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A Complete Guide to Web App Testing

A Complete Guide to Web App Testing

May 16, 2022
Mousumi RanaMousumi Rana
Mousumi Rana

Anything is possible while deploying a website: broken links, web security, difficult navigation, and other issues. Thus, a thorough testing strategy is critical for mitigating these risks and maintaining website quality.

This guide will address all questions about web testing, providing you with the information necessary to approach web app automation testing strategically and effectively.
Check out: Fundamentals of Test Harness

What is Web Application Testing?

Web app testing is a software testing practice that ensures the application's functionality and quality as per the requirements. Before delivery, web testing must identify all underlying issues, such as security breaches, integration issues, functional inconsistencies, environmental challenges, or traffic load.

Read: A Complete Guide to Functional Testing

Why is Web Testing essential?

  • Website testing is essential and required following the development of a feature since we cannot ensure to the customer the delivery of bug-free software without a proper web testing phase.
  • Website testing enables the detection and reporting of product defects. If testers do not perform thorough testing, there is a high probability that end users may report issues. If customers are dissatisfied with the end product, they will hesitate to delegate any new feature to the team.
  • If testers do not run rigorous web application tests, the risk of defects and the probability of losing customers is high. By compromising on the software's quality, there is a negative impact on the organization's reputation.
  • Website testing is critical for delivering high-quality software. It is only by performing web page testing that developers can ensure that the product does not have critical flaws.
  • Providing bug-free software in the market attracts new customers that eventually drive revenue generation.
Also read: Automating Mobile Web Browsers with Appium

Website Testing vs. Desktop Applications

  • Website testing is URL-based testing and runs across many web browsers. On the other hand, testers carry out desktop application testing on a single computer or system.
  • Desktop app testing requires an understanding of user interaction with the application. Furthermore, web app testing necessitates familiarity with the operating system and database.
  • Testing desktop applications entails evaluating elements such as the graphical user interface (GUI), load, and backend. Memory leaks and unhandled exceptions must be evaluated during the desktop application testing process. Multiple users can access web apps concurrently through the internet. Web applications run on two or more systems; they are complex, necessitating extensive testing.
  • In order to test a web application, the tester must be familiar with the application's functionality for interacting with the end-user. Website testing verifies the application's static page testing, browser compatibility, and overall feature functionality.
  • Cross-browser testing is essential for web app automation testing, while it is not applicable for desktop application testing. 
  • Website application testing does not require Installation/uninstallation testing, while the same is required for desktop applications. 
  • Security/authentication testing is critical for website testing due to the application being accessed by several users. On the other hand, authentication testing might not be extensively performed on the desktop application as it is accessed mostly by a single user. 
  • Testers perform load testing to evaluate websites by simultaneously accessing the app with multiple users. On the contrary, desktop apps are used by a single user; hence, the app behavior is not analyzed when various users access them simultaneously.
Check out: All you need to know about application security testing

Benefits of Web App Testing

  • Web app testing ensures the delivery of high-quality websites.
  • It enables a highly efficient product in the market with a high customer satisfaction index.
  • Web testing assures that the software is fully functional.
  • A sound web testing strategy helps in the early detection of bugs. It gradually increases tester velocity, as they can release new features more efficiently and quickly.
  • Website testing helps in increasing customers' confidence in the application. 
  • Since QA testers run rigorous tests on the web application at the end of each iteration and sprint, there are fewer chances of risk and failure in the future.
  • Testing a website via an automated website testing tool saves time and ensures a positive return on investment.
Remotely test and debug mobile, web, audio and video applications on thousands of devices around the world. Learn more.

Web Application Testing Techniques

Here are some of the fundamental web application testing techniques:

1. Functionality Testing

The primary objective of functional testing is to ensure that all of the functionalities of a web application function smoothly without issues. Functional testing in a web application may include verifying whether all links are operating correctly, testing cookies, reviewing forms on all webpages, evaluating database security, and validating CSS or HTML.

Also read: The increasing need for performance testing in web applications

Additionally, developers and testers should ensure that test cases cover necessary boundary conditions. Furthermore, invalid inputs should be backed by an appropriate error notification.

