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web application testing

Guide to Web Application Testing

Having a website is essential to reach new customers and grow your business as a business owner. However, you may not realize that having a website is only the beginning - you also need to make sure that your website is effective and provides a good user experience.

This is where web application testing comes in. This blog post will discuss what web application testing is, why it's important, different types of web testing, and how you can get started.

What is web testing?

Web testing is the process of verifying that web applications and websites are functioning as intended. Web testers use a variety of methods to test web applications, including manual testing, automated testing, and load testing.

By verifying that web applications are functioning correctly, web testers can help ensure that users have a positive experience when using them. Additionally, web testing can help identify and fix defects in web applications before they cause problems for users.

web app testing

Types of web testing methods

There is a number of methods that you can use for your web application testing that you should know as a web developer.

Let's have a look at the most important testing methods:

Usability testing

The test cases in this category are written with the aim of ascertaining whether or not a web application is easy to understand and use. These tests are designed in such a way that common users can execute them without any assistance.

Tests in this category cover the following aspects:

· Navigation ease

· Interactivity

· Error messages

· Documentation

· Compliance with the guidelines

Navigation ease, as a usability aspect is to be tested by trying to understand how elementary it is for a user to find information after he/she has used the web application. In this category of tests, several navigation paths are tested and then compared with the documentation.

The tests are then designed in such a way that they simulate the normal use of the website. It also determines whether or not it is easy for users to find information.

Interactivity testing

Interactivity: This test case is done with the aim of testing activities like drop-down lists, links, buttons, etc. It tests these areas to verify if they can be easily activated. Such tests are done to see if the user can interact with all elements of a web page i.e., the links, buttons, etc. These test cases are usually performed by testing double clicks, multiple clicks, etc.

app testing

Error messages

Error messages help us to understand problems that arise when an action is being carried out on the website. For example, an error message appears when a user tries to do something which is not allowed by the web application. Consequently, these are designed in such a way that they are easy to understand and comprehend.

Documentation testing

This test case verifies whether or not the documentation provided with the web application is clear and unambiguous for users. Specifically, the test cases verify the various links and menus present on the website.

Compliance with Guidelines tests

This category of tests is performed to determine whether or not the web pages on the application follow certain guidelines as far as usability and navigability are concerned. These guidelines indicate what users perceive to be easy, fast, and efficient.

website application testing

Compatibility testing

This set of tests is performed to determine whether or not web applications can be rendered properly on various browsers and platforms. The goal of these tests is to ensure that the web application renders as per the given requirements and specifications.

Compatibility tests are usually performed by creating a list of browsers (or platforms) that are supposed to be supported by the application. This list is then compared with the one present on the web application.

Compatibility testing follows the following types:

Device Compatibility Testing

Device compatibility testing follows two types, namely mobile device testing and fixed device testing. Mobile device testing is performed to determine the devices that are supposed to be supported by the web application.

It operates under the assumption that the user accesses an application using a mobile phone or a tablet interface. Fixed device testing is performed to ensure that the web application functions properly on smartphones along with laptops, desktops, etc.

Network compatibility testing

This test ensures that an application works fine on various networks by checking the type of network being used by its users. It verifies whether or not there are any limitations involved in terms of bandwidth, security issues, and network latency.

functional testing

Operating System compatibility testing:

This test is performed to ensure that the web application works well with all operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Apple products (Mac OS), etc. It does so by verifying the software requirements and hardware requirements indicated in its documentation.

System compatibility testing

This can be considered an extension of both the operating system compatibility as well as network compatibility testing. It is usually performed to ensure that all prerequisites and dependencies of a web application are present on the system on which it is being tested.

Performance testing

This test refers to measuring the time taken by a user to perform various actions using an application. Such tests can be done with the help of automated tools as well as manual tests performed by QA engineers.

The goal of these tests is to ensure that the web application functions efficiently.

Functional testing of a website

Functional testing refers to verifying that an application works as per its functional requirements and specifications. These tests are performed by QA engineers who use various tools for checking the various inputs provided by users and then checking their corresponding outputs on the web application.

The tools used in this process include:

Input validators: checks whether or not the input provided by the user is valid (and expected).

