your website is bug-free

General HTML/ CSS Checking

  • Validate your HTML/XHTML code using W3C Markup Validation to ensure that it is error free. As well, you can use tools such as Google Webmaster or HTML Tidy to check for broken links, missing titles and other such errors or bugs.

  • To determine compliance violations or errors in your CSS, you can utilize CSS Validation Service from W3C.

  • After checking the code, use CSS Compressor to help speed up the loading time. This application will shrink the entire code into only one line for faster loading time.

Mobile testing

Most people access the internet via their mobile device, your website, therefore, needs to be compatible on all mobile devices.

  • Google Analytics can be used to determine which devices are compatible with your website.

  • Mobile device emulator extensions in browsers can be used to test your website.

  • For a budget-friendly means of testing, you may have a trial team test your website on different devices. Test to see if all the fonts and buttons are user-friendly, that there is no horizontal scrolling and all images and content are readable on small screen size. 

Performance testing

In addition to usability and security (which we shall discuss later), your website must possess the ability to withstand load. Websites have been known to crash due to overwhelming amounts of traffic so you want to make sure your site can withstand high traffic levels. 

  • Have multiple users simulate login sessions while executing concurrency testing to see if the site can handle multiple users at once.

  • Perform endurance testing to see if the website can perform over-excessive workload.

  • Use low network coverage to determine the loading time. 

Accessibility testing

The guidelines set forth by W3C ensure that website applications for individuals and organizations must be accessible for all, including those who are disabled.

  • Ensure that your website complies by these guidelines including sections ADA and 508.

  • Ensure the website is readable when users zoom in on fonts and/or images by performing scalability testing. 

  • To ensure that those with low or no vision are able to use a screen reader to navigate the site by using screen reader tests.

  • Ensure that the site can be used with only a keyboard.

  • Media content should include captions for those who are hearing impaired.

Cross browser testing

Remember the time Internet Explorer was the only web browser? This is no longer the case so you need to be sure that your application will run smoothly in other browsers such as Opera, Safari, Firefox and, of course, Google Chrome.

  • While you may wish your site were compatible with every single browser in existence, it is best to just target the most commonly used browsers.

  • A cross browser compatibility tool should be used during early states to cross-test the performance of your website.

  • When your site is ready, run unit testing and performance both tests once again once the set is entirely completed.

Security testing for website login

For those websites that involve banking, online shopping and other applications on which user-data needs to be kept private, security testing is a must!

  • Check that the account locks for multiple failed attempts of User ID and password are enforced.

  • Use CAPTCHA or OTP verifications to prevent automated login.

  • Test the encryption of caches and cookies

  • Ensure that the back button will expire the session once the user has logged out.

Documentation testing

This test is needed to ensure that the application follows the guidelines and requirements set forth by the client. Once the website has passed all the tests and any bugs are fixed, the website may be officially launched.

Beta testing (by real users)

The final test you should perform is beta testing. This is performed by actual users once the site is launched. This will help check for any missed errors as well as for feedback from real-time users to help determine usability as well as pinpoint any weak spots. 

Most common bugs

Browser adaptability

As previously discussed, you need to make sure that your site is compatible with the most popular web browsers.

Authentication fields

You need to ensure that your website does not surpass the greatest file length. As well, make your websites authentication fields not contain unacceptable characters. Limit the number of characters that you allocate to specific fields such as zip code, phone number and so forth. 

Button clicks that can cause the app to crash

Typically, found in most mobile apps, this bug is a ticking bomb. It tends to lurk behind buttons that users do not normally utilize but can still interfere with the functionality  of the app. These buttons tend to get overlooked by both developers and testers. These bugs typically are found in areas such as the account settings or in the profile editing mod.

Software to end user communication error

If your software is not user-friendly, your users must be able to locate all the pertinent information. The homepage and help sections should be especially user-friendly and you should be sure that your users can navigate the app with ease. 

