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A test site is an alternative address to your website. For example, if your main website was your test address may be A good designer will create a test site and use it during—and after—development for several reasons. Here are the main points that explain the importance of a test site.

Test things first

As the name suggests a test site’s primary function is for testing. It is most important during the initial development of your site. Once your site is live, however, the test site is just as important. Every time you make amends you can preview them on a test site first. You can also invite other users to visit the test site to give you feedback. You can try different elements and get them to vote on which they think is best; this could be anything such as what text size you use or where you place the menu.

You don’t have to make amends to a live site

Making amends to a live site could have unexpected results for the visitor. It is much better to get them 100% correct on a test site first and then upload them to your live site. What’s more, making lots of little changes to a live site could have a detrimental effect on your search engine rankings.

Adding CMS content

A test site is also good in the early stages of a CMS–driven website as it allows the website owner to add all their content before the site goes live. For example, your eCommerce website may be fully developed but you might have a few hundred products to add. It’s best to add them to your test site first so you can go live with a wide product range.

It can act as a backup or archive

Finally, a test site effectively acts as an online backup of your live site. If you need to restore something to your live site for whatever reason you can refer back to the test site.

To get me to build your website call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a freelance web designer from Leeds. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.