A Complete Guide to Website Testing

Designing and developing a functional and user-friendly website is crucial for any modern business or organization. However, testing the website thoroughly is equally important. This guide will explore web page testing and when, why, and how website testing is done in the development process.

What is website testing?

In today's era, the Internet has become an integral part of everyone's life. For any information that is unknown to us we browse the internet and rely on it. So , hosting a website stands important for all kinds of businesses. An informative, user-friendly and bug free application will attract a larger audience in this competitive market.

To deliver a high quality efficient software to the customer, website testing is indeed a must!

Website testing primarily focuses on end to end functionality testing of websites or web applications before promoting it to production.

The DevTestOps team aims to perform web application testing to identify and fix potential bugs in the application. When a web application goes live before its end users, the DevTestOps team needs to ensure its functioning as expected by real time users.

Continuous testing of web applications ensures continuous quality

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Why perform continuous website testing?

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The main objective of Continuous testing is to test a web application early and test it often.

Continuous testing in agile is a downstream process that executes automated tests as part of a software delivery pipeline in order to provide risk-based feedback as rapidly as possible.

Web application continuous testing incorporates testing at each stage of the agile project life cycle that aims to deliver quality software to the end user. Continuous testing of web applications evaluates quality at every step of the continuous delivery process.

In continuous testing, a software change continuously moves from development to testing to deployment. The code is continuously developed, delivered,tested and deployed. This allows for more communication, collaboration and faster innovation.

The key to effective delivery of a web application is performance, which comes with continuous software testing.

Continuous testing applies concepts of agile development to the testing and DevTestOps process resulting in greater efficiency.

Automation is a key factor in continuous testing that establishes an automated, end-to-end testing solution that is integrated with existing continuous integration and continuous delivery processes.

Continuous testing of a web application focuses on the flawless delivery of the software with assured efficiency. In continuous testing of web applications, defects and uncertain changes in requirements are resolved and tested as and when they emerge in order to avoid late rework and damage to user experience.

How does website testing compare to desktop application testing?

Website testing is URL driven testing that functions across multiple web browsers whereas desktop application testing is performed on a single machine, computer or system.

Desktop application testing requires the knowledge of how the user interacts with the application. Additionally, desktop testing requires knowledge of the database and the operating system.

Desktop application testing involves testing of features like GUI (Graphical User Interface), backend and load. Memory leaks and unhandled exceptions also need to be tested in desktop application testing. Web applications are accessed through the internet by multiple users simultaneously. Web applications run on two or more machines which are complex and hence require broad testing.

In order to test a web application, the tester needs to have knowledge on the functionalities of the application in terms of interacting with the end user. In website testing, the application is tested for its browser compatibility, static page testing and the overall functionality of the feature.

Cross browser testing is not applicable in desktop testing whereas it becomes essential to perform cross browser testing of web applications.

On desktop applications, installation/uninstallation testing is performed. Website testing does not require installation/uninstallation testing.

As the desktop application is accessed by a single user, authentication testing may or may not be extensively performed whereas in website testing, security/authentication testing is very important as the application is being accessed by multiple users.

Desktop applications are accessed by a single user so the application behavior is not tested when a large number of users are using the application simultaneously. In website testing, load testing is performed by simultaneously accessing the application with a large number of users.

Desktop Application Testing vs Web Application Testing: What’s the difference?

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Web application testing techniques

Web application testing techniques

In this section, we will discuss the basic testing techniques needed to test a web application.

  • Functionality Testing :The main goal of functional testing is to ensure that all the functions within a web application work smoothly without any technical glitches.

    Functional testing involves testing the working of links in a web application, testing cookies, testing the forms across all pages, validating HTML or CSS, testing databases for security purposes.

    The end to end functionality of a web application is tested to ensure the product is designed as per the business requirements. Functional testing involves integration testing of all the modules within the software as well as mandatory field level validations to generate appropriate error messages.

  • Usability Testing : Usability testing is very important for a web application from an end user point of view. More user-friendly and effective web applications will fascinate larger audiences in the market. Mainly, the user interface of a web application should comply with certain standards. All global conventions and web standards should be followed while developing a web application. Usability testing covers important aspects like proper navigation, site map, grammatical errors and elimination of over crowded content.

  • Interface Testing :The most important interfaces within a web application are web server, application server and the database server interface. Web UI testing ensures connection between all the individual components within the web application. Interface testing of a web application helps to check whether the interaction between these servers are executed properly.

