What is Web Testing? Types of Web Application Testing

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Web testing, at its core, is simply checking your web application or your website for problems before you make that web application or website live. Web testing is designed to check all aspects of the web application’s functionality, including looking for bugs with usability, compatibility, security, and general performance. 

Web testing is a crucial part of assembling any web application or website, as you don’t want to invest the many resources in time and money you’ve spent developing this web application and then have it run into immediate problems upon release. We have seen that happen before, and it isn’t pretty.  

What Are the Types of Web Application Testing?

In an era where there’s so much software in a computer, improper testing of a computer program can lead to catastrophic results that cost millions – even billions – to fix. Proper use of a web testing application, or web testing automation, can be used in the following ways:

1. Testing the Functionality and Features

Functionality testing is virtually the most basic, yet extremely crucial for any application – including web. Functionality testing ensures a web application is working properly and correctly. Web testing tools will inspect factors like making sure every link on the website points to the right page.

Functional testing covers:

  • Unit Testing: This stage of functional testing validates small and individual areas of the application in the early stages of development to reduce the chance of escalating to more severe bugs later on
  • Smoke Testing, Build Verification Testing and Confidence Testing: After each build, this test is run to verify the web application is stable and ready for further testing to avoid wasting testing efforts
  • Sanity Testing: Once the build verification is complete, this test checks the new code introduced and specific functionalities
  • Regression Testing: Retest a selective list of test cases to identify areas that reacts more severe to changes and ensure existing features stay functional
  • Integration Testing: locate faults on the linkage of interconnected modules (E.g., being redirected to a Mailbox page after successfully signing up)
  • Usability Testing: Used to find areas for improvement to the overall UX design according to a real user’s behavior and feedback

Functional testing also tests forms to make sure that they’re working. 

2. Testing Web APIs

Web APIs, as the name suggests, are application programming interfaces for the web. Testing the API requires making requests to multiple API endpoints to validate the response. This can measure many things, including function, security, and performance. API testing is essential because it tests the logic, responses, security, and performance bottlenecks.

For example, say you want to test a login form. Particularly, you want every username and password entered to get properly stored in the database.

In API terms, you’re looking at the transfer of data between end-points. To encrypt and shield the HTTP data exchanges from potential hackers, work with negative test cases like:

  • Accessing the APIs without following the authentication rule.
  • Test invalid values in JSONS (e.g., Cannot register user with a non-existing email address)

>>> Learn more about API testing and the most popular tools: Best Automated API Testing Tools for Software Testing in 2022

Cookie testing is another facet to look into when sending user-specific requests and sessions. With APIs as the middleman, parameters to delete or store information from users’ sessions and activities are often added to API functional test cases.

3. Testing the Database

Database testing makes sure that the data values and information stored in the database are valid. It will help to prevent data loss, save lost transaction data, and prevent unauthorized access to the information. 

The testing involves checking the schema, tables, and triggers of common databases such as  Excel/CSV, GraphQL, Oracle SQL and SQL Server. It often includes stress testing and using complex queries on a single or a combination of data files. Database testing is the confidence provider in assuring all data transmissions are successfully done, regardless of the pressure put on.

4. Testing for Regressions

Working with big-scale software or applications means releasing changes constantly. As a matter of fact, unless a software is made for personal use, new features and code modifications are something to expect by default. 

Code changes may reveal unexpected dependencies and malfunctions.

Regression testing makes sure that the application still works after there have been changes to the code, updates, or other improvements. This is an essential step as it is responsible for the overall stability and functionality of the existing application features. 

Fortunately, regression testing is often the perfect candidate for automation. Test cases that cover the primary areas of the software; login page, and homepage; are set up to pick out and run whenever needed. Manual checks are best saved for more complex or custom action sequences.

5. Testing for Cross-Compatibility With Browsers, Operating Systems and Mobile Devices

Cross-compatibility testing ensures your web application’s basic features are available to users across different browsers, devices and assistive tools. This encompasses not only the different operating systems but also different versions of the systems.