Date control

For those apps on which age restriction is a necessity (for example dating apps), bugs have been found in forms used for profile editing related to date control. A boundary analysis can be used to improve this aspect. Make sure the test is set up to test the date control on your app. 

Resolution and page layout

Determine which devices and internet browsers that the majority of your target audience will be using and use those for your testing process to determine if your page layout will be compatible on varying screen sizes. . 

Creating bug reports

Note: In each bug report, make note of the following:

  • What was the expected outcome

  • What the user was doing when the bug occurred

  • What actually happened at the time the error occurred.

Enter the bug in your case tracking system

Use a case tracking system to help you track your progress as well as to whom each task/test is delegated. 

Google the error message

Googling the error message helps you determine what caused the bug or provide you with a search query for further research.

Identify the immediate line of code where the bug occurs

For bugs that are causing the app to crash run the program in the IDE ensuring that the debugger is active. The line of code that it stops on can help pinpoint the error. As well, you can  use “tracer bullets” to help locate the bug.

Identify the line of code where the bug actually occurs

Using a debugger, look at the Stack Trace to examine the history as it will list each function from the start of the program to the final process. 

Identify the species of error

Following is a list of the most common bug species:

  • 33 chars in a varchar (32)

  • Assignments instead of comparisons

  • Bad input

  • Buffer overflow & Index Out-of-range

  • Coincidences in the development environment were not carried over to production

  • Concatenating numbers and strings

  • Configuration or constants are incorrect

  • Invalid state

  • Off-By-One

  • Programmer Error

  • Race condition

  • Unexpected null

  • Wrong precision

Use the process of elimination

If the bug is not located in any of the lines, a unit-testing framework can be used to locate the bug and run the same parameters used to create the bug. If it is occurring in a system of components rather than a single component, disable each one individually. On minimum functionality, start to add back each one, one at a time until the bug appears again. Often, repeating step 3 can fix the bug. If not, the process can be more involved. 

Log everything and then analyze the logs to determine the cause

Examine each component or module, adding logging statements as you go. Then analyze the logs until you notice the malfunction reoccurring.  If the log does not determine the source, keep adding logging statements. If you can determine the problem, go back to the third step, if not, you might need to involve a third party.

Make sure the platform and the hardware are not the source of the problem.

Try to replace the entire server, workstation, RAM and hard drives to see if they are causing any issues. Try both installing and uninstalling the service pack. If the issue is resolved, the problem is with the operating system, runtime or hardware. This could be one of the first steps in fact, as hardware is often the source of the dysfunction.  For those programs that run network 1/0, replace cables, check switches and try running the software on another network. 

Study the error correlations

Using these guidelines, closely examine the correlations:

  • Is the error occurring at the same time every day? If so, look at the cron-jobs and tasks that are running at that time.

  • Is the bug appearing when another process is using all the memory?

  • Does the error always coincide simultaneously with another function? (even if it seems far-fetched?) Examine every operation/function to see if they could be tripping each other up and causing the bug.

  • Is there a common denominator in the users/machines affected by the bug? 

Why you should hire someone to fix your busgs?

  • A professional QA or bug fixer will possess the necessary knowledge and skills to properly assess and resolve the issue. 

  • A QA team consists of developers, product managers, designers and so forth that can properly remedy the situation.

  • A third party will be diplomatic as well as unbiased towards your software application or website.

  • Someone who makes it their job to fix bugs will work on the situation from the perspective of a user rather than a creator.

  • A third party will be able to catch any bugs that you may have overlooked.

  • They will be able to “deep dive” into your application and examine it from every angle.

Hiring someone to fix your website bugs

Unless you are a highly skilled web developer, it is best to hire a professional to fix the bugs 

on your website to ensure it is executed correctly and none of your website structure is damaged in the process.

The cheapest option is to hire a freelancer because you don't need to pay for any benefits and you can hire them on a project by project basis. 

If you're not sure of the exact freelancer talent you'll need to hire to fix your website bugs, you can chat with a Technical Co-Pilot for guidance.

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