Should you pay for testing on your new website?

This is an issue that has been challenging me for some time, so I thought I would put my thoughts down on our blog.

Here is the issues in a nutshell.

  1. A basic website is easy to build
  2. A website that works on all devices, on all browsers, at all resolutions and maintains integrity after software updates is pretty much impossible
  3. A website that has coherent navigation and content, requires both client and agency to plan and test ideas
  4. A website that guarantees a good customer experience (UX) requires external user acceptance testing and an ongoing ‘test and improve’ approach
  5. Clients expect all the above, but only want to pay for the first


To put this into perspective, I recently quoted for (and won) a website build for a savvy client that did understand the need for thorough testing. The actual build of the website only amounted to 30% of the overall cost, with testing being the largest at 40% of the budget, design 20% and the remaining 10% for general works.

To me, this is the right ratio.

However, at the lower end of the pricing spectrum clients will inevitably sacrifice the testing for a better website, and we often end up on a 80% build to 10% testing ratio on budget. This is where the problems reside. Who pays if the website is buggy on certain devices, or if the UX is a little disjointed?

This also explain why website quotes can vary so much, from the lower quotes (on a build and walk away basis), to those that want to quote on the higher side, like Crush, as they do include a sensible amount of budget to make sure there are far fewer issues over the 3-6 years that the website will be in existence.

There is no immediate solution, but I urge anyone charged with commissioning a new website to ask about testing in their tenders, as currently so few do.

Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

website testing budget conundrum