Web Application Testing:  Know All About It!

The business of today’s generation mainly revolves around the internet to expand its client and customer base. 

This is where web application testing plays a role. As web applications are developed these days, the potential of bugs also arises which needs to be cleared for the smooth functioning of the application.

What is Web Application Testing?

The simplest explanation is that it is software testing that aims at testing the web application. 

Testing the application before it goes public helps in clearing the faults which might cause a hindrance to end-users. 

The fixing of bugs on later stages of the web application will be expensive for the developers. It is also a time-consuming process. It will require the tester to go through every domain and find the faults. 

Steps for Web Application Testing

Web application testing comprises of multiple steps, which will ensure that the application runs smoothly and securely. The tests performed can be of different types to check the functionality of every aspect of the web application. 

Component testing

This type of testing checks whether each component of the web applications is working according to the functional specification document. 

Therefore, this test is also called as component testing. The testing activities are conducted on links, cookies, web forms, and HTML and CSS testing.

Verification of major aspects 

This test verifies the ease of use of the application for the end-user. It mainly tests the controls, navigation, and contents of the application.

Interface testing

Interface testing ensures that all communication between the web server and application server works smoothly. In this test, the compatibility of the server with hardware, software, and databases are tested.

Usability testing

This is a non-functional part yet an important aspect of the testing process. This test is carried out to ensure that the application is compatible with all the browsers and devices. This is necessary to ensure a smooth end-user experience. 

Performance testing

This testing is done after the functionality testing. Performance test mainly checks the performance of the application under heavy loads. So the tests performed are load testing and stress testing.

Security testing

A very crucial step in application testing is security testing. This test is the final step, which makes sure the application, is protected from unauthorized access. 

It also ensures that the application is not vulnerable to the harmful actions of viruses or other malicious activities.

How to test Web Application?

The application testing can be done manually as well as automatically. For manual testing, the developers need to hire a web tester who has excellent experience and knowledge. 

The automatic testing can be done using tools, which are available online. The tester will follow the checklist and look for loopholes in the application. 

These loopholes can become a threat to the website in the future. The tester will also check the stress and load performance of the application. 

A properly functioning web application will have good traffic and trusted customers.

Having a website is essential for any business to thrive in this internet-centric generation. Developing a website is a laborious task. Do you think developing a website is all that is needed for its full-fledged functionality? 

No. Any website needs to undergo testing to ensure that it is user-friendly and fully functional.

Web application testing is a type of troubleshooting. It tests the functionality of different parts of the application to ensure it works to the full capacity of launching. 

This test also ensures that the website is safe and not vulnerable to malicious attacks. The testing process has multiple steps, which examine different aspects of the application.

Why Web Application Testing Is Important?

A website application with errors or unnecessary leads is inappropriate for users. Web application testing is a crucial step in launching any application to ensure its maximum usability. 

Web application testing ensures:

  • The application or website is not launched with defective contents and meets the requirements of the user.
  • That the developers created a worthy application and the client is satisfied with the product. This will guarantee the rehiring of the team again.
  • The website is protected from viruses and unauthorized attackers which can compromise the confidential information of users.
  • Testing of application is an execution process, which determines whether the application has met its specifications. It also ensures that the application syncs well with the surrounding for which was designed. 

Benefits of Web Application Testing

Testing the application before making it public will save the developers from awkward situations. These situations may be errors on the site, inappropriately functioning options, or attack by bugs. Few points to consider are:


The way the application or website looks in a browser won’t necessarily look the same on a mobile device or another browser. 

On testing the compatibility and functionality of the application, this issue can be sorted. The application will smoothly work on different browsers. 

Testing will also fix problems faced during opening the site or the images available in the application.

Flow and look of the site

The look of the site creates an impression to the user. If the contents and images on the application are aligned and displayed properly, it creates an interest in the users. 

Usability and performance testing of the application will help in bringing flow and good look at the site.


Testing will help the users land on the appropriate page on clicking an option in the application. 

The database testing will ensure that all the links available in the application are correctly aligned and will lead to the exact page. 

Spelling and Grammar

This is a crucial aspect of any website or application. A website with spelling or grammar errors in the content will not hold the interest of the users. 

Usability testing will ensure that all the contents in the application are correctly written in terms of grammar and spelling.

Security and User-friendly interface

All the websites before launching have to pass the testing phase. This will ensure that the application has met the requirements for which it was designed. 

