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Web Testing: A Complete QA Overview

Websites have made many aspects of our lives easier and more convenient. We can pay bills, apply for government services, purchase items from stores worldwide, and book travel accommodations in foreign countries with a few clicks. As a result, having a website for a business has become essential for survival in today’s marketplace.

Simply having a website or a web application is not sufficient, though. Many factors must be taken into account, including the following:

  • The application must load quickly and remain stable even when multiple users access it simultaneously.
  • The website should display consistently on all screen sizes and browsers (don’t forget about mobile browsers!).
  • The application must be free of functional bugs or issues.
  • Navigation links and menus should be easily accessible.
  • The website must be secure.
  • The website must be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • International and localization standards must be followed when the same website is accessed in different regions.

QA teams are responsible for ensuring they take all the above points when forging a testing strategy. Different testing types are required to ensure all the above criteria are fulfilled. Different testing types are mentioned below, and we will go through each of them in the next section.

  • Functional testing
  • Database testing
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Accessibility testing
  • Security testing
  • Performance testing

Functional testing

The objective of functional testing in web applications is to ensure that the application’s functions and features work as expected, and that the system behaves correctly in response to user inputs. This involves testing various aspects of the application, including the user interface, application logic, data validation, error handling, and system integration.

Functional testing typically involves the creation of test cases that cover all of the application’s functions and features, with the aim of uncovering any defects or errors that may be present. The tests are designed to simulate real-world user interactions with the application, such as filling out forms, clicking buttons, and navigating between pages. By conducting functional testing, testers can identify and fix any issues in the application before it is released to users, ensuring that the application meets the requirements.

We can typically break all functional tests into two parts: smoke and regression.

Smoke testing

Smoke tests typically represent a small subset of tests necessary to verify the core functionality and determine whether the build is good enough to proceed with a deeper level of testing. It is typically performed every time a new build is deployed, and therefore is one of the first candidates for automation. Automating smoke tests allows teams to get results in minutes, and reject the build almost instantly if any critical issues are identified.

Regression testing

Regression is typically a large set of tests, responsible for verifying the entire application’s functionality and making sure nothing got broken because of any bug fixes or new feature additions. These tests have to be executed at least once before every release, and can take multiple days (and sometimes even weeks) when done manually. Therefore, regression is another excellent choice for automation – literally saving the team days on each run, since automation tests don’t require human intervention.

Database testing

Database testing is performed to check the web application’s tables, schema, and other database-related components. It can also assert the database performance and query processing speed.

In many web applications, users have a search or filter option where they can narrow down their results based on specific criteria. In such cases, database testing helps to evaluate how quickly complex queries can be processed and how data is presented to the user.

Database testing requires interaction from the UI layer, business layer, and database layer, and can be performed either manually or through automation. However, the cost and time involved in testing can be significant, especially when creating complex queries for testing purposes.

testRigor provides support for database testing. It helps to check if data is correctly inserted from the web application by creating and executing queries. testRigor can connect to multiple databases and create complex queries for testing purposes, making the testing process faster and more efficient. You can find more details here.

Compatibility testing

Compatibility in web testing means the web application should work properly and appear the same across all browsers, operating systems, and platforms. To achieve browser compatibility, the web application should have similar visual and functional features across all browsers and their different versions.

Many websites contain JUnit, JavaScript, or AJAX for various functionalities. Therefore, ensuring that these scripts work without issues across all browsers and their versions is crucial.

OS compatibility ensures that the script or the interfaces are compatible with operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Platform compatibility verifies that the web application is compatible with mobile browsers. Recent technology uses responsive templates to develop web applications, which means that when the application is opened on a mobile browser, the contents adjust to the mobile screen resolution, and the menu becomes easily accessible within the screen.

For testing compatibility, both manual and automation methods can be used. In manual testing, test cases must be executed under various combinations, such as the same browser with different versions, different browsers in the same operating system, the same browser in different operating systems, and different platforms. However, that would be highly inefficient and time-consuming to accomplish with manual testing.

testRigor’s automated tests are more executable specifications – meaning they can be reused across different browsers, saving time and effort.

Accessibility testing

Accessibility testing is critical to ensure that a web application is usable by everyone, including individuals with disabilities such as vision impairment, hearing loss, physical or cognitive conditions, and older age. This testing, also known as 508 compliance testing, is required by law for all websites to adhere to accessibility rules and regulations.

Assistive tools such as special keyboards, screen readers, speech recognition, screen magnifiers, and text contrast can aid accessibility. Accessibility testing can be performed manually, which can be time-consuming and expensive since testers must try out each option, such as changing the font size to large and testing all scenarios or hovering over text to check if the voice-over matches the text.

testRigor supports the automation of accessibility scenarios, allowing testers to quickly determine if a website complies with accessibility rules and regulations. Watch this video to learn more about automating accessibility testing with testRigor.

Security testing

Security testing involves evaluating the system’s ability to prevent unauthorized access, protect data, and maintain confidentiality and integrity. It is responsible for identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the web application, including authentication, authorization, input validation, encryption, and error handling.

Security testing is vital because it ensures the web application is secure against cyber-attacks and that users’ sensitive information is kept safe from potential data breaches. A security breach can cause significant damage, including financial loss, loss of reputation, and legal implications. Moreover, in some cases, it can put people’s lives at risk, such as in healthcare applications.

Security testing is crucial in detecting vulnerabilities attackers can exploit to gain unauthorized access or manipulate data. By identifying and fixing these vulnerabilities, the web application can be more secure and give users greater confidence in its ability to protect their sensitive data.

There are various levels of security testing that a company can perform. More often than not, it does not fall into the responsibility of QA teams – aside from verifying negative use cases when performing functional testing.

Performance testing

Performance testing is a non-functional testing method that verifies the performance of a web application under different conditions. This testing method primarily focuses on load and stress testing to determine how much load and stress the application can handle.

Load testing checks how the system performs when multiple users access the application simultaneously. For example, in an online shopping site that offers deals during Thanksgiving day, around 500K users may log in simultaneously. Load testing checks if the application can handle such a large number of users without crashing, and how it manages simultaneous API or database calls.

Stress testing takes the application to the point where its performance starts to deteriorate. It helps to determine how much load the application can handle, even with maximum concurrent users. In the above example, if the maximum concurrent users are expected to hit 500K, then in stress testing, the user count will be increased past this number to determine when the application’s CPU or memory usage gets hit.

Performance testing can only be performed using tools, not manually. testRigor supports load testing of web applications, and there is no need to create separate scenarios. Load testing can be performed using the same scripts used for functional testing.

In terms of prioritization, functional testing is typically done first, followed by non-functional testing types such as Load, Performance, Security, etc. When creating a strategy for your web testing, you might also want to keep in mind the famous test automation pyramid, which will give you an idea of how layers of different tests might look like.

And when it comes to choosing the right tool for test automation – we suggest you give testRigor a try, since it’s the easiest and most efficient way to build robust end-to-end tests for web, mobile, and desktop, and spend extremely little time on maintenance.

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