2. Web UI Testing

Critical components of a web app are the webserver interface, database server interface, and application server interface. Web UI testing validates that all components of the web application are well-connected. Testers should use this testing method to determine whether the interaction between these servers is carried out effectively.

3. Usability Testing

The application's user interface should adhere to industry standards regarding effectiveness and user-friendliness. It is also critical to adhere to global conventions and web standards while developing a web application. Usability testing is appropriate for apps that aim to automate manual processes.

However, testers must consider specific critical issues such as correct navigation, a site map, and avoiding over-crowded content while performing usability testing.

4. Performance Testing

Performance testing enables you to determine a web application's performance in various scenarios. It includes stress testing, load testing, and scalability testing. Typically, this testing method evaluates a website's functionality across different hardware platforms, operating systems, and more.

5. Compatibility Testing

Compatibility is a critical factor to be considered while testing a web application. Compatibility testing determines the compatibility of a web app with operating systems, browsers, mobile browsing, and other printing options.

6. Security Testing

Security testing is a critical web app automation testing method as it determines whether data modifications or leaks are tolerable. It primarily includes various activities such as verifying SSL, checking the CAPTCHA for automated script logins, and determining whether web files or directories can be accessed directly.

Also check: Steps for Testing Mobile App Security

Challenges faced in web application testing

Interaction with Firewalls: 

Challenges in connecting with firewalls arise because a port or a firewall can block a web app due to issues with security certificate compliance. Thus, it is critical to test the application across multiple firewalls to avoid such scenarios.

Validation of web services:

Modern web applications rely heavily on web service layers such as XML/SOAP or JSON/REST for exchanging data between applications or systems. Hence, the need for verifying these web services has increased significantly. However, web testing platforms are not equipped to handle them. As a result, testing web services is a significant problem for the QA teams.

See: How to Improve Software Security

Consistency across browsers: 

Customers always prefer scalable and highly interactive web applications. If a customer encounters inconsistencies while browsing across browsers, it can adversely impact the enterprise's brand image and growth. Thus, developers and QA testers must track the app's scalability and interactivity across browsers and hardware configurations while conducting usability testing.

Addressing performance issues:

Users abandon any slow-loading web app, which eventually affects the company brand and revenue. Thus, to overcome this obstacle, developers should identify the factors affecting performance testing, such as scalability of the app's features, compatibility, and integration limitations.

Also see: Testing Methods to Evaluate Different Segments of E-commerce Apps

Securing web app against data breaches:

There has been a constant rise in the number of cyber threats that can leak users' sensitive data. It is essential to monitor security testing processes to avoid loss of information and data breaches. It will help prevent DDoS attacks and other cyber threats. In case of any issue detection, testers can fix those at the earliest.

What is Web Application Automated Testing?

Web application automated testing, or automated website testing, evaluates a website's performance using varied types of automation website testing tools. It is a process in which various software tools are used to analyze a website's performance. The approach simplifies and standardizes web testing parameters in response to configuration changes during the development phase, conserving resources and providing consistent results to site administrators and owners.

Additionally, developers may perform relevant tests and compare results to predicted results by deploying efficient automated website testing tools. Consumers may occasionally encounter several bugs or error warnings while browsing certain websites, impairing the website's usability and readability. As a result, end-users abandon such web apps. These kinds of bugs and defects have a significant impact on businesses, as they can result in the loss of valuable customers. It indicates a lack of proper and effective web application automation testing on such websites. Thus, modern enterprises should leverage test automation for web apps to ensure their websites perform seamlessly and deliver end-users with an uninterrupted experience. Different types of automated website testing include evaluating the functionality and usability of the web app, cross-browser compatibility, the performance of web apps under stress and load, and the accessibility and security of websites.

Website Testing Life Cycle

Testers use a web testing approach to evaluate apps launched using a web browser on the internet. In web page testing, QA testers carry out a set of processes before the actual testing.

Requirement gathering

In this phase, testers collect all requirements related to the feature and refine them and identify the gaps.

Test Planning 

In this phase, testers update the test plan document with a definition of the test scope and objectives, strategy, the entry and exit criteria for web testing, and an evaluation of the test estimate.

Read: Designing an Automated Functional Testing Strategy

Test case preparation  

QA testers generate test scenarios and scripts using the most appropriate automation technique considering the test strategy as a guide.

