Web Application Testing: My 8 Step Guide to Web Testing
I follow a methodical testing strategy that can be broken down broadly into the following steps. Lets quickly define Web Testing.
What is Web Testing?
Web Testing in simple terms is checking web applications for potential bugs before being made live or before code is moved into the production environment.
During this stage issues such as that of web application security, the functioning of the site, its access to handicapped as well as regular users and its ability to handle traffic is checked.
Web Application Testing Checklist:
Some or all of the following testing types may be performed depending on your project.
1. Functionality Testing:
This is used to check if your product is as per the specifications you intended for it as well as the functional requirements you charted out for it in your developmental documentation. Testing Activities Included:
Test all links in your webpages are working correctly and make sure there are no broken links. Links to be checked will include –
- Outgoing links
- Internal links
- Anchor Links
- MailTo Links
Test Forms are working as expected. This will include-
- Scripting checks on the form are working as expected. For example- if a user does not fill a mandatory field in a form an error message is shown.
- Check default values are being populated
- Once submitted, the data in the forms is submitted to a live database or is linked to a working email address
- Forms are optimally formatted for better readability
Test Cookies are working as expected. Cookies are small files used by websites to primarily remember active user sessions so you do not need to log in every time you visit a website. Cookie Testing will include
- Testing cookies (sessions) are deleted either when cache is cleared or when they reach their expiry.
- Delete cookies (sessions) and test that login credentials are asked for when you next visit the site.
Test HTML and CSS to ensure that search engines can crawl your site easily. This will include
- Checking for Syntax Errors
- Readable Colour Schemas
- Standard Compliance. Ensure standards such W3C, OASIS, IETF, ISO, ECMA, or WS-I are followed.
Test business workflow– This will include
- Testing end – to – end workflow/ business scenarios which takes the user through a series of webpages to complete.
- Test negative scenarios as well, such that when a user executes an unexpected step, appropriate error message or help is shown in your web application.
Tools used: QTP , IBM Rational , Selenium
2. Usability testing:
Usability Testing has now become a vital part of any web based project. It can be carried out by testers like you or a small focus group similar to the target audience of the web application.
Test the site Navigation:
- Menus, buttons or Links to different pages on your site should be easily visible and consistent on all webpages
Test the Content:
- Content should be legible with no spelling or grammatical errors.
- Images if present should contain an “alt” text
Tools used: Chalkmark, Clicktale, Clixpy and Feedback Army
3. Interface Testing:
Three areas to be tested here are – Application, Web and Database Server
- Application: Test requests are sent correctly to the Database and output at the client side is displayed correctly. Errors if any must be caught by the application and must be only shown to the administrator and not the end user.
- Web Server: Test Web server is handling all application requests without any service denial.
- Database Server: Make sure queries sent to the database give expected results.
Test system response when connection between the three layers (Application, Web and Database) cannot be established and appropriate message is shown to the end user.
Tools used: AlertFox, Ranorex
4. Database Testing:
Database is one critical component of your web application and stress must be laid to test it thoroughly. Testing activities will include-
- Test if any errors are shown while executing queries
- Data Integrity is maintained while creating, updating or deleting data in database.
- Check response time of queries and fine tune them if necessary.
- Test data retrieved from your database is shown accurately in your web application
Tools used: QTP, Selenium
5. Compatibility testing.
Compatibility tests ensures that your web application displays correctly across different devices. This would include-
The rendering of web elements like buttons, text fields etc. changes with change in Operating System. Make sure your website works fine for various combination of Operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac and Browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.
Tools used: NetMechanic
6. Performance Testing:
This will ensure your site works under all loads. Testing activities will include but not limited to ;
- Website application response times at different connection speeds
- Load test your web application to determine its behavior under normal and peak loads
- Stress test your web site to determine its break point when pushed to beyond normal loads at peak time.
- Test if a crash occurs due to peak load, how does the site recover from such an event
- Make sure optimization techniques like gzip compression, browser and server side cache enabled to reduce load times
Tools used: Loadrunner, JMeter
7. Security testing:
Security Testing is vital for e-commerce website that store sensitive customer information like credit cards. Testing Activities will include-
- Test unauthorized access to secure pages should not be permitted
- Restricted files should not be downloadable without appropriate access
- Check sessions are automatically killed after prolonged user inactivity
- On use of SSL certificates, website should re-direct to encrypted SSL pages.
Tools used: Babel Enterprise, BFBTester and CROSS
8. Crowd Testing:
You will select a large number of people (crowd) to execute tests which otherwise would have been executed a select group of people in the company. Crowdsourced testing is an interesting and upcoming concept and helps unravel many a unnoticed defects.
Tools that can be used: People like you and me, as many as possible.
This concludes almost all testing types applicable to your web application.