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Feb 26, 2018 - 6 minute read - Lists

Top 10 Web Software Testing Tool Categories to improve your testing

  • Web Browsers
  • Link Checkers
  • Automated Execution
  • HTTP Debug Proxies
  • Browser Dev Tools
  • Accessibility Checking Tools
  • HTML & CSS Validation Tools
  • Load Testing Tools
  • Mobile Browsers and Emulators
  • API Testing Tool

Top 10 Web Software Testing Tool Categories to improve your testing

(from EvilTester.com)

Web Testing becomes increasingly important as more applications are moved onto the cloud and mobile phones.

You can make your software testing more efficient and increase coverage by using a range of software testing tools.

In this post and video, we’ll describe the top 10 categories of tools you should consider using when testing your web application.

1 - Web Browsers

Obviously, you will need to use a browser to test your web application. And you will want to use a range of browsers to make sure that your site works on the browsers used by your customers.

You can use the web analytics from your server to help you identify the browsers most used on your site.

Remember to keep your browsers up to date and keep checking the top 5 browsers used to access your site.

Nothing sets a bad impression than a broken link on your site or application. Particularly if it is to your terms and conditions, or privacy policy.

There are many free link checkers available that can scan your website and report problems.

Be careful when you use them to limit the number of requests they use so you don’t accidentally perform a denial of service attack on your site.

And try to use more than one link checker because they often have different ideas of what a ‘link’ actually means.

3 - Automated Execution

Very often people talk about Test Automation as though it was only Automated Execution. But all the tool categories listed here can be classed as Test Automation.

There are many tools available to help with this. Selenium WebDriver is the most popular open source execution engine.

You need to take into account the technical skills on your project when you perform Automated Execution. Sometimes a commercial tool designed for helping “people who can’t code” automate web applications can cost more than hiring staff who can code to help you use open source tools.

Treat the concerns about “Automated GUI Execution is too flaky” with caution. Don’t try and automate all the GUI functionality, or everything through the GUI, but you can make your Automated Execution robust, and you should have the ability to automate against multiple browsers as well to help cross-browser compatibility.

4 - HTTP Debug Proxies

HTTP Debug Proxies help you view the HTTP traffic that is issued when you use a web application. The proxies can help you view the traffic to identify any odd behavior and requests which result in an error that you don’t notice through the GUI.

You can also use Proxies as a way of recording the evidence of your testing, by capturing all the requests made during testing or automated execution.

As you become proficient with Proxies you can start moving into security testing and bypassing the browser to test the server directly by issuing HTTP calls directly from the Proxy.

5 - Browser Developer Tools

Almost every browser now has Developer tools built in. These can help you view the structure of the page, see the CSS that is applied, and spot any JavaScript errors that occur when you use the web application.

The tools become more powerful with each browser release and you can now view HTTP traffic from within the browser and view processing time and memory usage.

Don’t let the name “Developer Tools” fool you, they can help you with Software Testing too.

6 - Accessibility Checking Tools

Accessibility requirements are often a forgotten element of Web Testing. You can find browser plugins, proxy plugins, and stand-alone accessibility crawlers to help you identify common accessibility issues.

Accessibility checkers will not replace the need to learn how to inspect a page and evaluate it for accessibility, but they are a good way to start learning about accessibility and making sure you don’t face any legal complications with a site that discriminates against people who want to access your website.

7 - HTML & CSS Validation Tools

One way to reduce the risk of cross-browser issues with your web application is to make sure the HTML and CSS comply with the W3C standards.

Using tools to scan your HTML and CSS and make sure they validate can help keep your site running even when browsers update to newer versions.

8 - Load Testing Tools

Load, Stress and Performance testing are specialisms within Software Testing, but there are tools available which can help you get started so that you have more confidence that your site and application can handle spikes in user load.

After all, everyone hopes that their website and application are going to take off - you can help your project identify any capability issues with your server early if you start incorporating load and performance testing into your process.

9 - Mobile Browsers and Emulators

You will have used desktop browsers to test your application. Make sure you don’t neglect mobile devices. According to statista.com in Quarter 4 of 2017 over 51% of the global internet traffic originated from mobile devices. http://bit.ly/2CJheZQ

Mobile devices often have smaller screens and sometimes unconventional JavaScript and rendering engines so while your site and app may work on a desktop or laptop, it might fail on a mobile device.

With mobile devices, you also have to take into account the size of the page, images and how long it takes to load - the Browser Dev tools we mentioned earlier can often help you identify if your page will be slow on mobile devices.

10 - API Testing Tool

Just because you are using a web application does not mean you can’t use an HTTP API Client or Testing Tool.

These tools can help you issue HTTP requests that your forms or JavaScript might issue, which can help you test the back-end server, or even just setup data to use via the main GUI.

The more you understand the technology of your application, the better you will be able to test it.

What Next?

Have a look at our other videos where we explore tools that can help with your web testing and visit eviltester.com\webtesting for more resources and information that can help.


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