Simple website bug tracking software
February 25, 2007 5:16 AM   Subscribe

Simple bug reporting software that will allow non techies to report website problems prior to its launch.

I'm looking for some very simple free (or small cost) web based software that will allow a non technical user to report problems related to a website prior to launching.

Ideally it would allow 'bugs' to be reported by category. At the other end these bugs could then be checked off by the people developing the website.

The list needs to be simple almost like a to-do list but allow all people involved to be able to login and see where the list is it

Ideally the simpler the better. Help and suggestions appreciated.
posted by toocan to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a huge fan of Bugzilla. It may appear overkill at first glance, but it's very simple to use and definitely gives you all the features you'd ever want. We've had non-technical people reporting bugs with it at my three previous jobs and not run into any problems.
posted by atomly at 6:01 AM on February 25, 2007

Well, if you are serious about reporting errors both before and after launch...
The main focus is on automatic error reporting that gets the developers complete stack traces of any problems.

However, your programmers can hack up a "send feedback" page in about 30 seconds that uses the underlying bug engine to do all the work.

It isn't free but it is cheap and lots better than the freebies.
Not web based for security & privacy reasons but it is hosted, so there is no maintenance.

OK, I'm done now.
Incidentally, if any mefiers want to to beta test version 2.0, drop me a line. Email in profile. You get a free license and a t-shirt or other swag TBD.
posted by mrbugsentry at 6:21 AM on February 25, 2007

I've had good luck with Mantis Bug Tracker in the past.
posted by jab at 7:44 AM on February 25, 2007

FlySpray or BugZilla.
posted by deern the headlice at 9:07 AM on February 25, 2007

posted by WizKid at 10:52 AM on February 25, 2007

I've used both Bugzilla and Mantis. I'd say Mantis is leagues ahead of Bugzilla in features, although you may be looking for Bugzilla's simplicity. They're both open source so down the line, someone can set either up the way you really want it.

Probably more important is the training of your testers on how to properly file bugs. Make sure they file screenshots, system configs, browser configs, exact error messages, etc. otherwise your web guys wil get bogged down in "this doesn't work" bugs which waste everybody's time.
posted by meowzilla at 10:53 AM on February 25, 2007

I've used Bugzilla in the past, and it was a miserable experience due to the excessive complexity of software designed to support a community of geeks around a complex, multi-platform development effort.

I've been significantly happier with Trac, and I've also experimented with FogBugz, a web-based paid service. Trac's killer feature is that it's aware of the files in your Subversion revision control system, if you use such a thing. FogBugz's killer feature is that you don't have to do any setup beyond signing up for an account.

Are your non-technical people part of the team building the site? If they are not, you may want to simply appoint someone who is to act as a translator, taking their "It won't print!!1!" complaints and translating them into properly-classified and -assigned bugs.
posted by migurski at 11:42 AM on February 25, 2007

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