It’s no longer enough to just have a website. With so much competition in the world of eCommerce, your website needs to be able to provide a secure, bug-free user experience. But as code, cybersecurity, and user demands evolve, so does the potential for error.
Web application testing is how we make sure our customers have safe, user-friendly website experiences. In 2023, this involves delving thoroughly into what customers want, creating browsing and shopping experiences that keep them coming back for more.
So, what exactly is web application testing, and how do you do it?
What is Web Testing?
Web testing is the process of verifying that your web applications or websites are performing correctly before they go live. It involves assessing website functionality, checking for potential bugs, and evaluating usability, compatibility, and performance. You can complete these activities through both manual and automated testing methods.
How To Perform Web Testing
Here are the most important tests that should feature on your web testing checklist, as well as tips on how to do them.
Functionality testing is the first and most critical step in web testing. It is the process of making sure that all basic website functionalities are performing in alignment with specifications and requirements.
QA analysts use web testing tools to analyze different testing parameters, including
- Links: Internal, outgoing, anchor, and MailTo links are checked to ensure they work as intended.
- Forms: Scripting, default values, and formatting are assessed to determine quality and readability.
Other essentials of functionality testing include cookies, HTML, and CSS testing.
Why is Functionality Testing Important?
A broken or poorly-designed website will result in high bounce rates and lost customers. First-time visitors to your website are unlikely to return after encountering a misplaced link or running into functionality issues. You may also want to look into the best free website themes when in the design stage of building your website.
To streamline your functionality testing process, create a functional testing plan that covers all bases.
Usability testing goes beyond functionality to consider end-user experience. The test cases aim to determine how intuitive and easy to use the web application is.
Usability testing covers
Navigation and interactivity: This test case assesses how intuitively users can navigate your website and interact with its elements. Menus, links, buttons, and drop-down lists should be reviewed to determine visibility, logicality, and functionality.
Content: Content checking verifies that your text is legible, logical, and relevant to your target audience. Content should be fine-combed for spelling and grammatical errors.
Businesses often use different methodologies to conduct usability testing. The best option is to enlist the help of an external software crowd testing group, preferably one that reflects your target audience. With the enlightenment of new and diverse perspectives, businesses can implement changes in alignment with customer desires.
Why Usability Testing is Important
Creating an intuitive, accessible website experience should be a top priority for businesses in 2023. According to GoodFirms, bad navigation and poor content structure are two of the main reasons why visitors leave websites.
Always keep your customer in mind during the website creation process. Design a modern, simple, and intuitive website to ease the usability testing process.
You’ll need to perform strict security testing to protect your web application against malicious cyberattacks and insider threats. Security testing uses both manual and automated methods to scan your application for vulnerabilities and perform repairs. For example, neural networks can be used to grasp real-time user actions and perform predictive analysis (neural networks refer to a subset of operational machine learning that conducts data processing in a way that imitates the human brain).
Some of the most critical security testing tasks to perform include:
- Testing the visibility of secure pages (for example, pasting your internal URL into the browser bar to ensure it doesn’t display secure pages without asking for credentials).
- Ensuring that unauthorized users cannot download restricted files
- Verifying that the system has an appropriate reaction to invalid credential inputs
- Testing SSL redirection
Why Security Testing is Important:
Ecommerce businesses whose websites handle sensitive data are required by law to implement compliant security measures. Failure to do so can have significant legal, financial, and reputational repercussions, especially if your application falls victim to a malicious cyberattack or insider threat.
According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million.
To avoid the fatal repercussions of a cyberattack, compose a security testing checklist and be as thorough as possible. While you’re at it, look for ways to strengthen your online security across multiple channels - you can get digital signature software, for example, to secure your customer’s document-signing process.
Performance testing evaluates your site’s ability to handle heavy loads with the aim of improving website performance. Testing is centered around two main activities:
Web load testing: This step involves testing how your site behaves in response to normal and peak loads. If your site is handling a high volume of user inputs or requests, can it maintain peak load time?
Web stress testing: Stress testing involves deliberately pushing your site to its breaking point to see how it reacts. What occurs when your site crashes, and how long does it take to recover?
Why Performance Testing is Important
Speed and convenience are two of the main reasons why consumers love online shopping. So if you create a shopping experience riddled with slow loading times, crashes, and long recoveries, your customers aren’t going to stick around.
On the other hand, faster websites result in more conversions. This is especially true on mobile, where a speed improvement of just 0.1% can increase conversion rates of retail and travel sites by 8.4% and 10.1%, respectively.
This tells us that your website's speed is increasingly important to the modern shopper. Performance testing should be executed not only before you launch your website but continuously as part of your website maintenance routine.
Interface testing verifies that web server and application server interfaces are properly synchronized. The three areas that require testing are:
Application: Generated test requests should be sent and displayed correctly in the database. Errors shouldn’t be visible on client-side outputs but should be captured by the application and displayed only to the administrator.
Web server: Ensures synchronized communication between web and application servers without service denial.
Database server: Ensures compatibility between database and servers, checking for test errors and data integrity.
Why Interface Testing is Important
Interface testing makes sure that your systems can communicate securely and effectively with the capability to handle network failures. This positively impacts your end-user, who can continue to enjoy your web application without experiencing any problems in the event of an issue.
When it comes to creating better customer experiences, compatibility testing is one of your most important activities. There are three different types of compatibility testing which are as follows:
Browser compatibility: Does your application function correctly across all browsers? Because browsers are built differently, it’s still common to encounter minor discrepancies. Check how your browser displays across Chrome, Safari, Firefox, AOL, Opera, and even Internet Explorer. Make sure to test different versions, too.
Operating system compatibility: Some web technologies, like graphic designs or APIs, may not be available on every operating system. You might also run into web element issues. Load your application across operating systems like Windows, MAC, Linux, etc.
Device compatibility: Optimizing your website for mobile is the most important compatibility testing activity of all. It involves testing your website’s responsiveness to ensure that it scales correctly to suit smaller screens. You also need to consider your page loading speed.
Why Compatibility Testing is Important
More people are browsing and buying on their mobile devices than ever before—58% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices, meaning that businesses with robust mobile web applications have a competitive advantage.
Knowing which devices your customers use to access your website is one of your most important website metrics. It enables you to focus on compatibility testing with your customers in mind, enhancing internal productivity and driving the targeted improvement of user experiences.
Amplify Your Compatibility Testing Success With a Headless CMS
A headless CMS eases the compatibility testing process by enabling flexible content optimization and distribution across multiple devices and channels. Essentially, you can create various iterations of a webpage, re-modeling and optimizing it for different devices without performing extensive deconstruction.
However, the benefits of headless CMS utilization go beyond compatibility. It empowers eCommerce businesses to deliver streamlined omnichannel experiences. A headless CMS’s agnostic front end enables it to serve multiple different channels while sustaining brand consistency.
Digital transformation is well and truly upon us. Whether it’s using visual voicemail to enrich telephone communications or a headless CMS to provide device and platform-agnostic experiences, businesses are investing in digital initiatives. While you’re dabbling in the digital, though, be sure to not neglect your website.
Web application testing ensures that your most important eCommerce asset - your website - is working as it should. It targets testing from all angles to help web developers and QA experts identify and fix bugs, errors, usability issues, and potential security threats.
By addressing these issues before your website goes live, you can deliver exceptional user experiences to your customers from the very beginning.