In order to begin testing your site, we recommend reviewing the testing guide for an outline of where to begin. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of operating a test site and understanding more about how test sites can benefit your business.
After you create a site in Chargify, it will be in test mode automatically. You can begin building out your products, components and coupons with ease. Your responsibility is to create test subscriptions to simulate actions of a subscriber and to better understand the product.
Chargify sites that are in test mode will work with both the Chargify test gateway and with the test gateways provided by the gateways like Authorize.Net, Windcave, Bambora/Beanstream, Stripe, etc.
All of the major gateway providers will give you a free test account (sometimes called a “developer” or “sandbox” account) so that you can test your integration.
Individual gateways possess differing sets of test cards. Please refer to the appropriate test cards for your gateway in order to successfully simulate subscriptions.
Test Site Limits
Newly created accounts will have their test-mode sites limited to a maximum of 500 of each of coupons, subscriptions, customers and products. If too many records are created, an error message will be returned such as “Would exceed the limit of 500 subscriptions”
This will help ensure the stability and performance of the platform, by preventing merchants from creating too many unnecessary records.
Please note that data in test sites is NOT guaranteed to be retained, however we normally allow test subscriptions to remain active for several months. After that time, they may be automatically canceled to preserve system resources. For more information on test sites, please read our documentation on account limits.
Real Customers Added While in Test Mode
It is our recommendation to also run a handful of tests against your live gateway. This testing can reveal misconfigurations in your gateway settings for things like AVS (Address Verification Service) and other fraud filter checks. You can always void these transactions later through your payment gateway interface. It is worth the few cents in transaction fees you will incur to verify your setup before your Customers attempt to use it.
Live Mode versus Test Mode
You can easily tell if your site is in live mode or test mode. If your site is in test mode, you will see the following:
- The Go Live button will display a grey circle
- Chargify will show you a Go Live Guide
- You can hide this at any time by selecting Hide Setup Guide
If your site is in Live Mode, you will not be able to display these options:
- Your site will prominently display Live Mode with a green circle circle
- You will not have the option to “Clear Current Site Data” under the Site Menu
- The Setup Guide will not be available “Hide Setup Guide”
Transition from Test to Live Mode
If you convert a site from “test” mode to “live” mode, you should configure your gateway before you take any signups. If you take signups while you are still on the test gateway, you will have difficulty switching later.
- Visit your main Sites page and click on ‘Clone’ to clone your test site for future testing.
- Delete all subscriptions or clear the site data.
- If you are on Chargify’s free plan, upgrade to a paid plan.
- Enter your payment gateway credentials under your Site’s Settings > Payment Gateway section
- Visit your Sites page > click ‘Change Mode / Edit’ for the desired Site > In the “Test Mode” section, select ‘No’ > Save
- Perform a test transaction (actual signup) to ensure gateway connection is working properly before allowing your customers to sign up. If no errors are received, and the subscription is created, you are ready to begin signing up new customers!
Clearing Site Data
When you’re ready to go live, you can use the clear site data link at the top of the application to clear all of your test data. You may choose to keep your product set up at this time. Our section on clearing site data goes in to more detail.
Each gateway utilizes a specific set of test cards so that you may simulate certain scenarios. Chargify has gathered a list of these for easy reference:
- Chase Paymentech
- Elavon Fusebox: Contact gateway
- Elavon VirtualMerchant: Contact gateway
- eWay: Contact gateway
- eWay Rapid 3.1: Contact gateway
- First Data/Payeezy
- Windcave (formerly Payment Express)
- TrustCommerce: Contact gateway