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What is Web Application Testing? Techniques and Tools

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Web application testing is a process of testing web-based applications to ensure that they meet functional, security, and performance requirements. It involves a series of tests that are designed to evaluate the functionality, usability, reliability, security, and performance of a web application. The goal of web application testing is to identify and report any defects, bugs, or vulnerabilities in the application before it is released to the public.

Web Application Testing Techniques

Web Application Testing Techniques

1. Functionality Testing of a Website

Functionality Testing of a Website is a process that includes several testing parameters like user interface, APIs, database testing, security testing, client and server testing and basic website functionalities. Functional testing is very convenient and it allows users to perform both manual and automated testing. It is performed to test the functionalities of each feature on the website.

Web-based Testing Activities include:

Test that all links in your web pages are working correctly and make sure there are no broken links. Links to be checked will include –

  • Outgoing links

  • Internal links

  • Anchor Links

  • MailTo Links

Test Forms are working as expected. This will include-

  • Scripting checks on the form are working as expected. For example- if a user does not fill in a mandatory field in a form an error message is shown.

  • Check default values are being populated

  • Once submitted, the data in the forms is submitted to a live database or is linked to a working email address

  • Forms are optimally formatted for better readability

Test Cookies are working as expected. Cookies are small files used by websites to primarily remember active user sessions so you do not need to log in every time you visit a website. Cookie Testing will include

  • Testing cookies (sessions) are deleted either when the cache is cleared or when they reach their expiry.

  • Delete cookies (sessions) and test that login credentials are asked for when you next visit the site.

Test HTML and CSS to ensure that search engines can crawl your site easily. This will include

  • Checking for Syntax Errors

  • Readable Color Schemas

  • Standard Compliance. Ensure standards such as W3C, OASIS, IETF, ISO, ECMA, or WS-I are followed.

Test business workflow– This will include

  • Testing your end–to–end workflow/ business scenarios which takes the user through a series of web pages to complete.

  • Test negative scenarios as well, such that when a user executes an unexpected step, an appropriate error message or help is shown in your web application.

2. Usability testing:

Usability Testing has now become a vital part of any web-based project. It can be carried out by testers like you or a small focus group similar to the target audience of the web application.

Test the site Navigation:

  • Menus, buttons or Links to different pages on your site should be easily visible and consistent on all webpages

Test the Content:

  • Content should be legible with no spelling or grammatical errors.

  • Images if present should contain an “alt” text

3. Interface Testing:

Three areas to be tested here are – Application, Web and Database Server

  • Application: Test requests are sent correctly to the Database and output on the client side is displayed correctly. Errors if any must be caught by the application and must be only shown to the administrator and not the end user.

  • Web Server: The test Web server is handling all application requests without any service denial.

  • Database Server: Make sure queries sent to the database give the expected results.

Test system response when the connection between the three layers (Application, Web and Database) cannot be established and an appropriate message is shown to the end user.

4. Database Testing:

The database is one critical component of your web application and stress must be laid to test it thoroughly. Testing activities will include-

  • Test if any errors are shown while executing queries

  • Data Integrity is maintained while creating, updating or deleting data in the database.

  • Check the response time of queries and fine-tune them if necessary.

  • Test data retrieved from your database is shown accurately in your web application

5. Compatibility testing.

Compatibility tests ensure that your web application displays correctly across different devices. This would include-

Browser Compatibility Test: The same website in different browsers will display differently. You need to test if your web application is being displayed correctly across browsers, JavaScript, AJAX and if authentication is working fine. You may also check for Mobile Browser Compatibility.

The rendering of web elements like buttons, text fields etc. changes with changes in the Operating System. Make sure your website works fine for various combinations of Operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac and Browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.

6. Performance Testing:

This will ensure your site works under all loads. Software Testing activities will include but not be limited to –

  • Load testing - It is the simplest form of testing conducted to understand the behaviour of the system under a specific load. Load testing will result in measuring important business-critical transactions and load on the database, application server, etc. are also monitored.

  • Stress testing - It is performed to find the upper limit capacity of the system and also to determine how the system performs if the current load goes well above the expected maximum.

  • Soak testing - Soak Testing also known as endurance testing is performed to determine the system parameters under the continuous expected load. During soak tests, the parameters such as memory utilization is monitored to detect memory leaks or other performance issues. The main aim is to discover the system's performance under sustained use.

  • Spike testing - Spike testing is performed by increasing the number of users suddenly by a very large amount and measuring the performance of the system. The main aim is to determine whether the system will be able to sustain the workload.

7. Security testing:

Security Testing is vital for an e-commerce website that stores sensitive customer information like credit cards. Testing Activities will include-

  • Test unauthorized access to secure pages should not be permitted

  • Restricted files should not be downloadable without appropriate access

  • Check sessions are automatically killed after prolonged user inactivity

  • On the use of SSL certificates, the website should re-direct to encrypted SSL pages.