Input sanitizers: these tools check whether or not the data entered by users is clean and free from any malicious code. This step is important as it ensures the complete safety of users' data.

Output validators: checks whether or not the output or results provided by an application are what the QA engineers expect them to be.

Output sanitizers: these tools check whether or not the user-generated content is free from any kind of malicious code that can harm a website's users in any way.

Script automators: checks whether or not scripts provided by an application work properly, perform necessary actions, and generate the desired results.

These tools are mostly used in both manual testing as well as automated functional testing.

test execution

Performance testing

The performance of an application can be measured by checking the time taken for it to complete certain tasks. For example, you might want to check how much time does it take for a user to upload a video on your website?

Performance testing includes verification of the following four factors:

Responsiveness: This points to the responsiveness of the application under various test conditions.

Throughput: This is the rate at which data enters or exits an application. This factor accounts for not just network traffic but also file transfers.

Stability of system resources: this ensures that the usage of memory, storage, and CPU does not reach its maximum capacity.

Scalability: This entails the ability of the application to handle more load as required by its users. A web app can scale up or down depending on its usage throughout a day or week, etc.

test teams

Security testing

Security testing is the process of assessing the security of a web application in order to detect and remove vulnerabilities. These tests are performed by using automated tools as well as manually.

The reason why it is done manually is that automated tools cannot simulate user actions accurately, which results in false positives. Manual testers cover all possible paths while performing manual security testing.

The key reason for security testing is to prevent, identify and remove security vulnerabilities from a web application.

Interface testing

Interface testing ensures synchronization between web server applications and servers. This category of testing is done with the sole aim of testing how well a web application's interface allows users to interact with it. This test case finds out whether or not the user can understand and use all elements present on the interface. A few tests that are performed in this category include:

· Layout of form fields

· Spacing between text

· Visual appearance of the interface

· Sense of consistency in navigation and look & feel

The layout of form fields: The layout of a web page affects how easy it is for users to fill out a form. The spacing between the different items, i.e., buttons, drop-down lists, etc., should be level so that users are able to understand what form fields are required.

Spacing between text: This test case verifies the space present between two words in a paragraph. It is done to determine whether or not there is enough space for low-vision users to read the contents of the web page.

The visual appearance of the interface: The visual appearance of the interface is tested by verifying if all images are in proportion to each other. A test case similar to this verifies whether or not a web page has a consistent layout and looks professional.

Sense of consistency in navigation and look & feel: This category of tests determines how easy it is for users to understand where they have navigated and in turn how easy they can navigate again in the future. It also verifies whether or not a user can feel comfortable using an application by verifying if all interactions and web pages provide the same look and feel to them.

test planning

Web application testing tools

These are computer programs used for testing web applications. Most of the tests performed on a website are automated. The tools have been developed to partly automate the task.

Though these tests can never replace human testers, they provide them with more efficient means to get better results from their efforts. There are many freely available application test tools on the Internet that you can download and use for free.

The following are some of the web applications testing tools you can use:

Test Management Tools 

1)HP Quality Center

Quality Management tools are best used for large-scale testing. It's a complete package that covers every step involved in the entire test life-cycle. For example, it could have features like Test management, Test planning, Defect management, Reporting, etc.

2)IBM Rational Functional Tester/IBM Rational Performance Tester

IBM RFT is a fantastic tool for automating web application testing. It's good to have in your arsenal of test automation tools. You can record and playback functional tests, create scripts using a visual script editor, do advanced debugging, etc. HP UFT is another competitor in this area that also has similar features.

3)SoapUI Pro

This is a functional testing tool for SOAP/WSDL web services. It supports various protocols like HTTP, FTP, etc. Unlike other tools in this area, it can be used in recording and playback mode to create test cases using the graphical user interface only. It also supports creating scripts using Java or Groovy.

web app tests

Test Suite Tools

1)IBM Rational Performance Tester/IBM Rational Functional Tester

As you can probably guess, RPT is a performance testing tool suite from the house of Rational. It's similar to RFT but focused on functional aspects like response time, stress testing, etc. There are other differentiators for RPT like it can be used to create test cases only using the GUI, not recording and playback.

