How and Where You Can Make Money Testing Websites
Turns Out, Testing Websites Can Be a Lucrative Side Hustle.
In a world of illegitimate online job opportunities, it’s nice to know there are a few honest internet side hustles you can tackle to earn a healthy side income. One such hustle is website testing.
If you’ve never tried it, then now’s a good time to learn what it is, how much you could potentially make, and who will pay you to get started.
Website testing is a pretty straightforward concept in which individuals who have no direct ties to a brand spend time using, accessing, and analyzing the brand’s website as a way of providing feedback on the functionality and appeal of the site.
Website testing is invaluable in today’s marketplace, where websites play an integral role in both small and large brands’ ability to reach, engage, and convert online customers. It’s not enough to have a website – the website needs to be optimized in a manner that it fosters positive brand associations and ultimately drives profitable conversions.
When you look at the amount of time and money brands invest into web design and development, it becomes clear why they take testing so seriously. While every situation is different, here some average costs for developing a custom website (according to Digital.com):
- Small business website: $2,000 to $8,000
- Medium-sized business website: $10,000 to $25,000
- Ecommerce website: $5,000 to $40,000
- Large business website: $25,000 to $40,000
And those are just the costs to get up and running. When you throw in additional expenses—including domain name, SSL certificate, website hosting, content management system, ongoing web design, marketing, and optimization—the ongoing costs can be thousands of dollars per month.
Clearly, if a business is going to invest in a website, they want to make sure it works. They have multiple methods for determining how well a site works, but nothing beats the raw, unfiltered nature of user testing.
How Much You Can Make Testing Websites
Let’s be clear about one thing upfront: you aren’t going to get rich testing websites—at least in this capacity. For the overwhelming majority of people, website testing isn’t designed to be your full-time job and won’t replace your entire income. It can, however, supplement your income and give you a little extra spending money for the weekend, that next a vacation, or for a big purchase without draining all your savings.
Generally speaking, most website testing companies are going to pay you $10 per website that you test. Occasionally you’ll get $15 to $25, but these are rare exceptions and are typically only offered to those with experience. A website testing session typically lasts for 15 to 30 minutes, though there are a few that can be completed in right around 10 minutes.
In most cases, website testing opportunities are sent to users via email—or within an online platform—and you have to “claim” the test in order to gain access. Depending on the number of users competing for opportunities, it can be harder to get tests with some companies than others.
If you get sent five offers to test websites per day, you’ll probably only successfully claim one or two—and you’ll have to act quickly. Having said that, an extra $10 per day can add up. If you test five websites per week at that rate, you can reasonably expect to make an extra $200 per month. Not bad, right?
Okay, so now that you know what website testing is and have a realistic expectation of what to expect, lets’ look at some companies that will actually pay you to do it. There are more than a dozen platforms on the internet, but here are some of the best:
UserTesting is one of the most reputable companies in the website testing space. Brands like Apple, Microsoft, eBay, Twitter, Evernote, Dropbox, and Yahoo! regularly use the platform (and their website testers) to constantly test their own websites, new feature releases, as well as monitor thousands of others. From the user testing side, you get $10 via PayPal for every 20-minute video you complete. In most cases, you’re required to visit a website or app, complete a set of different tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud as you navigate pages and assess the site's user experience.
The honesty and transparency of UserTesting is part of what makes the company great. They will be the first to tell you that you aren’t going to get rich using their site, but they do offer plenty of opportunities. The number of opportunities a specific user is given depends on demographic factors and quality ratings.
Another very simple and honest company to work with is Userlytics. They are one of the few companies that don’t require an audition in order to qualify for testing and it’s open to anyone from any country.
The potential downside is that you’ll probably be recorded via video, which makes some people uncomfortable. Another questionable aspect is the fact that you only get paid if the end client rates your test positively. This means you could do a couple of 20-minute testing sessions, follow all of the instructions, and then not get paid. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen.
WhatUsersDo is unique in that the company pays you to test websites before they actually go live. This means you get a chance to be one of the first people to use a website and provide meaningful feedback that'll go into the company's pre-launch planning.
Perhaps the best part about WhatUsersDo is that it’s easy to get started and there are tons of opportunities. The challenging part is that they have a detailed screening process, which means you’ll only qualify for a fraction of the testing opportunities you apply for. If you do get accepted, the testing experience is straightforward and payouts come via PayPal on the 25th of each month.
It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that some of the other companies offer, but StartUpLift does what they say they do. They pay $5 per “feedback” and allow users to get accepted right away. However, just because you get accepted doesn’t mean you’ll immediately get opportunities. They tend to get overloaded with feedback providers and you might have to wait in a queue for an opportunity.
TryMyUI is one of the more reputable companies in the website testing space, but they also require users to do their part in order to get paid. Half-hearted efforts or hasty feedback won’t be accepted.
TryMyUI pays out $10 per 20-minute testing session and requires you to record yourself via video and audio, while also providing written responses to a short wrap-up survey. You can expect to get a few opportunities each week.
Enroll isn’t quite on the level as some of the other website testing companies listed here, but it does work. It’s a low-hassle, low-paying experience that some people will find fun and others won't see as a worthy payoff for the time investment.
Because you don’t have to record video or audio, and tests take just a few minutes (as opposed to 15 or 20 minutes), the payouts are much lower (typically from $0.10 to $1.50). In other words, you don’t have to do a lot, but you certainly aren’t earning much either.
Tips for Being Successful With Paid Website Testing
Because website testing has gained some publicity over the years as a legitimate opportunity for earning relatively easy money from home, there’s a huge supply of people who've signed up to test websites with these companies. As such, you have to know what you’re doing if you want to make it worth your time and energy.
Here are some tips and suggestions for making the most out of your experience:
- Take the audition seriously. Almost every company will require you to go through what they call an “audition” before you can get paid to test their clients’ sites. You might be tempted to speed through it, but take these auditions seriously and you’ll have a much better chance of qualifying.
- Sign up for multiple sites. While you’ll inevitably zero in on a company that you like the most, sign up for multiple testing sites. This simply means more opportunities to get paid throughout the week.
- Be quick to act. Most companies offer testers opportunities on a first come, first served basis. As soon as you see an offer you’re interested in taking, accept it. Many testers wait a few minutes, only to find that someone else has beat them to the punch.
- Don’t rush the actual testing. Because you’re getting paid per testing session, it’s natural that you want to finish it as quickly as possible. However, don’t rush the testing process. The more quality tests you provide, the more likely it is you’ll get additional opportunities.
- Don’t inflate expectations. Finally, don’t exaggerate expectations or you’ll end up disappointed. You aren’t going to make $2,000 per month testing websites through these marketplaces. You may, however, make $200 (or more) on the side if you’re ambitious and focused. In the beginning, your expectations should be just $20 or $30 per week unless you have a significant amount of time to commit to this side hustle.
In all likelihood, website testing is something you’ll do for a few months while you figure out other opportunities for increasing your income. It’s not a sustainable job, or even one that will pay all of your bills. Having said that, it can be a fun, low-stress way to make some extra money from your living room.
Make Money Online (the Legitimate Way)
If you search for ways to make money online, you’ll run across a lot of scams.
Thankfully, testing websites is a legitimate opportunity. The key is to do your research and be willing to put in some actual work. Over time, your patience and willingness to provide quality feedback will pay off and you should be able to earn a little cash on the side.