Web Application Testing Tools

Testing tools for web applications increase reliability, reduce downtime and increase ROI. They are different types of tools that help in various web testing activities, from the capture of requirements to test management.

Web Application Testing Tools

Various Web Testing Tools

Here is the list of various Web Testing Tools which is are as follows:

1. Testpad

Testpad is a simpler manual test tool, which is ideal for testing web applications. Bearing in mind that pragmatism is a priority over method, test plans are inspired by a checklist and can be tailored to a wide range of styles like discovery testing, Agile manual hand, BDD syntax, and even conventional test case management. Now we will discuss some key features of Testpad:

  • Fill in new tests when you talk about new ideas.

  • Fast integration with issue trackers, JIRA included.

  • Guest testers who do not need accounts are invited by email.

2. Ranorex

Ranorex Webtestit provides out-of-the-box Selenium and Protractor web test automation, using TypeScript or java. Save precious time by creating page objects automatically, locators for the UI feature, and boilerplate code. Disseminate cross-browser research to local WebDriver endpoints and a selenium grid. Let’s have some key features of Ranorex:

  • Screenshots and generates UI selectors instantly using Chrome DevTool’s Ranorex Selocity extension.

  • Integrates CI servers including VSTS, Jenkins and TestRail case management systems for defect monitoring such as Jira.

  • Produces robust test suites that are maintainable.


HPE Unified Functional Test is the leading method for measuring cross-platform automation. Cloud, Windows, SAP, Delphi, Web, ActiveX, Flex, Android, Oracle, and Ios can be automatically installed in other applications. PowerBuilder, Siebel, Stingray, Visual Basic, and many others. The list is enormous about the development environment it can automate! Some of UFT’s characteristics include business process monitoring, keyword-based structures, XML support, reliable control points, and test results. Features of HP UFT:

  • Save the expected result in the form of a monitor or GUI object and compare it to a display or event.

  • Sending test summaries to software for test management.

  • Data management for test data access.

4. Test IO

Make sure the websites and apps operate all across the world by checking them on real devices and on real-world terms in real browsers. Testing IO allows you to use the skills and insight of thousands of test experts to enhance the quality of your web applications and websites. More than two hundred customer-loving companies rely on the strength and flexibility of the Test IO to produce applications of the highest quality quickly. Let’s have a look at the features of Test IO:

  • In real-world conditions, broaden your coverage to hundreds of equipment, platforms, and people. Make sure your software works on all devices, operating systems, and browsers.

  • Clean and impartial eyes are on your company for our professional experts. Testers discover bugs that may not be identified by the internal team.

  • Mankind-powered isn’t slow. With on-demand, customizable assessments that meet your needs, eliminate the QA bottleneck.

5. Soap UI

SoapUI is the world’s most popular API test tool for testing REST and SOAP APIs – it has been specifically designed for API testing. Hundreds of the world’s leading firms, including Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, HP, NASA, PayPal, MasterCard, Starbucks, FedEx, Pfizer, and others, use soapui NG Pro.

  • Load Excel info, files, and databases to simulate the interaction between consumers and your APIs.

  • Reuse your test cases with just a few clicks for load tests and security scans

6. LoadUI Pro

Smartbear LoadUI Pro lets you create sophisticated scriptless loading tests quickly, distribute them on the cloud using load agents and monitor the server performance as the load on them increases. Detailed reports can be viewed and your load tests easily automated on Jenkins, Bamboo, TFS, and other automation frameworks – if you already use SoapUI you can convert your test case to a 3-click load test – without a single script line being written.

  • The quick transformation of SoapUI functional tests as load tests.

  • Drag and drop load tests on cloud dispensers.

7. TestRail

TestRail provides comprehensive case management to help you organize trials and obtain insights into the testing activity in real time. Powerful reports and metrics allow QA teams to boost productivity and provide quick feedback. Features of TestRail:

  • Highly individualized with cloud or on-site setup options.

  • Track progress with information dashboards and monitoring activities.

Advantages of Web Application Testing:

  • Helps to ensure the quality and reliability of the application

  • Helps to minimize the risk of potential security threats and vulnerabilities

  • Improves user experience by ensuring that the application is functioning properly

  • Helps to identify and fix defects and bugs in the application

  • Helps to reduce maintenance costs by catching defects early

  • Helps to increase customer satisfaction by ensuring that the application meets their needs

Disadvantages of Web Application Testing:

  • Can be time-consuming and expensive

  • Requires specialized skills and knowledge

  • Can be difficult to automate and requires manual testing in many cases

  • Can be challenging to replicate real-world usage scenarios

  • Testing may not cover all possible scenarios or use cases

  • Testing may not catch all defects or vulnerabilities in the application

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