Like any other product you enjoy, your favorite web applications weren’t created with just a snap of one’s fingers. After the development process, websites go through web testing to make sure that they work as envisioned.
For example, Facebook’s first three accounts were test accounts, likely created to test the website’s functionality. But the company’s website testing process goes beyond creating test accounts as you will find out later.
What Is Web Testing?
Web testing refers to the process of checking several aspects of a web application for bugs (i.e., errors in its code) before it goes live. It is a form of software testing but focuses more on web applications. It ensures that visitors can access and use the website smoothly and securely.
Why Is Web Testing Important?
Web application testing can spell the difference between a website’s success and failure. Without proper testing, errors make their way to the live version of the site and affect user experience. Worse, vulnerabilities that can lead to data breaches can go undetected.
Ultimately, web testing protects a company’s reputation. Users tend to shy away from problematic websites, such as those with broken links, blank pages, and malfunctioning buttons. How the user interface looks may also matter to some people and can influence their buying decisions.
Types of Web Testing
There are several types of company website testing methods, and each is equally important. Below are six of them.
The goal of functionality testing is to check if all features, specifications, and web application requirements work as designed. For example, the login button should redirect users to the login page, and the signup link should lead to the signup form or page.
In 2019, over 8 billion records were exposed, according to the Edgescan Vulnerability Stats Report. Many of these breaches were due to vulnerabilities in the sites’ web application layers. Such statistics highlight the need for web application security testing to uncover and fix as many vulnerabilities as possible.
Security testing can come in the form of vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, risk assessment, ethical hacking, and others.
Interface testing checks a website’s visual elements to ensure every aspect users interact with is free from error. Also referred to as “user interface (UI) testing” or “graphic user interface (GUI) testing.”
The interface is the first part of a website users see and interact with, so it’s crucial to ensure it performs according to requirements. Graphics should work together, both aesthetically and functionally. Among the items that should be checked during the interface testing are fonts, menus, toolbars, color combinations, dropdown menus, and forms.
Web performance testing aims to check the readiness of a web application to handle expected loads. Performance testing can help determine the following:
- What web pages are slow and can become bottlenecks?
- How long does it take to load webpages?
- How many users can the website application handle at one time?
Knowing the answers to these questions enables web developers to fix performance issues before the website goes live. After performance testing, they may need to modify software or upgrade certain hardware.
To ensure that web applications work with dozens of browsers and operating systems (OSs) in use, compatibility testing is conducted. Among the top concerns in compatibility testing is making sure that websites are mobile-friendly, especially since about 54.8% of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
In usability testing, companies get people outside the company to use its website to gain insights into how they use and interact with it. Usability testing helps determine if a web application gives users what they want seamlessly. It aims to answer these questions:
- Are there aspects or features of the website that users found confusing?
- Did users expect more from the web application?
- Were the users able to perform the main functions of the web application?
Some web quality assurance testers use session recordings to perform usability testing while others employ eye-tracking equipment.
Website testing aims to uncover errors and vulnerabilities before web applications go live. The bugs discovered are then fixed, and the web application gets tested again. Web testing could be a tedious but rewarding process. It’s comparable to cooking—you keep on adjusting how a dish tastes, and only when you’ve achieved the desired result would you be ready to serve it.