  • Cross browser Compatibility testing : Cross browser Compatibility testing is one of the crucial factors you should consider while testing a web application. Compatibility testing ensures your web application is accessed by users across multiple browsers, operating systems and devices.

    You may also refer to this article that compares the 2 ways of cross browser testing - manual and automated

    Make sure your web application works fine for a variety of operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux and browsers like Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.

  • What browsers should you test? Create browser compatible tests!

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  • Performance Testing :Performance testing will help you determine the performance of your web application under various loads. Performance testing usually involves stress testing, load testing and scalability testing. The performance of a web application is tested under heavy load. Load testing is performed to determine the behavior of a web application under normal and peak loads. Stress testing determines the web applications breakpoint when pushed beyond normal loads at peak time.

  • Security Testing :Security testing is extremely important for web applications that store sensitive customer information like banking details. Security testing ensures unauthorized access to secure pages is not permitted. It validates restricted files are not downloaded without appropriate access. Security testing of a web application ensures sensitive information stored in the application is not released to unauthorized users.

  • Database testing :Most of the websites are driven by the back end of a system. So database testing is a crucial testing for a website. Database testing is performed to test the integrity, consistency, accuracy of the diverse range of data stored at the backend of the website.

Web application functional testing checklist

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Let’s now discuss the web application functional testing checklist required to perform an effective testing of software.

  • Validation testing :
    In validation testing, we need to ensure the web application uses valid HTML. This can be verified using W3C validator.

    In functionality testing, various fields such as radio buttons, check boxes, dropdowns, text boxes, links, etc used in the web application are validated. These days most web applications use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). W3C CSS validator tool helps to ensure valid CSS is being used in the web application.

  • Links/URL testing :
    Links/URL of a web application can be tested in the following ways :

    • Internal links :Internal links pointing to the pages of the same website are tested in functional testing.

      This testing ensures proper working of internal links as clicking on the link navigates the user to the expected page of the website. For e.g. : Help, Contact Us, About Us, etc are the internal links of web applications that points to some information within the same website.

    • External links :External links point to web pages of external websites. This testing ensures these links are properly linked to web pages of external websites.

    • Email links :Testing on email links should be performed by clicking the fields, say, if the email field is auto populated with the default email address.

    • Dead links :Dead links in a web application are not linked to internal or external pages of the websites. These are simply broken links and need to be removed. There are certain online tools available in the market to validate the broken links in the web application.

  • Web Forms Testing :Web forms are most commonly used by the users in a web application. To complete an end to end flow of an application, the user needs to fill in details on the forms at each step and then proceed with the next subsequent section.

    It is essential to test each mandatory and optional field on the web form page. The user should not be able to proceed ahead if he fails to put details for a mandatory field.


    In this case, a valid error message should be generated that helps the user to understand the error, correct it and successfully submit the application. Similarly, if the optional field details are not filled in a web application, it should not restrict the user to proceed further.

Automated Web Application Testing

Automated web application testing is a process in which testing is performed using a set of automated testing tools.

Automating web applications saves time and money as the same set of automated test cases can be reused multiple times in various agile sprints.

Automation testing uses effective and efficient automated tools to design the test scripts and validate the web applications.

The primary goal of automation testing is to complete the overall testing of web applications in minimal time.

Details about more automation tools can be found here. With automation testing, you can reduce the futile efforts and make automated web application testing an easier and reliable process.

Website Testing Tools

Complete Regression Testing

Website testing tools improve reliability, reduce the overall testing time and increase the ROI (Return on Investment).

Website Testing Life Cycle

Website testing is a type of testing adopted for testing those applications which are launched through an internet web browser. Website testing follows a series of steps before the actual testing begins.

  • Requirement Gathering :Before the testing starts we gather the requirements of the feature, refine it further and identify the gaps.

  • Test Planning :In the test plan document we define the scope and objective of testing, document the test strategy, define the entry and exit criteria for the website testing and evaluate the test estimate.

  • Test case preparation :Based on the test plan we design the test scenarios and create the test scripts with the best suitable automation technique.

  • Test case execution :In this stage, we execute the designed test cases and report any deviation from expected result.

  • Bug Reporting :If a test case fails while execution and a bug is found, we raise and report it on a defect tracking tool like HP ALM QC, Jira, etc.

