Web Application Testing: A 6-Step Guide

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Almost every business today runs online. The internet is one of the easiest avenues for businesses to reach users, and websites are a great way to impress your customers. So, when you’re building a web application for your business, it’s important that you make it the best version it can be.

To make sure that your web application is good enough to impress customers and avoid any negative impact, you have to test your application and fix any issues. So, in this post, I’ll be talking about the six steps to test your web application.

6-Step Guide to Web Application Testing

When you’re testing a web application, there are a lot of things you have to check for. This checklist can be divided into six major steps as follows:

  1. Functionality testing
  2. Usability testing
  3. Interface testing
  4. Compatibility testing
  5. Performance testing
  6. Security testing

1. Functionality Testing

The first thing you check in your web application is to make sure it does the task it was built for. When you build an application, you have a purpose for that application.

For example, if you’re building an e-commerce website like Amazon, the purpose of the application would be to let users buy stuff online. You have to make sure the products are listed in the right way. You also have to make sure that the links to the products work fine. Payment gateways and processing are some of the major things you should test because nobody would like their money to get stuck in the process.

All the links in the web application should also be tested to make sure they’re working. These links include outgoing links pointing to another site and internal links pointing to another page on the same website.

Web applications include forms where users can enter data. The data can be their name, contact details, etc. In case there are fields in the form that are mandatory, you have to make sure that the web application doesn’t submit the form without those fields. If you’re using input validation, for example, to check if an email address is valid or not, then you’ll have to make validation checks.

If your web applications show custom data to users, then you have to make sure that the cookies are handled properly. One of the most important tests for a dynamic web application is to make sure that the custom data being displayed is specific to the user viewing it. Basically, in functionality testing, you test that the web application is working from end to end.

You can find more tips for functionality testing here.

2. Usability Testing

The whole point of building an application for your business is to impress your customers. Usability testing is where you consider the users’ experience while using your application. This is the step where you test how pleasing your application is to your users.

You’ll test how easy it is for the user to navigate through and use the functions of your application. You also have to make sure that the contents of your web application are easily visible.

While you’re reading this post, you wouldn’t be impressed if there were a lot of grammatical mistakes, right? Similarly, you have to test for grammatical mistakes and typos in your application because it would affect the users’ impression of it.


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3. Interface Testing

A typical web application has three main components: a web server that manages the functions of the web application, a web browser that a user uses to interact with the server, and a database. Interface testing checks the communication between the web server, the web browser, and the database.

In interface testing, you make sure that there’s proper communication going on between these three components. You’ll have to check if the data being passed is safely getting to its destination. This also includes testing for interruptions during data transfer and making sure that the communication between the interfaces is smooth.

4. Compatibility Testing

Compatibility testing is the step where you test if your web application works fine on a wide range of devices. You can divide compatibility testing into three major categories:

  1. Browser compatibility
  2. Operating system compatibility
  3. Device compatibility

Browser Compatibility

There are a lot of browsers on the market today. Just to name a few, you have Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. The users of your application may be using any of these browsers. So you have to make sure that your application runs without any problem on all of them.

Operating System Compatibility

Similar to web browsers, there are a lot of operating systems out there. If your web application communicates with the operating system it’s being used through, it’s important to test if it works fine on all operating systems.

Device Compatibility

With the electronic sector continuously developing new inventions, you see various kinds of devices. Though these devices please users, it creates a headache for the developers, who must design their application to work on these new devices, such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc. You have to test your web application to make sure it works on a broad range of devices.

5. Performance Testing

When you make your web application online, there’ll be times where it will attract a lot of users based on what’s happening out in the world or in current events. For example, an e-commerce site will get more traffic when it has a Christmas sale, compared to a normal day. You should test your application to make sure that it can handle this traffic load.

You wouldn’t want your application to break down when its demand is the highest. To prepare your application for that, you put the application under stress. You push it to its limits and see how it responds. Then, when you find the breaking point, you can decide whether to upgrade it for better reliability or if the current setup is good enough. While testing your application, you have to take care of the fundamentals of performance testing.

You can find a few helpful articles for testing here.

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6. Security Testing

Security is one of the most important aspects of any application. When you build a web application, you’ll be storing a lot of user and application data. This data can consist of sensitive information. You have to make sure that your application is secure and is hack-proof.

Security testing is the stage where you find out weak security points in your application. There are many ways to do this: automated security testing, ethical hacking, and penetration testing are the most used ones.

There are a lot of web application vulnerabilities. You can start testing your application for the top 10 vulnerabilities as listed by OWASP.

Summing It Up

As a web application developer or tester, you have to build the best version of your product. To know how far your application has to go to be its best, you’ll have to test it for various things. The six steps mentioned in this post cover all the major aspects for which you should test and fine-tune your application.

Iterative testing will help you improve your application to its best form. Though the primary tests of these six aspects can be taken care of by the developers or QAs, for intensive testing, you’ll have to assign dedicated teams. But that again depends on the requirements of the application.

That’s all for this blog. If you want to make the process of your web application easy, you can also check out Retrace, which is a great tool for helping application performance and quality. Good luck finding bugs and fixing them!

About Omkar Hiremath

This post was written by Omkar Hiremath. Omkar uses his BA in computer science to share theoretical and demo-based learning on various areas of technology, like ethical hacking, Python, blockchain, and Hadoop.