Not all operating systems, browsers and devices are built alike. This is what can cause a lack of uniformity for web application behaviors in different test environments, and why it’s important to test for cross-compatibility.

From API connectivity to the navigation between pages, these things can easily be altered based on where your users are coming from. Older versions of browsers, OSs and mobile devices don’t disappear for a reason – users are still using them. One such example of how applications can be affected by cross-compatibility is the retirement of Internet Explorer and migration to Microsoft Edge

Yet, don’t be alarmed by every browser bug you see. Sometimes the faults belong to the vendors themselves. Simply file a browser bug and the team behind the scenes will get it fixed in no time. Other times, when an issue’s root cause is from your side, find “HTML Debugging”, “CSS Debugging” or “Troubleshoot JavaScript”. They’ll come in handy with various ways of resolving commonly-seen browser issues.

Of course, testing and enabling compatibility on all existing browsers, platforms and devices isn’t realistic. To know which to focus on, it’s best to work with relevant departments (e.g., Marketing or Product). They’ve got the right insights and help you craft your priority list.

Additionally, don’t miss out on responsive testing. Assuring consistency on the range of screen sizes in the layout, spacing, vertical/horizontal scrolls, alignment and scaling of elements are just as important.

6. Testing the UI and Visual Elements

Visual aspects often get overlooked. It’s the functionality that most teams consider mission-critical, not how it aesthetically looks on the UI. It usually only hits when an organization begins to scale.

In the event of CSS resets or overriding the default layout with a custom design, layout design issues are prone to appear. Causes can vary, but the most practical solution is testing. 

Not every browser, OS, or mobile device reads data in the same way. Newly introduced browsers with cutting-edge technology are often up-to-date with the most advanced CSS and JavaScript capabilities. Whereas on older ones like Internet Explorer, a 3D graphic might only appear as a flat design. 

Automated AI Visual Testing is what teams go for. Especially for those that pair well with functional testing, Katalon’s automated visual testing add-on makes it easy to create tests using just one IDE. Design regression, API and visual to cherry-pick and run when needed.

This test requires the close scrutiny of eagle-eyed UI and UX developers to make sure that everything is still reading as it should be, and that all the images are in the right places in the right proportions.

7. Testing for web security

Web security is one of the most vital steps in web testing. In particular, robust web testing ensures your web application is built to withstand any hacking attempts or data breaches.

Potential breaches of your data can lead to users’ personal information being leaked, including stolen PI, password and login information or banking and financial information. A leak of any personal information can result in extremely expensive legal problems for you and your business.

According to IBM, “credential-related breaches take 250 days to discover, on average, and another 91 days to contain”. In this space of time, damages can cost millions of dollars.

This is why security testing is an essential process to employ while testing your web application. Security testing for the web gets you to:

  • Search for potential loopholes and threats
  • Follow the laws that regulate web data security & privacy policies
  • Do a top-to-bottom scan to understand an app’s current security capabilities
  • Plan out responses and react quickly to breaches or hacks in the future

8. Testing for performance and loading speed

Finally, we test for performance and loading speed. We’ve already made sure that everything else is working with the web application, but now we need to see if the application takes no longer than 2 seconds to fire up. 

JavaScript files, third-party plugins, multiple page sizes or components that take longer to load can tank your web speed. Testing the loading speed gives you pointers for optimizing the overall response time.

It’s important to ensure your web application is performing optimally, as slow page load speeds can have negative effects on user experience. In fact, one study by Kissmetrics found that conversion rates drop by 40% on pages that took longer than 3 seconds to load.

The JMeter plugin for Katalon is a good option to check your web’s performance measurements. 

Katalon Testing Platform: Shortening Your Web’s Time-to-Market

The Katalon Testing Platform brings you a complete solution for web quality management. Supporting API, UI and cross-browser automated testing, Katalon helps:

  • Reduce wasted testing efforts: save, store and reuse test cases, objects and profiles
  • Lessen technical debt: One all-in-one automated testing IDE and quality management platform to avoid spiraling down on tool maintenance costs
  • Made-ready test environments: skip repetitive configs for environment setups and run in parallel on multiple browsers, devices and OSs at once

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