  • Defect retesting :Once the defect is fixed by the developer, we retest the defect and re-execute the failed test case.

  • Test Closure :Once all the defects are resolved and the application functions as expected, we close the test cycle. If not, we cycle again.

Benefits of Website Testing

  • Website testing ensures delivery of high quality websites as an end result.

  • It helps to ship an efficient product in the market achieving high CSI (Customer satisfaction index).

  • Website testing ensures the complete functioning of the software.

  • A sound test strategy helps to identify bugs at an early stage. This eventually increases testers velocity as they can release new features quickly and with increased confidence.

  • Website testing helps to increase confidence in the application as well as the customer.

  • As the web application is tested rigorously after every iteration and sprint, there are lesser chances of failure and risks in the future.

  • Website testing via an automated testing tool saves time and guarantees a good ROI (Return on investment).

The Importance of Website Testing

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  • Website testing is extremely important and needed post developing a feature as we cannot commit to the customer that we have delivered a bug free software without having proper testing phase in place.

  • Website testing helps to find and report defects in the product. If a product is not tested properly, there is a fair chance that bugs are reported by the end user. If the customer is not satisfied with the end product, he/she would think twice before delegating any new feature to the team.

  • If we are not testing the web application end to end, we might lose our best customers and eventually the business as well. By compromising on the quality of the product, we are ultimately compromising on the reputation of the organization.

  • Website testing plays a vital role in delivering quality software. By performing testing, we can guarantee the product does not have critical errors.

  • If you deploy bug free software in the market, it will attract new customers who will benefit the organization from a business perspective also.

Every customer will be happy if you deliver a secure, user-friendly, informative, accessible and faster web application. To have these qualities your application should be well tested!

How to do performance testing for web applications?

Performance testing is performed to ensure the web application is capable enough to handle the load. Performance testing analyses the system’s performance under high load.

Jmeter performance testing tool offers various benefits to test the performance of both static and dynamic resources. Static resources can be application developed in HTML, JavaScript whereas e.g. that of dynamic resources can be JSP, Servlets and AJAX. Jmeter performs load web application testing as well as stress web application testing.

In load web application testing, simulating various conditions predicts the expected usage of the application.

In stress web application testing, load above the limit a web application can bear is given on the server post which it behaves weirdly. Through this process the maximum load a web server can handle is found out.

Points to consider while testing a Website

Although website testing is an essential process before delivery, there are certain points that we need to look at while performing testing.

  • Website UI & Content :

    • Pay special attention to verify the content on the website application.

    • Also test the UI specifications as per the UI deck requirement document.

    • Size of buttons, menus and text fields should be properly aligned with other controls as per height and width of the page.

  • General validations :

    • General validations are performed considering the overall architecture of a software.

    • Module-wise ensure to test all the functionalities of a web application. Test the web forms at all the steps right from filling the form to verifying until the confirmation page.

    • Verify the fonts and images used in the web application are uniform across all browsers.

    • Verify the fields which are by default to be kept disabled are not clickable.

    • On the login page, verify the cursor points to the username text field as an indicator to input details in this field.

    • Test the working of scroll bars and popups on the web page.

    • Test if there's any broken link on the web page application.

    • Focus on properly testing the fields like dropdowns, check boxes, list boxes, text boxes, etc.

    • Verify if the values in the dropdown list are present in alphabetical order.

    • In case of a text box, test that the fields are marked with a (*) mandatory indicator, it becomes easier for the users to understand this better as well.

  • Database validations :

    • Databases form the backbone of web applications. Hence, it is essentially important as the front end requests of an application are processed by fetching results from the backend i.e. the database.

    • Database should be validated to check the password encryptions.

    • Verify a column does not allow a “NULL” value until any such condition is specified.

    • Test if the data is stored in correct format in the database.

    • Test the time taken for a stored procedure to execute a command.

  • Security validations :

    • Security validations are done to identify security loopholes in software, the key areas which are prone to security breach.

    • Validate sensitive data does not appear in the URL

    • Test all web application data is transmitted over the web using “https” for instance payment information, passwords, etc.

    • Post session time out of an application, the same user should be prompted to fresh login again.

    • Monitor denial of service attacks.

Sample test scenarios for testing a web application

Let’s consider a scenario of a banking application where the customer wants to place an online request to issue a duplicate account statement.

We will categorize website testing into three sub parts

UI and Content testing of the “Request duplicate Statement page”

  • We need to test the content of this for spelling and grammatical errors.