For a user-friendly interface and seamless experience, the security testing of web testing plays a vital role. 

Web application testing will not only examine the functionality of the application. It also takes care of the non-functional part of the application. 

Security being an important factor, the testing process blocks any unauthorized actions, which can become a threat to the site. 

Therefore, web application testing is an all-around process that is necessary for any website to work seamlessly and effectively.

Guide to Web Application Testing

In the current scenario, all the industries demand the applications of the web, which render high-quality experience to the users. 

The experience is provided across several browsers, platforms, and devices. While testing the applications of the web, the testers need to focus primarily on some factors. 

These factors include the performance, accessibility, usability, security, compatibility, and functionality of the website. All these factors serve a major role in enhancing the experience of the user. 

Given below is a brief of the factors, which should be focused while performing testing of the web application.


Several browsers should support the application. This marks for the compatibility of the application. The use of applications on mobile phones is increasing and therefore, the industries want their application to be compatible with mobile phones. 

The applications, which are compatible across several platforms, increase the experience of the user on all the devices. 


The testers need to focus on the performance of the users under several different conditions. The testers of the application need to be careful that the application does not clash when it is subjected to a heavy load of work. 

There can be cases when the minute flaws in the programming or design of the application can have a major negative impact on the performance of the application across various platforms. 

However, there are several tools to promote automation of the application when it is subjected to a large amount of work. 


The testers need to make the right choice of the parameters to make sure that the application has a wide range of usage. 

The usability of the application is an important tool to increase the number of users of the application. Thus, it becomes important for the tester to evaluate and analyze the application’s usability considering a number of parameters. 

The testers should perform the testing of the usability of the application before it is released. 

The parameters to be considered to check the usability of the application are the design of user interface, navigability, speed, accessibility, and readability of the content. 


Focusing on the security of the application is of prime importance. A minute vulnerability in the application can make a path for theft of a large amount of data. 

This, in turn, can shake and disrupt the companies. It has a negative impact on the reputation and financial condition of the companies. Also, the company loses the trust of the public in the global market. 

Thus, it becomes mandatory to test the application before it is launched. The application can be tested by having control over the quality and by determining the standards of the code. 

In addition, security should be designed in order to face the external and internal challenges of the application. 


An application’s success depends on the features and functionality of the application. The functionality of the application includes features such as higher reliability and the minimal length of the test. 

The behavior of the application, which is expected, can be determined by testing the functionality. The testing of application requires performing the bundle of tasks and then, comparing their results with the required output. 

Testing the functionality of the application enables the development of the application at a faster rate and improves the quality of the application.

How To Automate Web Application Testing?

Plan the test cases to automate

The first step is to decide what test cases the tester wants to automate. One cannot automate every test aspect, so he needs to choose the necessary ones. 

The tester needs to plan a sequence thoroughly & carefully, which will be best for his web application. Several simple wells planned automated test sums up to a larger automated test. 

Test early & regularly

The web application should get tested prior to its use. All the errors should be identified and corrected before the customer uses it. 

Automated testing should be done as earlier as possible which creates a good test environment. Regular testing & cleaning is needed for the web application to stay junk-free and well functioning. 

Automated testing should be done as often as possible.

Selection of the tool

It is one of the most important steps for the automation of web application testing. There are several tools available in the market for this purpose. 

The tester should check properly that which tool will serve best for his application & how to use it. Proper knowledge about the tools and the application is most important for better automation. 

A tester should also consider his budget, and business needs. Some of the most trending tools are selenium, UFT, TestComplete, soapUI, Ranorex, Postman, etc.

Division of the work

Dividing the work makes the process more efficient. A company needs to have that kind of skillful QA engineers for the automation of web applications. The tester should have sound technical knowledge. 

The person who writes the test script should know the script language well. The division of work should be based on the work experience and skills of the team members. 

The collaborated teamwork results in the better creation of the automated test scripts & automated web application testing.

Quality manual test cases

The quality manual test cases are the key to quality automated testing. The data input for automated testing is usually stored in the external files. 

The new manually checked database is added in it without any changes to the previous database. The well-structured data helps the automation work efficiently. 

It eases the writing of the test scripts to a great extent.

Create automated test resistant to changes in UI

The automated test applications are well functioning under the test field, but the UI may change between builds. It mostly occurs in the early stages. This problem may affect the test result degrading the quality of the automated testing quality. 

