Testing websites is a chore

Manually testing a website is time consuming. And most of the time, nothing is broken: After you make a change, you click around and everything looks good! It’s tempting to skip testing, and for good reason: testing is not always the best use of your time.

But when something does break and you don’t catch it – that’s the worst feeling of all, especially when you don’t notice until days or weeks later.

Can you spot the difference?

Even small changes can affect a WordPress site: Out of nowhere, eCommerce sales drop off. SEO ranking takes a dive. The client emails you frantically:

“What does this error mean?!”

“Where did my image go?!”

“When did this happen?”

WordPress has so many moving parts:

  • Core updates
  • Settings, media and content changes
  • Plugins and themes from the dark corners of the internet
  • Customizations you made

Updates break things. Clients break things. You break things. And the only way to truly know if the site is working is to examine it. Each and every page.

What if you could see WordPress issues before they become a problem?

Imagine saying to your client:

“Hey, I saw that an image on your sales page isn’t loading – did you mean to do that?

Or:

“I see a (really embarrassing) error message on one of your pages – did you update any plugins recently?”

Or:

“I noticed your checkout page changed yesterday – do you want me to fix it to how it was before?”

If you could see WordPress changes as they happen, you could WOW your clients instead of disappointing them. You’d save the day before clients even knew they had a problem.

If you had someone testing your website all the time, you could be sure that nothing bad happened after plugin updates or settings changes. You wouldn’t have to worry about unexpected glitches or angry client emails. You could rest easier when changes go live, knowing that someone was looking it over and alerting you if anything was wrong.

Let me test your WordPress site for you!

I’m Andy, a WordPress developer with over 10 years experience building and maintaining WordPress sites. I know WordPress inside-out, and I’d like to test your WordPress sites for you.

Here’s how it works, in 3 steps:

1. You give me one or more WordPress sites you’d like tested

Send me as many sites as you want.

2. I will test the site(s) 3 times per week

Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings (Pacific time). I can do additional scans if you need them.

3. I will email you with any important changes I noticed

Here’s what the email looks like:

You’ll get actionable information without any noise. You’ll be able to quickly decide if the changes are something you need to address with a glance to your inbox.

Who is this service for?

If you’re wondering whether or not this would be useful, here’s some questions for you.

Do you build WordPress sites for clients?

I can test before, during and after you develop the site. Have you ever made a change on one part of a client’s site, only to learn days later that you accidentally broke some other important page or functionality? I can handle the frequent testing you’d normally have to do yourself and let you know only when you need to get involved.

Do you run an eCommerce or membership site on WordPress?

I can monitor your site to catch important changes that affect your bottom line. Have you ever had an image go missing or a page stop working after updating a plugin? I will catch those issues quickly, before they become massive problems for your business.

Do you maintain lots of WordPress sites?

Do you dread when a big WordPress or plugin update roll out? You know you have to update all of your sites, but testing all of them takes too darn long. Let me help! I can tell you which sites changed and need your attention.

FAQ

Q: How often will you test my site?

Minimum 3 times weekly, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings (Pacific time). If you need a one-off test done at a different time (like after an update), just email me in advance and I’ll schedule it.

Q: How many pages will you test?

Up to 10 pages per site. Need more? Let’s talk.

Q: Will you fix problems when you find them?

No, though I might be able to give you suggestions on where to look. If you need something fixed, I may be able to help for a separate fee or refer you to someone else who can help, but normally the fixes will be your responsibility.

Q: How will you test my site?

I will do 2 things:

First, I will test the HTML of the site to see if anything has changed. If it has, I will analyze it to see if it’s an expected change (like a post being published) or a breaking change (like the SEO <title> disappearing).

Second, I will do a “visual regression test” on your site. This involves:

  1. Taking a screenshot of a page
  2. Comparing that screenshot to an older screenshot
  3. Highlighting the differences
  4. Deciding if the differences are expected (like an image being swapped out) or breaking (like a CTA button disappearing)

I’ll take the results of these 2 tests and send you a report via email.

Q: I already have a tool to check my site. How is this different?

Most website monitoring tools fall into 2 categories: Uptime monitoring and visual testing tools.

Uptime monitoring only tells you whether a site is loading or not. It does not tell you if something is broken on a page – so long as it’s loading, the uptime monitor will not notice anything. This is fine if you want to prevent downtime, but not good enough to catch other types of issues common on WordPress sites: plugin conflicts, 3rd-party API errors, CSS conflicts, etc.

Most visual testing tools have a few shortcomings:

  1. They’re made for developers, with a big learning curve and/or a specific deployment process involved.
  2. They’re not made specifically for WordPress, and don’t handle the specialized issues related to WordPress, WooCommerce, etc.
  3. They have lots of false positives, making it hard to know if you actually need to act.

WPAutoTest is a service built specifically for WordPress sites to detect even the smallest of changes. You’ll get actionable information on your site and no noise.

Q: How much does it cost?

$39/month for 1 site.

$99/month for up to 10 sites.

$249/month for up to 50 sites.

Q: Why is this so affordable?

WordPress developers can charge $100+/hour. And each time I test your site, I’ll probably spend 5-10 minutes. That’s up to 2 hours per month on a single site! How can I afford to spend so much time testing sites for such a low fee?

In a word: Automation. I’m building the tools to automatically test WordPress sites – in fact, I already have basic tools built! Right now they’re pretty crude and need someone to operate them. When I’m not testing your site, I’ll be building better tools to do the work for me. Eventually, the tools will do the same job I’m doing, and the end goal is a software product that I can put into your hands. But for now, it’ll be me doing the work and learning about how to best test lots of WordPress sites.

Q: Who are you, and why should I trust you?

I’m Andy Adams, a WordPress developer with over 10 years experience developing & maintaining WordPress sites. I coded some of the first premium themes on WordPress.com and have developed dozens of custom WordPress sites, themes, and plugins in my WordPress consultancy.

I’ve spent a lot of time testing WordPress sites. A lot. It’s never been my favorite thing to do.

I’ve also spent time with other programming languages & frameworks where testing websites is SO MUCH EASIER than WordPress. My goal is to bring the automated testing tools available in non-WordPress programming to WordPress developers and maintainers.

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