  • Also, buttons, check boxes, list, images etc should appear consistent across all the web browsers.

Field level validations of the page

  • Check the minimum and maximum length validations of the text box on all pages.

  • Test the mandatory fields on the page and generate a valid error message wherever the field is left blank or is filled with invalid details (special characters or blank/invalid values) whenever the user submits the form.

  • Verify password is displayed in masked format rather than displaying the actual entered text.

  • Verify the “Reset” button on the page clears all the data.

Functionality testing of the page

  • Validate the navigation to “Request duplicate statement page” from Online banking website.(Online banking home page ⇾ View Service Requests ⇾ Request duplicate statement)

  • Test the complete end to end flow of the service right from entering the details on step 1 to step 2 : Verification page and the step 3 : Confirmation page. (This provides confirmation to the user the request has been successfully submitted).

  • Verify if an email notification is sent out to the registered email address on submitting the request.

  • To prevent security violations, verify users are not able to copy and paste the password from the text box.

  • For a banking web application that consists of an OTP (One time password) flow, authentication through OTP on mobile/email should also be tested.

  • Test the maximum session time out for secured websites.

Click here to go through more sample test scenarios for a web application.

The future of end-to-end testing for web applications

The future of end-to-end testing for web applications

Organizations and technologies are scaling up at the same pace to shape up the future of website testing.

Software testing industries are adjusting to the developments in the industry. The rapid technological advancements in testing a web application encourages the testers to enhance their automation testing skills.

It’s really very crucial for the organizations to have resources with highly skilled automation testing concepts to accomplish and deliver high quality software.

Devtestops practices and test automation strategy is one of the most significant points of focus for the organizations high on business analytics and cloud computing.

Today, organizations are integrating their website testing in the software development cycle, with testing methods like Agile.

There’s a solid demand to choose the ongoing software testing trends for all the software industries in the world, which helps them to adjust to the requirements of the modern world.

Let’s discuss over the 5 emerging software testing trends that will rule the industry.

  • Codeless test automation :Test automation of a web application promotes software releases at highest quality. Automation decreases the testing efforts and stimulates the testing process.

    Codeless testing increases the scalability of test automation. Codeless automation tools available in the market facilitates the testers to automate test cases without having coding skills. It is the best choice as it decreases the time consumed to understand the code and deliver faster results.

  • How many codeless testing tools and what types are available?

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  • Artificial intelligence :In software testing, a web application can be scrutinized under certain conditions in order to identify the risks involved in the software implementation. Artificial intelligence can immensely help make the application reliable. With artificial intelligence, we are eventually moving towards a situation where machines will be gradually assuming control.

  • What does AI mean for testers? Here’s a webinar you don’t want to miss!

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  • Robotic process automation (RPA) :Enhancements in artificial intelligence and automation testing have covered the path for robotic process automation. Organizations are getting transformed due to the latest and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI/ML, NLP.



    RPA Vs Test Automation Read Blog


  • Blend of Agile and DevOps :Opting for agile methodology helps the firm faster ship the product to the market. “DevOps” is a practice that puts together an organization’s processes, tools, and teams to deliver new builds into production as rapidly as possible that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at speed, referred to as DevOps speed. This delivery of software at DevOps speed is with absolutely no compromise on the quality. In DevOps there is no “single role”, a DevOps team has all kinds of diversified roles. In a team we have a developer, business analyst, a tester, a database administrator (DBA), and ops person. Everything related to DevOps is associated with the term “Continuous testing”.

  • IoT (Internet of things) :Most of the firms these days are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT apps and devices are tested for performance, security, and usability. Most of the customers depend on IoT testing before the acquisition of their products. All the IoT devices need Internet connectivity and hence are exposed to security flaws and risks. This ensures the need for IoT Testing. The technological improvements in the website testing industry push the testers to enhance their skills, expertise, and quality frequently.

Timeless Tips for Website Testing

Timeless Tips for Website Testing

Below are some timeless tips for performing a smooth and effective website testing :

  • Define an entry criteria for testing

  • Have clear communication (between developers and testers) to understand the features of the web application.

  • Keep Sanity test cases ready

  • Approach to automation testing

  • Perform cross browser testing for web applications.

  • Define an exit criteria and understand when to stop testing.

Looking for a solution to automate your web applications?

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FAQs on Website Testing