Web Testing: A Complete guide about testing web applications

In my previous post I have outlined points to be considered while testing web applications. Now we will see some more details about web application testing with web testing test cases. I always love to share practical knowledge, which in case can be useful to several users in their career life. This is quite a lengthy article, so sit back and get relaxed to get most out of it.

First let’s see web testing checklists:

1) Functionality Testing

2) Usability testing

3) Interface testing

4) Compatibility testing

5) Performance testing

6) Security testing

1) Functionality Testing:

Test for – all the links in web pages, database connection, forms used for submitting or getting information from user in the web pages, Cookie testing etc.

Check all the links:

Test forms in all pages:

Forms are the integral part of any website. Forms are used for receiving information from users and to interact with them. So what should be checked on these forms?

Let’s take example of the search engine project currently I am working on, in this project we have advertiser and affiliate signup steps. Each sign up step is different but its dependent on the other steps. So sign up flow should get executed correctly. There are different field validations like email Ids, User financial info validations etc. All these validations should get checked in manual or automated web testing.

Cookies Testing:

Cookies are small files stored on the user machine. These are basically used to maintain the session- mainly the login sessions. Test the application by enabling or disabling the cookies in your browser options. Test if the cookies are encrypted before writing to user machine. If you are testing the session cookies (i.e. cookies that expire after the session ends) check for login sessions and user stats after session ends. Check effect on application security by deleting the cookies. (I will soon write a separate article on cookie testing as well)

Validate your HTML/CSS:

If you are optimizing your site for Search engines then HTML/CSS validation is the most important one. Mainly validate the site for HTML syntax errors. Check if  the site is crawlable to different search engines.

Database testing:

Data consistency is also very important in web application. Check for data integrity and errors while you edit, delete, modify the forms or do any DB related functionality.

Check if all the database queries are executing correctly, data is retrieved and also updated correctly. More on database testing could be load on DB,we will address this in web load or performance testing below.

2) Usability Testing:

Test for navigation:

Navigation means how an user surfs the web pages, different controls like buttons, boxes or how the user uses the links on the pages to surf different pages.

Usability testing includes the following:

Content checking:

Content should be logical and easy to understand. Check for spelling errors. Usage  of dark colours annoys the users and should not be used in the site theme. You can follow some standard colours that are used for web page and content building. These are the common accepted standards like what I mentioned above about annoying colours, fonts, frames etc.

Content should be meaningful. All the anchor text links should be working properly. Images should be placed properly with proper sizes.

These are some of basic important standards that should be followed in web development. Your task is to validate all for UI testing.

Other user information for user help:

Like search option, sitemap also help files etc. Sitemap should be present with all the links in websites with proper tree view of navigation. Check for all links on the sitemap.

“Search in the site” option will help users to find content pages that they are looking for easily and quickly. These are all optional items and if present they should be validated.

3) Interface Testing:

The main interfaces are:

Web server and application server interface

Application server and Database server interface.



Check if all the interactions between these servers are executed and errors are handled properly. If database or web server returns any error message for any query by application server then application server should catch and display these error messages appropriately to the users. Check what happens if user interrupts any transaction in-between? Check what happens if connection to the web server is reset in between?

4) Compatibility Testing:

Compatibility of your website is a very important testing aspect. See which compatibility test to be executed:

Browser compatibility:

In my web-testing career I have experienced this as the most influencing part on web site testing.

Some applications are very dependent on browsers. Different browsers have different configurations and settings that your web page should be compatible with. Your website coding should be a cross browser platform compatible. If you are using java scripts or AJAX calls for UI functionality, performing security checks or validations then give more stress on browser compatibility testing of your web application.Test web application on different browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape Navigator, AOL, Safari, Opera browsers with different versions.

OS compatibility:

Some functionality in your web application is that it may not be compatible with all operating systems. All new technologies used in web development like graphic designs, interface calls like different API’s may not be available in all Operating Systems.

Hence test your web application on different operating systems like Windows, Unix, MAC, Linux, Solaris with different OS flavors.

Mobile browsing:

We are in new technology  era. So in future Mobile browsing will rock. Test your web pages on mobile browsers. Compatibility issues may be there on mobile devices as well.

Printing options:

If you are giving page-printing options then make sure fonts, page alignment, page graphics etc., are  getting printed properly. Pages should  fit to the paper size or as per the size mentioned in the printing option.

5) Performance testing:

Web application should sustain to heavy load. Web performance testing should include:

Test application performance on different internet connection speed.

Web load testing: You need to test if many users are accessing or requesting the same page. Can system sustain in peak load times? Site should handle many simultaneous user requests, large input data from users, simultaneous connection to DB, heavy load on specific pages etc.

Web Stress testing: Generally stress means stretching the system beyond its specified limits. Web stress testing is performed to break the site by giving stress and its checked as how the system reacts to stress and how it  recovers from crashes. Stress is generally given on input fields, login and sign up areas.

In web performance testing website functionality on different operating systems and different hardware platforms is checked for software and hardware memory leakage errors.

6) Security Testing:

Following are some of the test cases for web security testing:

I think I have addressed all the major web testing methods. I have worked for around 2 years out of my testing career on web testing. There are several experts who have spent their whole career life on web testing. If I missed out addressing some important web testing aspect then let me know in the comments below. I will keep updating the article for latest testing information.

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