It arises the problem in which the old automation does not work properly in the upcoming versions of the application. Regular replacement of old words with new words in a new version or use of unique keywords should be done before automation. 

Automation should be developed which is resistant to change in UI.

Maintaining the compatibility

The automated web application testing of a web application may differ in the quality of the test result in different browsers & operating systems. It may work perfectly in one OS but due to lack of certain features, degradation of the test result may occur in another OS. 

The same goes with the browsers. That's why cross-browser testing should be done prior to the application. The functioning of the automation should be checked in all kinds of browsers/ OS/versions/devices.

Methods of Web Application Testing on Mobile Devices

1. Testing Web Application on Mobile devices using Emulator 

Test Complete allows testing mobile web applications using an emulator with a pre-configured phone and a tablet browser profile that simplifies the maintenance and testing setup as no real devices are required in this procedure. Mobile web application testing with Test Complete is quite similar to testing regular websites that are non-mobile. It uses Google Chrome to emulate mobile browsers and the emulation mode changes a few characteristics of browsers to match those mobile devices.

2. Web Application Testing on mobile devices using iOS 

The emulators for iOS and Androids are designed for testing native applications but they include various default web browsers for every mobile device that shows a very good estimate of how pages web pages will be delivered.  An iOS simulator is a tool that is available within the Xcode but it is Mac only, hence, Windows and Linux operating systems require other methods for testing applications. 

3. Web Application Testing on Real Mobile Devices

Web application testing on real devices is always best as there are various parts of the experience that cannot be emulated. The user experience consists of many factors such as variable network conditions, pixel density, the relative size of tap targets, and load time of real pages. Testing on real mobile devices enables physical testing under real-world conditions.  

4. Mobile Application Web Testing on Browser Stack 

Browser Stack is a tool for cross-browser testing on a large number of mobile devices and desktop browsers. It is more than just screenshots as they make it possible to interact directly with the web pages. 

Challenges For Web Application Testing On Mobile Devices

  • It should be able to download: In mobile devices, the application to be installed must be accessible from the platforms such as play store, app installation store.
  • Variety in Mobile Applications: Mobile devices shall have different operating systems such as iOS, Windows Phone, Android, etc. 
  • Availability of Devices: When there are various growing devices and versions of the operating system, access to the right set of devices becomes a constant testing challenge in mobile applications. 
  • Network Operators in Mobile devices: There are near about 400 network operators such as CDMA, GSM which are most common whereas FOMA and TS-SCDMA are few less common of them. 
  • Scripting: Scripting is a greater challenge in mobile application testing as various devices are different in terms of keystrokes, menu structure, display properties, and input methods.
  • Compatibility: Compatibility testing is very important for mobile devices. 
  • Black box Testing: It does not include the internal coding logic of an application in mobile devices; it tests the application with functionality without peering the internal structure of an application. 

Web Application Testing vs. Mobile Application Testing

Web application testing like the testing in a group network is quite different than mobile application testing as mobile applications require different testing methods and procedures to different contours and configurations. 

There are few similarities between mobile and web applications testing as many mobile applications are at least in part web applications and the same testing regimens and techniques are pursued. 

Test management software is a key building block for the overall testing strategy and looks to account for the wide range of inputs and possible problems associated with mobile and web applications.

A minor difference between Mobile and Web App Testing

The mobile applications are for a large number of devices and the growing wide range of communication than web applications, which is the most obvious difference between web application testing and mobile application testing. 

However, the testing challenge certainly expands dimensionally and exponentially. Mobile application testing addresses different functions with respect to various environmental conditions.

Web applications are focused on desktop functions with the additional operational features like, mouse, cursor, Wi-Fi network that are not required in mobile applications. 

The larger disclosure of mobile devices to attract consumer interest has added to many customers by building a closer connection with their mobile devices apart from operational and other stationary devices. 

Although the difference between these two computing categories is decreasing with the introduction of more web applications that are available in mobile formats that may run on several devices including a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, lock system, heart pacemaker or fitness tracker, etc. 

However, it has been observed that mobile application testing is more customer-facing than web application procedures for improvement and development.

Different Technical Challenges in Web Application Testing vs Mobile Application Testing:

RAM and storage limitations

Mobile devices generally available with the memory of 1 or 4 GB RAM and external small 16 GB SSD and these restrictions put some constraints on the storage capacity of devices for testing operations to the huge amount of memory and storage that any web browser accesses.

