Introduction to the World of Web Application Testing
Nowadays, technology for web development is getting so advanced that companies are generating more and more web applications using advanced web technologies such as Node.JS, AngularJS, and React. Web apps are easy to scale, support multiple platforms, and have the ability to run on different devices. They are platform-independent and easy to use; require no installation and no admin rights; most importantly, reduce the sales cost.
“In 2019, it was reported that approximately 23% of the annual IT budget of an organization was allocated for testing and quality assurance.”
Although a web application has so many capabilities, it has to go through a series of validations to ensure quality. Everything needs to be tested, from UI flows to interfaces such as REST APIs that enable customization at the client end. For this, you require a software test engineer who can complete the web application testing procedure.
Let’s understand about web application testing in detail.
What is Web Application Testing?
Once a website is created, it is checked for potential bugs before it is made accessible to the general public. This step is known as web application testing or website testing.
The website testing process involves checking a website’s functionality, usability, security, compatibility, and performance. This step checks for issues related to web app security, website functioning, user access, and traffic handling capability.
How To Perform Web Application Testing?
Based on your web testing requirements, a website can be tested using the following techniques:
1. Functional Testing
Functional Testing is a type of testing that checks if your product is according to specifications and functional requirements mentioned in the developmental documents. It includes:
(i) Test Links
Check if all the links (outgoing, internal, anchor, and mailTo links) of your webpages are working properly and ensure that no link is broken.
(ii) Test Forms
Perform the following activities to test forms:
- Make sure that scripting checks on the forms are working as expected. For instance, in case the user has not filled a mandatory field in the form, check if an error message is displaying or not.
- Check if default values are populating.
- Once the form is submitted, check if the data in the form is submitted to the live database or working email address.
- Check if the forms are optimally formatted for better readability.
(iii) Test Cookies
Websites use small files to remember active user sessions so that you do not require to log in each time you visit a website. These small files are known as cookies. Perform the following activities to test that your website cookies are working as per your expectations:
- Check if cookies are deleted, when they get expired, or when the cache is cleared.
- Delete cookies and check if login credentials are asked for when you revisit the website.
(iv) Test HTML and CSS
You need to make sure that search engines can easily crawl your website and perform the following activities:
- Check for syntax errors.
- Check for readable color schemas.
- Make sure your website meets the standard compliance requirements such as ISO, W3C, or ECMA.
(v) Test Business Workflow
Perform the following activities to test business workflows:
- Test your end-to-end workflow that takes the user through a series of webpages to complete.
- Test negative scenarios so that, in case, any user executes an unexpected step, an appropriate error message or help appears on your website.
2. Usability Testing
This technique has now become an essential part of any web application project. Usability testing can be performed by you or a small group of people or the target audience of your website. It includes:
(i) Test Navigation
Check if all links, menus, or buttons on different webpages of your website application are easily visible. They must be consistent on all webpages.
(ii) Test Content
Check if your website contains meaningful and error-free content, i.e., no spelling or grammatical errors and images present on the website contain “alt” text.
3. Interface Testing
This testing focuses on the following three areas:
Test requests must be correctly sent to the database, and output must be correctly displayed at the client-side. In case any error occurs, the application must identify it; and show it to the administrator and not the end-user.
(ii) Web Server
It handles all application requests without any service denial.
(iii) Database Server
It ensures that queries sent to the database generate expected results.
4. Database Testing
Database is one of the critical components of your website; hence, it must be thoroughly tested.
Perform the following activities for testing the database of your website, Check:
- For errors while executing queries.
- If data integrity is maintained while creating, deleting, or updating data in the database.
- The response time of queries, and if required, fine-tune them.
- If the data retrieved from the database is displayed accurately on your website.
5. Compatibility Testing
Compatibility testing is done to ensure that your website displays properly across various devices. It includes browser compatibility testing, which ensures that your website displays correctly across all browsers (including mobile browsers), and authentication is also working fine.
Various elements, like text fields and buttons, change with the operating system. Thus, this test ensures that your website is working fine for various operating systems (like Linux and Windows), and browsers (like Internet Explorer and Firefox).
6. Performance Testing
This testing is done to ensure that your website works under all loads.
Perform the following activities for testing the performance of your website:
- Check the website response time at different connection speeds.
- Perform the load test to determine the behavior of your website under normal and peak loads.
- Perform the stress test to determine the breakpoint of your website, when pushed beyond normal loads at peak time.
- Test if your website crashes due to peak load and how does the site recover from such an event.
- Use optimization techniques (such as the browser and server-side cache) to reduce load times.
7. Security Testing
This testing is essential for e-commerce websites that store sensitive information of customers (like credit card information).
Perform the following activities for security testing:
- Check that unauthorized access to your website’s secure pages is not permitted.
- Check that the restricted files are not downloadable without appropriate access.
- Check if sessions are automatically killed after prolonged user inactivity.
- When SSL certificates are used, check that your website redirects to encrypted SSL pages.
8. Crowd Testing
This testing is an interesting and future concept. In this testing, you can select a large number of people to perform tests rather than selecting a group of people from your own company. It helps you to unravel multiple unnoticed defects in your web application.
Testing a web application requires following certain steps to ensure quality. However, there is continuous pressure on software testers to release the project early. Therefore, you must ensure to make a plan for your web application testing before even starting the process.
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