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Website Testing Techniques

, 28 Nov 2011 CPOL
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Website testing techniques

Introduction

First, let’s have a web testing checklist:

  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 in the web pages for submitting or getting information from user, cookie testing.

Check all the Links

  • Test the outgoing links from all the pages from specific domain under test
  • Test all internal links
  • Test links jumping on the same pages
  • Test links used to send the email to admin or other users from web pages
  • Test to check if there are any orphan pages
  • Lastly in link checking, check for broken links in all above-mentioned links

Test Forms in all Pages

Forms are the integral part of any web site. Forms are used to get information from users and to keep interaction with them. So what should be checked on these forms?

  • First check all the validations on each field
  • Check for the default values of fields
  • Wrong inputs to the fields in the forms
  • Options to create forms if any, form delete, view or modify the forms

Let’s take an example of the search engine project I am currently working on. In this project, we have advertiser and affiliate signup steps. Each sign up step is different but dependent on other steps. So sign up flow should get executed correctly. There are different field validations like email ids, user financial information validations. 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 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 expire after the sessions ends), check for login sessions and user stats after session end. Check effect on application security by deleting the cookies. (I will soon write a separate article on cookie testing.)

Validate Your HTML/CSS

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

Database Testing

Data consistency is 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 correctly 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 the user surfs the web pages, different controls like buttons, boxes or how user uses the links on the pages to surf different pages.

Usability Testing Includes

Web site should be easy to use. Instructions should be provided clearly. Check if the provided instructions are correct meaning whether they satisfy the purpose.

Main menu should be provided on each page. It should be consistent.

Content Checking

Content should be logical and easy to understand. Check for spelling errors. Use of dark colors annoys users and should not be used in site theme. You can follow some standards that are used for web page and content building. These are common accepted standards like I mentioned above about annoying colors, 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 basic 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, help files, etc., sitemap should be present with all the links in web sites 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 they they are looking for easily and quickly. These are all optional items and if present, 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 properly. 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 users. Check what happens if user interrupts any transaction in-between? Check what happens if connection to web server is reset in between?

4. Compatibility Testing

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

  • Browser compatibility
  • Operating system compatibility
  • Mobile browsing
  • Printing options

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 web site coding should be cross browser platform compatible. If you are using JavaScripts 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 may not be compatible with all operating systems. All new technologies used in web development like graphics designs, interface calls like different APIs may not be available in all Operating Systems.

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

Mobile Browsing

This is the new technology age. So in future, Mobile browsing will rock. Test your web pages on mobile browsers. Compatibility issues may be there on mobile.

Printing Options

If you are giving page-printing options, then make sure fonts, page alignment, page graphics are getting printed properly. Pages should fit to 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:

  • Web Load Testing
  • Web Stress Testing

Test application performance on different internet connection speed.

In web load testing, 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.

Stress testing: Generally stress means stretching the system beyond its specification limits. Web stress testing is performed to break the site by giving stress and checked how system reacts to stress and how system recovers from crashes.

Stress is generally given on input fields, login and sign up areas.

In web performance testing web site functionality on different operating systems, different hardware platforms are checked for software, hardware memory leakage errors,

6. Security Testing

Following are some test cases for web security testing:

  • Test by pasting internal URL directly into browser address bar without login. Internal pages should not open.
  • If you are logged in using username and password and browsing internal pages, then try changing URL options directly, i.e., If you are checking some publisher site statistics with publisher site ID= 123. Try directly changing the URL site ID parameter to different site ID which is not related to logged in user. Access should be denied for this user to view others stats.
  • Try some invalid inputs in input fields like login username, password, input text boxes. Check the system reaction on all invalid inputs.
  • Web directories or files should not be accessible directly unless given download option.
  • Test the CAPTCHA for automates scripts logins.
  • Test if SSL is used for security measures. If used, proper message should get displayed when user switches from non-secure http:// pages to secure https:// pages and vice versa.
  • All transactions, error messages, security breach attempts should get logged in log files somewhere on web server.

I think I have addressed all major web testing methods. If I missed out addressing some important web testing aspect, then let me know in the comments below. I will keep on updating the article for latest testing information.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Praveen Kumar P.V
Tester / Quality Assurance IBS Software Services
India India
Currently I am working as Test Analyst @ IBS Software Services. Basically I am a manual tester. I have basic automation knowledge in Jmeter,Badboy & QTP.

Comments and Discussions

 
Generalneeded PinmemberMember 104461714-Dec-13 21:06 
QuestionSystematic Web Testing aspects Pinmembersmartguy11-Jun-12 22:23 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembersmartguy11-Jun-12 22:21 
QuestionIdentifying the data base in website Pinmemberchaantipati3-May-12 1:13 
QuestionI think this would be more helpful if.. PinmemberSimon_Whitehead28-Nov-11 12:03 

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