ECommerce implementation is not easy. It requires careful planning and execution from the developer’s part. One way to look into it is to ensure proper testing.
In this article, we will look at the testing and staging environments in eCommerce implementation.
Is SDLC enough? Is Testing Required?
Before we go and do so, let’s quickly check out the Software development Lifecycle (SDLC) which is at the cornerstone of any development out there. The SDLC involves multiple stages including planning, design, analysis, maintenance, deployment, and of course testing.
However, right now, it is hard to follow the strict flow of SDLC. This is where agile development comes in. In any of the development methodologies, testing is crucial as it is managed by the QA engineers and testers to ensure that the final website or product is as polished as possible.
The Role of Minimum Viable Product(MVP)
To ensure that your development team handles the core idea of excellency, they need to make sure that they go to the customer and learn from them about the product and take feedback positively. By doing so, they will be able to build a minimum viable product (MVP) which will ensure a proper development trajectory. By doing so, you will be able to iron out any communication and ensure that the feedback loop is of high quality. The other aspects of communication
Another thing that needs to ensure is that testing is done properly before the code is pushed from the development environment to production.
MVPs should be tested as thoroughly as possible. This includes testing for different operating systems including MAC, Windows, and Linux. You can go further deep by trying out your eCommerce site using VPNs for Macbook as VPNs are essential tools for data security.
As you can see, testing is required to make sure that there are no defects in both the design and system. Testing is a process of identifying the issues and solving them.
In fact, testing should also be done on web hosting. The test should be done based on reliability, load, and so on. If the development team is using a website builder, then also, they need to make sure that there are no bugs left due to the website builder. In short, proper end-to-end testing needs to be done to ensure no lapse of quality happens when the site goes online.
Even if you are not creating an eCommerce site, then also you should take care of testing before releasing your site officially.
Understanding the Difference: Development Environment, Testing Environment, and Staging Environment
Before we move forward, we need to get a better understanding of the different development environments. Let’s get started.
Development environment: Developers use the development environment to develop things! They configure the environment so that they can write code and test it before making it live. Generally, the development environment is smaller and does not exactly match the real-world scenario. It also comes with tools that are developer-specific and has gone through a rigorous QA validation.
One more thing that makes it unique is that it is constantly evolving with new functionality. This might make work for a development environment, but it equally makes the work of the QA engineers and testers harder. This is where the testing environment comes in which we will discuss below.
Testing environment: The testing environment is specifically created for testing purposes. This is where QA engineers and testers run their testing tools. The tests are pre-defined or automated to run over the application code which is taken directly from the development environment. The developers while writing the code write small tests, but the testing environment is where the majority of the testing is done. The tests are done based on different criteria where the app is tested based on multiple environments, use-cases, and so on.
Staging environment: So, where does the staging environment come in? It is basically an environment where user-acceptance testing is important. Here, the exact replica of the main site or app is created and changes are made according to the requirement. So, if your eCommerce site requires some changes, it will be pushed to the staging environment. There all the changes are made and then finally the app or site is pushed to the users. This is the best place to test the code quality as the testing is done based on how the user will interact with it.
Importance of Staging Environment
There is no doubt that staging environments are important for any project. But for eCommerce projects, it is way more important as an eCommerce site needs to care about the user experience as it directly affects the sales. They also need to use it to incorporate small changes to the site without the need to go back to the development environment.
Most of the hosting providers provide a way to create and manage a staging environment where your developer team can work on, creating a seamless way to manage changes and improve user experience.
To set up the staging site, you can connect with the hosting provider. You can also set it up yourself by installing it just like your main site. Moreover, most of the plugins or services will work on the staging site without the need to buy a new license. One more thing that you need to know is that staging sites are more about functionality than content.
If you go your own route of installing it, then make sure that you replicate your site including a complete database clone of your live site. Once you make the changes, simply transfer the site to the live server, and you are done!
This leads us to the end of our testing and staging environment in eCommerce implementation. There is no doubt that there is a need for testing for the eCommerce site. The staging sites also help as they can help to focus on user-centric testing and is also useful to make small changes to the site.
So, will you focus on creating a testing and staging environment for your eCommerce site? If so, tell us in the comments, how you manage to carry it out, so that other readers can learn from it.