Test Execution

At this stage, testers run the defined test cases and document any deviations from the intended result.

Bugs Reporting

If a test case fails during execution and a bug is detected, testers raise and report it using a defect tracking tool like Jira and HP ALM QC.

Also read: Saving Test Data to Make Debugging Easier

Defect Retesting 

Once the developer has fixed the defect, testers retest it and re-execute the failed test case.

Test Closure

The test cycle is closed once all defects are fixed and the web application is functioning as expected. If not, QA testers repeat the process.

See: How You Can Prioritize Automated Functional Test Scenarios

Why is an end-to-end web application testing a priority?

Businesses across industries and technology are aligning to scale up to change the course of website testing. Software testing companies are adapting to such industry changes. Rapid technical advancements in web application testing further motivate testers to improve their automation testing expertise. Thus, organizations must have skilled resources with highly efficient automation testing concepts to deliver high-quality software successfully.

Testing strategies and test automation approaches are crucial for organizations focused on cloud computing and business analytics. Businesses include website testing into their software development cycle, using testing methods such as Agile.

There is also a strong demand for adopting the latest software testing trends for software sectors across the globe, as this enables organizations to adapt to the current world's requirements.


Websites and digital apps are business enablers for organizations today. They need to have high-performing websites that function flawlessly across browsers and even under high load. Users and visitors tend to abandon websites with issues and prefer to avoid slow-loading web applications. Thus, businesses must ensure that their websites deliver an excellent customer experience by leveraging next-generation web testing services to perform optimally without affecting web app traffic and provide a great user experience.


1. What are the various configurations that should be considered while testing a web application?

 The following critical factors must be considered while testing a web application:

1. Hardware platform: Users may use different operating systems, including Microsoft, Mac, and Linux.

2. Browser: The web page layout varies as per the browser used. Moreover, the plug-ins and browser version are critical elements. Other variables for consideration include the color depth, font size, and resolution of the monitor.

2. What are the steps required to secure a new web server?

The following are a few critical steps that a tester should verify when securing a web server.

1. Assign user rights by their roles.

2. Modify user permissions to access relevant resources.

3. Remove all default scripts and data from the server.

4. Install a software firewall on the web server.

5. Configure and use IIS logging.

6. Performing routine backups.

3. What are the most frequently encountered issues during web testing?

When performing web testing, the following issue may arise:

1. Functional Issues.

2. Issues that arise while navigating the web app.

3. Usability flaws include form fields without any default focus, broken links, the non-functional tab key, and improper functionality of keyboard shortcuts.

4. GUI and Cosmetic issues.

5. Performance issues - The time required to display a page to a user.

6. Load – The maximum amount of load that the web program can handle.

7. Stress - The amount of load placed on an application causes it to crash.

8. Data flow — Storing data entered by the user in the correct format.

9. No appropriate static information is displayed alongside input fields for data entry.

4. How is the scope of web testing defined?

Web testing is the term used to describe software testing focused on web-based applications.

Before moving the web applications to the production environment, the test team conducts comprehensive testing on websites. It aids in identifying many issues within the website, such as functional discrepancy, application security, integration issues, web service testing, environmental issues, and the application's ability to handle the traffic load. Such cases, if left unaddressed, may affect user experience. Thus, testers undertake these measures to identify the possible bugs during the testing stage.

5. How are client-server and web testing different?

The difference between client-server and web testing is as follows:

There are two distinct components for testing in a client-server application. The application is deployed on the server machine for web page testing, whereas the .exe is executed on client machines for client-server testing. The test is performed across various categories, including graphical user interfaces on both sides, load, functionality, backend, and client-server interaction. This environment is mostly used in Intranet environments. QA testers are aware of the number of servers and clients and their locations in the test scenarios.

The web application is a little different and more complicated to test, as the QA testers do not have complete control over the web application. The web app is deployed on a server whose location is unknown, and there are no .exe installed on the client system. Testers have to test it using several web browsers. As web applications are expected to be tested across a variety of browsers and operating systems, they are tested for browser and operating system compatibility, error handling, load testing, backend, and static page testing.

A Complete Guide to Web App Testing

4 Parts