2)Parasoft SOAtest

SOAtest is a web application functional testing tool suite. It covers all aspects of web application testing like functional, performance, load, security, etc. It also provides features for inspection of text messages, session handling, cookie management, etc.


Scriptworks is a powerful tool that makes automated testing easier than ever before. With its simple visual interface, Scriptworks allows manual testers to create reusable and scalable test packs that can address the demands of continuous change.

Designed for both experienced testers and beginners alike, Scriptworks provides all the tools you need to get started with automated testing right away.

It is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to make automated testing a part of their workflow. With its easy-to-use interface and wide range of features, Scriptworks makes it simple to get started with automated testing and start seeing results quickly. If you’re looking for a better way to test, Scriptworks is the perfect solution.

It also allows users to create reusable and scalable test packs from their existing manual testing scripts using a simple visual interface. With its powerful scripting language, Scriptworks makes it easy for testers to write automated tests that work across multiple platforms and devices without having to worry about compatibility issues or platform-specific bugs.

When to use which tool?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this. You should consider the team size, application under test, product release frequency, etc. before choosing a suitable tool from the list given here. Also, do not forget that automation testing can be done even without any tool, just by using the command prompt and other manual testing tools.

web app test development

How to test Web Application?

A web application is composed of a mixture of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other media. It allows the user to retrieve information through the Internet. The most popular example is Google or Amazon where you can find useful information within seconds.

The initial thing that strikes your mind when thinking about web app testing is user interface testing. This type of testing can be done by testing the user interface components. The tester should first learn how the application works. For example, using tutorial videos or help manuals available on the official website. This will help in determining normal and peak loads in the website testing process.

The tester should also have a map of the website and how it functions: what classes and methods are there in which part of the application so they can use them to perform certain actions. The tester can also use automated test tools to record actions and play them back at any time.

The next step is to spot errors in the user interface of the web application, for example by having a number of people try out the website or passing it through a crowd testing platform where it will be tested by other software testers.

Testing web applications is similar to testing other software systems, but there are some differences when it comes to debugging. There are tools that allow the tester to debug in JavaScript and HTML, just like with Java or .NET programs. The following list shows what types of bugs can be found during this type of testing:

Incorrect links, images or multimedia content.

Incorrect information is displayed on the website, for example, incorrect dates or contents.

Incorrect data entered by the user and not being validated prior to storage in the database. For example an age of 500 instead of 18 years old. This can be found during load testing using a test script that will simulate a number of users that enter random data into the website.

Incorrect formatting on some pages can be found during load or security testing. For example, if all prices are shown in US Dollars, while the currency is Euro.

Incorrect calculation of points for loyalty cards on websites where points obtained should be equal to the money spent. This can be found during load testing where test scripts will simulate a number of users performing certain actions on the website, like buying items.

Incorrect layout or images that are not loaded by the website. This can sometimes be found by using automated tools that record all changes made by the user to the web application.

Security testing, for example, SQL-injection type of attacks

This can be done by using automated tools that will try to hack the website in different ways. Another way would be to have a number of people with malicious intents use certain software or manual techniques to exploit the website.

Some bugs found during this type of testing can be:

Spikes in memory usage or network traffic. This can be found during load testing and is done by emulating a number of users that perform certain actions on the website.

Unexpected results when performing certain actions, for example, if adding two numbers returns a decimal result instead of an integer result. This bug should always be reported since it can be dangerous.

It can be found by using automated tools that record the user’s input and then play them back at any time, or manual testing where test scripts are written to detect certain errors.

Slow response times when performing certain actions on the website. This is done during load testing with a number of users that perform certain actions.

software testing

Is Web Application Testing Necessary?

Yes, since web applications can contain sensitive information, such as medical records and personal financial data.


Web application testing is an integral part of the software development life cycle. It is performed to ensure that all functional and non-functional requirements are met before a web application goes live for its users. These tests help developers and QA engineers find the loopholes and errors in the application before it gets released to its users. Web app testing process and functionality testing detect

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Article written by Duncan Brigginshaw
Co-Founder and Technical Director

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