What is Web Testing?
Web Testing is the process used to validate that a website application can meet specific functionality, security, usability, accessibility, visual, and performance criteria. Web testing is critical to the success of an application-catching key bugs before code is move to production. Web testing can be broken down into many components including but not limited to:
- • Functional Testing
- • Usability & Visual Testing
- • Performance & Load Testing
Other types of web testing include interface testing, database testing, compatibility testing across browsers, and more. But for the purposes of this page we will focus on the three highlighted above.
Functional testing ensures users reaching a website can perform a specific goal such as creating an account, adding an item to a cart, or submitting a form. Every action that a user may take requires a check to make sure your product is performing as defined in a specification. There are multiple types of 'test' or checks that need to be conducted such as:
- • Simple Tests These tests include checking your links or navigation points are directed appropriately to expected URLs. Testers should always check all links in a webpage to make sure there are no broken links.
- • Complex Forms These tests ensure user inputs are accepted, customers can submit forms, and forms appear in a database such as Salesforce which accepts specific inputs. For example, what happens if a user doesn’t fill out a required field within a form?
- • Business Workflows These tests look at testing an end-to-end workflow business scenario. A situation may include when you visit amazon, search for an item, look through a few options, read the reviews, do a price comparison, add it to a cart, and checkout. This entire workflow needs to be checked, at every stage, to make sure it works for the entire customer’s journey.
Given the pressure software teams are continuing to feel to ship software, faster, the need to have the right tools, teams, and processes becomes even more critical. To start, find the right tools. Whether that be for manual testers looking to get into test automation with record and replay, or advanced automation testers looking to integrate their Selenium Tests into their continuous testing pipeline , it is important to invest in tools that make your lives easier. Additionally, invest in the right team. It is important all team members are collaborating; from developers to QA engineers, everyone should be aligned when it comes to the top priorities for testing and development. Finally, it's important to make sure you have the right processes in place. Are you testing on the newest browsers your customers are most likely to use? Do you have a process in place that says, every time a new browser is released you should test your application on it within 48 hours? What about for new devices? All of these items need to be considered for testing the functional correctness of an application.
Web Testing: Usability & Visual Testing
Usability has become a vital part for teams developing web applications. Visual testing is done to ensure a website is visually consistent, especially across different browsers and mobile devices or breakpoints. It can be carried out by testers or even a small focus group. Now you may be wondering why this matters. Well, when a user navigates to your application from whatever device they prefer to use, you want to make sure that they are having not only a consistent experience, but also, the experience you intended for them to have.
There are a few ways to go about doing this. First, there are simple tests. Simple tests mean making sure webpages look consistent across browsers, and content is aligned as expected. Have you ever gone on a webpage where elements of the page overlap? For example the submit button and the form you're trying to fill overlap. Or the content you are trying to read overlaps with the next headline making it illegible. This makes for a poor user experience and something where testing across multiple devices to make sure important elements of a web page don't overlap can save you from frustrated users trying to access your application.
Next up are complex tests. These include device-specific items such as navigation, or when content is displayed based on a form or specific user inputs. Thinking of the variety of menus, drop-downs, buttons, or links that can direct you to different sites can be daunting. But it's important to test for each of these various navigation points.
There are a few different tools that can make your life easier when it comes to usability testing. You can check out tools that have exploratory testing capabilities that allow you to run live tests across a device lab to guarantee you've tested on a device your user may be interacting with. Additionally, you can look for a tool that includes automated screenshots that capture images of your website and automatically compare these images, spotting layout differences across the various browsers and devices you select to run your tests against.
Web Testing: Performance Testing
Performance testing helps to ensure your website is able to behave as expected, every time a user navigates to it. Whether users are accessing a company's application at 3am on a Monday, or 9pm on a Friday, companies need to make sure their website and web experiences are still providing a flawless user experience and don't risk two things - their brand reputation or missing out on making money.
There are a few different tests that can be completed for performance testing of a web application. You may want to check your application's response at various connection speeds. Does the application load as expected for different website feed? You can track the load of scripts, images, and more. You also want to check and make sure your web application is loading when under peak usage time - think Amazon on Prime Day or Walmart on Cyber Monday.
Live testing allows you to load your application on various devices to see what loads, what is delayed, and what never renders correctly. When using a tool make sure there are native browsers that give you full access to the browser themselves, including extensions, settings, and debugging tools for when you need to debug a load testing issue. In addition to live testing, you can run Selenium tests to automate the rendering of your web application across many different devices, browsers, and operating systems.