Different interactions for different users

Inputs in the Desktops have been constant with the other external hardware devices such as a mouse, keyboard, and other storages, they stand for everything such as from browsing social networking sites to playing a game on desktop computers. 

Whereas, in mobile applications, more challenges are there in addition to a variety of touch strokes such as swiping, pulling, and pinching, voice assistants like “OK Google” are also there. 

Web applications are being tested for regular browsers but they need to be tested separately on mobile devices due to the following major differences between them:

  • Screens of mobile devices are smaller than desktop computers
  • Less memory and storage space on mobile devices
  • Cellular network connections and Wi-Fi are used in mobile devices whereas desktop computers use Wi-Fi connected to broadband.
  • Limited battery life as most of the time they are unplugged
  • In mobile devices, the amount to be paid for used data depends on the limit of data used

Distinct application types 

Web applications on the desktop are developed using CSS, HTML, and JavaScript with few variations as per the developer's choice. 

Mobile applications are assembled as native apps, they are designed for mobile applications that may use a particular platform to represent system APIs that are addressed with web code. 

Behavior with and without connectivity

Any web application whether on mobile or on desktop shall be of no use in the absence of an internet connection. 

However, few games or applications may run in both mobile devices without internet connectivity and text editors such as notepad might retain functionality even when the other application in the device such as wi-fi, Bluetooth, incoming and outgoing calls, etc has been turned off or if the device is in a distant location.

Screen size

In application testing, the screen size of the devices creates a major difference. The devices of smaller sizes construct a challenge in application testing as in such devices the steps of text alignment or image rotation is not so easy as compared to the devices of larger screen size. However, these steps are easily configured in desktop or laptop computers.

The Web Application Testing Checklists

1. Usability testing 

It includes the checking of:

  • Proper site loading time
  • Font size & spacing should be as per requirement
  • Proper care in the use of flash & add-ons in the website
  • Display of 404 error in case of any internal link breakdown
  • The clear mentioning of company’s contact & other information
  • Navigation should be easily accessible, understandable & usable
  • Careful use of correct links & buttons at the right places
  • Presence of site search bar 
  • Presence of menu option with an easily visible sign
  • Use of meaningful & simple words
  • Headings & tiles should be prominent & descriptive
  • Critical & basic content should be displayed on the home page
  • Smart use of font style, size & colors for easier use
  • Short & meaningful keywords in URLs to help both the user & search engine
  • The links, logo, contact info, menu, etc should be present at the standard right places where they are

Generally found in most of the websites

  • Proper placing of the images of good quality & reasonable size
  • Proper background of the website page for proper visibility of the content

2. Functionality testing

  • Provision of the valid HTML
  • Textboxes, dropdowns, radio options, checkboxes, combo box inputs, links, etc should be validated
  • Check the proper functioning of all the external, internal & e-mail links of the website
  • The website should be properly scanned to find & remove broken links or dead links
  • While creating web forms, the control buttons & data input facilities should be checked properly
  • Test the provision of asterisk sign for the mandatory fields
  • Test the numeric input blanks should not show the alphabet keyboard if used then show error
  • Check that the numeric keyboard has all the possible input methods

3. Compatibility testing

  • Test the website in different browsers
  • Try different versions of the browsers
  • Test the images display in different browsers
  • Test the website in mobile browsers
  • Test the website in different operating systems

4. Database testing

  • Test the functional requirements, business logic, application flow & database design
  • Check the tables, triggers, cursors, stored procedure & views properly
  • Test the tables, which get affected when the user updates & deletes something & mention it beforehand

5. Security testing

  • Test & show the web page, which contains important data like passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
  • Make sure that secret numbers and passwords are displayed in the encrypted mode
  • Show all the password features properly, such as register, change password, forgot password
  • Send the confirmation email or text message when the user creates a new password
  • Confirm the logging out of the user properly
  • Test the locking out of the user’s account if the password entered is wrong too many times.
  • Verify to ask the user whether to save the login password or not, block other cookies from saving the passwords
  • Warn the user each time when there is logging in of the user’s account from an unknown device
  • Proper showing of privacy policies
  • Ask for confirmation of password each time the user needs access to his personal security information

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Grzegorz Kłos
Grzegorz Kłos - Apphawks Co-founder
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