Testing Template Change Procedure

If you've changed your templateset, it's important to test a page that uses each changed template before you direct any of your users to it. The steps below outline a comprehensive testing plan. There are a lot of steps but if you've made significant changes it's worth taking the time to go through them all. For more on testing pages, see Page testing.

Baseline Testing

Even if you made a minor change it's best to do some testing. You can skip steps that you know your changes didn't touch, but remember that changes in CSS and HTML can have hidden effects. For example, it's possible to disable some functions simply by moving the relevant tags within your template. Err on the side of testing more if you aren't sure!

  1. View in your usual browser.

    ___ Proof the text.

    ___ Enter partial information and submit. Make sure the error message looks right.

    ___ Enter the missing or incorrect information.

    ___ Enter a different email address in the tell-a-friend section if you checked the box to create one. This section will show on the first screen for Petition pages and on the thank you screen for other page types.

    ___ Submit.

    ___ Proof the thank you page. Enter a different email address in the taf section if it's available.

  1. Check your email.

    ___ Did you get a confirmation email (if you checked the box to send one)?

    ___ Did you get a tell-a-friend message at the alternate email you used (if you sent one to yourself)?

  2. Repeat in other browsers, with an akid, with a broken or partial akid and with no akid. See More on akid testing.

    Most commonly used browsers With AKID, without or both? Date
    IE 9    
    IE 8    
    IE 7    
    Firefox 6    
    Chrome 14    
    Chrome 13    
    Safari 5    

More On akid Testing

Usually you'll direct your users to your new page by sending them an email with a link to the page. The akid is the individual identifier added automatically to the link in the email that tells ActionKit which user's info to display on the page. The easiest way to get an akid to make sure your page looks right is to follow the link in a proof or send yourself the email at a different email address than the one you used in steps 1 and 2. You can also follow the link in the tell-a-friend email (as long as it's not an email you've used to test already on this page).

You can also look up the akid for an user by searching for their name or email on the Users tab, then clicking through to their user record. Just below the name you'll see a token. Copy this and append ?akid and the token to the end of any page URL. If your page URL is http://docs.actionkit.com/sign/protect_polar_bears/, after you append your akid it will look something like this: http://docs.actionkit.com/sign/protect_polar_bears/?akid=.1.qgzMpZ.

If a user has already taken action on a particular page, any other visits with the same akid show empty contact information fields. We assume the follow up visits are from friends to whom the user forwarded the mailing. As a result, you'll see an empty contact form if you use the same email address you used in previous testing of this page. This is also why you don't want to submit on another user's page, so if you follow the link in a proof, view the page but don't submit.

The page should say "Not [Your Name]? Click here.", unless it's a donation page (see Donation page testing) or unless your record is missing one of the required fields.

You may also want to test the other common scenarios for what the page will look like to a user:

  1. The user follows a tell-a-friend link or has the original email forwarded to them so they arrive on the page with someone else's akid (form should be blank if owner of the akid took action),
  2. The user arrives on the page with no akid or a broken akid. You can test by deleting a character or two out of the akid in the URL for a user who has not taken action and then loading the page (again the form should be blank).

Donation Page Testing

Donation pages are a special case that requires extra testing. We recommend making real donations (which you can later reverse through the ActionKit admin or through your merchant vendor account) where you first enter incorrect information (missing numbers or expiration, etc.) and view the error messages, then submit with correct information, then make sure your merchant account has been credited. If you are using an HPC formula in your page, you'll also want to use an akid to view the page as a previous donor to confirm that the suggested amounts are what you expect given the donor's history.

Data Capture Testing

Check your data capture. You can use the query below to look at the last 10 actions submitted on any page.

select ca.created_at, user_id, email
from core_action ca
join core_user cu on (cu.id=ca.user_id)
where page_id={page_id}
order by created_at DESC
limit 10;