Performing Website Testing the Right Way
In a general sense, website testing is carried out extensively in almost all the cases unlike software testing. Website testing is quite broad and demands testing efforts to cover all quality aspects. The objective is to make sure that the website makes it easier for users to learn, understand, use, and navigate the website.
To achieve this, almost all types of testing are carried out, including but not limited to:
- Functionality Testing
- Compatibility Testing
- Performance Testing
- Database Testing
- Usability Testing
- Security Testing
Though many more tests are necessary to cover each different perspective, the six above are the essentials.
Performed to ensure the intended features and functionalities of a website, functionality testing may include:
- Forms testing – Forms, used by users for storage/retrieval of information, are tested to ensure integrity and consistency throughout the website. Further testing can be performed to validate each field of the form, fields with negative or invalid values, upload file formats, and all other fields.
- Link testing – Tests various links associated with the website including external and internal links, e-mail links, and broken links.
- Validation testing – Tests whether the website adheres and conforms to specified search engine optimization standards.
Like the name suggests, compatibility testing ensures the compatibility and functioning of the website across multiple browsers, operating systems, hardware, software, network configurations, display resolutions etc.
Performance testing is carried out to assess the website’s performance under different conditions by evaluating various specified parameters.
Performance testing generally tests:
- The stability of the website under different loads – normal, heavy, and extreme at different resource accessibility/utilization conditions, to ensure that the website functions uninterruptedly without crashing. The resources may include hardware, software, physical memory, CPU, network connection and speed, storage space etc. Load, stress, spike, soak, and volume tests may be performed in addition to double check the reliability of the website.
- Scalability to make sure the website can adapt to changing requirements.
- Response time and speed of the website
The back-end of a website, database, is very important, which is why database testing is crucial for a website. It tests the following:
- Proper execution of database queries
- The integrity throughout the database when data are added, updated, or deleted
- Accurate data retrieval against queries
- Testing tables
- Keys used in the database
This is to check the user-friendliness of the website, basically. If the user finds it difficult to use or navigate the website, or loses interest while browsing the website, the website’s overall traffic dwindles. This is why a website needs to be usability tested before it goes live.
While performing usability testing, you need to consider the following points.
- Whether the testing design, website layout and presentation match the user’s expectations
- Smooth navigation and control between web pages
- Content and all other visual elements in the website
Security testing is performed to identify and rectify security vulnerabilities in the website. Website security testing may include:
- Penetration testing which involves attacking the website through all means to identify and locate security flaws.
- Accessing website using incorrect or invalid credentials
- Hacking the website
- Monitoring and verifying confidential data transfers through SSL certificates
- SQL injection attacks on the website
- Checking if the confidential data and repositories in the website can be accessed through unauthorized means
- Checking log files located at the server
The testing processes mentioned above are only the essentials from a long checklist of tests. The end goal is to make sure that the testers do not miss anything, and the website developed functions as per the owner’s requirements without fail.
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