Best Practices for Web Application Testing

Want to know how to test your website? Here you can find information about the main website testing techniques and comprehensive checklist. This article will consider website testing checklist items to go through for ensuring your site readiness for the launch.

Article Content

  • Documentation Testing
  • Website functionality Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • UI (User Interface) Testing
  • Compatibility (Configuration) Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Security Testing
  • Change related Testing
  • Mobile-friendly Testing
  • Beta Testing

Testing, as the final stage of the development of the website, plays a vital role in the process of creating high-quality software. After the website testing, the customer is provided with a ready project without errors, with good readability, perceived ease, convenience, and reliability.

The basic rules for testing of a website are steps that show the user how easy and logical the project is, how easy and possible to find the required information. The more complex the site, the more time it takes to test it and debug it. Depending on the specifics of the project, up to 50% of the total budget and time resources can be allocated to test a website.

To organize the testing of the website, a specially developed methodology is provided. The verification of your website is carried out according to this methodology. Testing can occur in a variety of ways, but do not forget about the process itself and the testing strategy. The sequence of your actions depends on it.

So, let's consider the main stages you have to pass to test your site:

Documentation Testing

The main artifacts related to the website testing are analyzed on this stage:

  • Requirements
  • Test Plan
  • Test Cases
  • Traceability Matrix

We should start with the preparatory phase, testing the documentation.

Website Functionality Testing

Functional testing is aimed to ensure that each function of the website operates in conformance with the requirement specification. Website testing of the functionality shows What the system does?

Let's try to create the checklist for you website functionality testing.

Links Testing:

You should verify:

  • Outbound links
  • Internal links correctness
  • There are no links leading to the same page
  • The links that are used to send e-mails to site admins
  • If there are pages that are not referenced
  • There are no broken links

Forms Testing for All Pages:

You use forms for the interactive communication with your customers. So, the following points should be checked:

  • The input data validity
  • Allowed values for the data field
  • Invalid input values for the data field
  • Options for forms in which deletion or any other modification of data is possible

Cookies Testing:

Cookies are small files that are stored on the user's computer after visiting your web page

  • Test a site with disabled cookies
  • Test a site with enabled cookies
  • Verify the cookie is encrypted before being written to the user's machine
  • Check the security aspects when removing the cookies
  • If the cookies have a duration of action, then it is tested whether they are active in the specified period of time.

HTML/CSS Validation:

  • HTML syntax errors
  • Verify the site is available for search machines
  • Verify your web page has an accurate site map in both XML and HTML format

Usability Testing

Usability testing is aimed to evaluate your web page by testing it with representative users. It helps to define user ability to learn to operate, prepare inputs for, and interpret outputs of your site.

Navigation Testing contains the next verifications:

  • All pages of your site are understandable and easy to use
  • Buttons, shapes, and fields are convenient for use
  • There is an access to the Main menu from all pages

Content Testing Checklist:

  • There are no grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Images are placed properly with proper sizes
  • Verify optimization of the color palette of the site and font sizes
  • Content should be informative, understandable, structured and logically linked
  • Instructions are clear and contain correct information

Finally, to evaluate the usability of your web portal, just answer these questions:

  1. Is your website understandable and convenient?
  2. Is navigation convenient?
  3. What impression does it make on the user?
  4. Are there superfluous or unnecessary things?

UI (User Interface) Testing

User Interface (UI) Testing is provided to verify the graphic user interface of your website meets the specifications.

Here are some verifications for UI testing of a website:

  • Compliance with the standards of graphical interfaces
  • Design elements evaluation: layout, colors, fonts, font sizes, labels, text boxes, text formatting, captions, buttons, lists, icons, links
  • Testing with different screen resolutions
  • Testing of localized versions: accuracy of translation (multilanguage, multicurrency), checking the length of names of interface elements, etc.
  • Testing the graphical user interface on target devices: smartphones and tablets.

Compatibility (Configuration) testing

Compatibility (Configuration) Testing is performed to test your website with each one of the supported software and hardware configurations:

  • OS Configuration
  • Browser Configuration
  • Database Configuration

Cross-Platform Testing allows evaluating the work of your site in different OS (both desktop and mobile): Windows, iOS/Mac OS, Linux, Android and BlackBerry etc.

Cross-Browser Website Testing methods help to verify the correct work of the site in different browser configurations: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera etc.

Database Testing is performed to ensure the correct work of your site in different database configurations: Oracle, DB2, MySql, MSSQL Server, Sybase.

Printing Compatibility Testing also should be mentioned in your website test plan:

  • Verify the fonts, page graphics, page alignment can be printed properly
  • Ensure all pages of your site fit the paper size and the size defined in the printing option.

Performance Testing

Performance testing is aimed to determine how a system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a certain load. Sites must withstand high loads.

Perfomance website testing methods contain:

  • Testing site behavior at or beyond the limits of its anticipated workload (Stress Testing)
  • Testing site behavior at increasing workload (Load Testing)
  • Testing the ability to work within or just above the acceptable period (Stability Testing)
  • Testing of website performance by increasing the data volume in the database (Volume Testing)
  • Testing of website performance when multiple users login to it (Concurrency Testing)
  • Testing the behavior of your site when the additional workload is given continuously (Endurance Testing)
  • Page load speed testing

Security Testing

Security testing is performed to verify the information system protects data and maintains functionality as intended.

You can simulate the malicious source attack to evaluate the security level of your site (Penetration testing).

Another kind of security testing, Vulnerability testing, allows evaluating the total quantum of involved risks.

Some verifications for the security testing:

  • Ensure the unauthorized access to secure pages is not possible
  • Verify sessions are automatically killed after prolonged user inactivity
  • Test SSL security functions
  • All attempts at breaking, reporting errors etc. should be logged and stored in a separate file for further analysis.
  • Check the captcha work using automatic scripts
  • Ensure restricted files are not downloadable without appropriate access
  • Ensure there is no login ability while entering wrong password or username

Change Related Testing

Change related testing has two main purposes:

  • Ensuring all detected bugs have indeed been successfully fixed (Re-Testing or Confirmation Testing). In a few words, you should run the test cases that originally detected the bugs again and this time they pass without any problems.
  • Ensuring new defects have not appeared after the changes (Regression Testing). Beside the detected bug test cases, it also contains test cases checking all functionalities of your site.

Mobile Friendly Testing

As you have read before some of the website verifications were concerned to the mobile version of your site. Nowadays, the number of people, who use only mobile devices for Internet access tends to the stable increasing. That is why it is quite important to ensure if website site is mobile-friendly.

Here are some tips to test your website on mobile:

  • Verify the compatibility with smartphones and tablets
  • Ensure the site navigation is as simple as possible
  • Optimize the loading time of your site
  • Ensure buttons are large enough for people with big finger
  • Optimize all images size
  • Don’t use flash and pop-ups
  • Use bullet points and short sentences
  • Ensure your phone number is one click away from being dialed
  • Verify the website can access your location through GPS

Beta Testing

Beta Testing – the final prerelease stage of testing. As a rule, it is done by end-users and out stuff people.

Beta testing replaces your site in the hands of real users outside of your team to discover any weak points from the user’s perspective that you would not want to have in your final, released version of the application

Hope, reading this article you’ve to find some answers to the question “how to test a website with best practices”.


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