Web Application Testing: A Quick-Glance 7-Step Guide

Web Application Testing: A Quick-Glance 7-Step Guide

Before delving into the different types of web application testing, it’s important to understand what web application testing is and why it is a vital procedure for any web application that is brought to market.

What is Web Application Testing?

Web application testing is ensuring a web application is thoroughly checked for potential bugs before it is moved into a production environment or made live. Just take a look at the Digital XRaid guys picture below. Aspects taken into account during this procedure include web application security, the web application’s accessibility and usability for an entire range of potential users, how it handles traffic, and its functionality. Without ensuring these things before pushing a web application to production, it can obviously make the company/brand look bad having a buggy, semi-working web application which then makes the developers look at least semi-professional to the company and other potential customers who are then less likely to hire the said developers.


How Web Application Testing is Done

There are 7 different steps of web application testing and it is best practice to go through each one before pushing to production but of course, with everything, there are discretionary exceptions.

1. Functionality Testing – Does everything work?


The most basic navigation throughout a web application is obviously crucial so links are a good place to start. Whether outgoing, internal, anchors or MailTo links ensuring that users can get where they need to go. This should be the first thing on your web application testing list.


Forms are the main way to receive information from your users and, again, an obviously crucial part to ensuring your web application is functioning properly. Verifying input validation and error checking is working properly, default values populate as needed, and that information is getting to where it needs to go after submission.


No, not the snack… These small files help web applications remember user sessions to save the hassle of logging back in every time you leave the web application and come back. First, ensure that cookies are deleted when the cache is cleared or they have expired. Then delete cookies and ensure that login credentials are asked for upon revisit.


This will make sure your web application is properly crawled by search engines. This entails checking your HTML for syntax errors.


For this step check for data integrity and errors while editing, deleting, modifying, or doing any DB related functionality to make sure the process is consistent and correct through all forms and input through the web applications UI.

2. Usability Testing

There has been a growing focus on web application usability testing over the last decade. Applications are becoming more intense as technology and processes become more complex.


Consistency is key. Having all Menus, buttons, and links visible and consistent throughout the web application will allow users to successfully navigate through the UI.


Proof-read and be thorough. Make sure content is grammatically correct and spelled correctly. Images should contain an “alt” text not only for users but SEO as well.

3. Interface Testing

The three areas to test are the Web application, web application server, and database server.


Test that requests are sent to the DB and output on the client side displays correctly. Error checking in this regard should be sent to the administrator, NOT the user.

Web Application Server

Simply ensuring the web application server is handling all requests without denial.

Database Server

Make sure queries to the DB give expected results.

4. Database Testing

You want your data to have a nice home and safe travels. Here is what to check for…

Test for errors when executing queries. Data integrity while creating, updating, or deleting data. Making sure response time is up to par. Testing that data retrieved is displayed correctly in your web application.

5. Compatibility Testing

Mobile friendly? Sir, yes, sir! The dreaded Internet Explorer? We display on it all!

Users are using so many different devices and programs these days that compatibility is a prominent task in developing any web application. Gather as much feedback as you can and as early as you can about your web application from your online visitors and do it continuously. After that analyze the data with a feedback analytics tool and learn from the results. We are using Mopinion to do this.

If offering printing options make sure that fonts, alignment, and graphics are all displayed correctly. The big one here is browser compatibility.

Browser Compatibility

The same web application in different browsers will display differently. Test your web application on all browsers; make sure JavaScript, AJAX, and authentications are all working fine. Testing it on mobile browser compatibility is often times crucial as well. Operating systems can play games with compatibility as well so test all common browsers on Linux/Mac, and Windows will make sure you cover all users.

6. Performance Testing

Make her crash and burn.

Checking the behavior of your web application’s response time at different connection speeds. Checking load time under normal and peak hours and stress testing it beyond normal loads at peak time. Essentially, you want to overload your web application before your users so you can fix it. Make sure gzip compression and server side cache is enabled to reduce load times.

7. Security Testing

Depending on the content and data passing through a web application, this can be a make-or-break step in many web applications.

Common Test Cases

        • Paste internal URL directly into browser
        • Try invalid inputs in login fields
        • Web directories should not be accessible directly unless given a download option
        • Test the CAPTCHA for automated script logins
        • Verify SSL and site redirection to secure pages using your .htaccess file
        • All security breach attempts should get logged

There are many web application testing tools out there. A comprehensive list can be found at this link. Also consider using DebugMe, the visual website feedback tool which helps you to get instant feedback about any web application and helps you solve the front end issues faster. Web application testing can be a long procedure but is well worth it to guarantee a high-quality web application that can bear the brunt of any user, hacker, or troll.

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