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Do you know how to perform web application usability testing effectively? It’s critical to test web applications before the first launch, and you need more than a simple test to check if the application is down or not. 

Whether you are new to the website testing or have done it for ages, it doesn’t hurt to have a list to help you cover all your steps to ensure the best work possible. You may have to adjust steps based on size, complexity, and company policies but this approach can guide you so that you can perform a web application test effectively. 

First, What Is the Goal of Website Testing?

Website testing is an important part of quality assurance. It offers information that helps you make decisions about release dates, conformance requirements, usability, risks, and compliance and verifies that the site has been built correctly and developed to meet user needs. QA is validating that the system is built properly. 

What is Tested in Website Testing?

Web-based testing looks at aspects of a website or application such as:

  • the security of the website
  • how the application  works
  • accessibility for all users
  • the application’s ability to adapt to various platforms
  • its readiness for users (part of this process is load testing to make sure the site can handle spikes in user traffic as well)

The Website Application Testing Process

Testing techniques for web-based applications should be done methodically and having a system you can follow and amend as needed is important. If you're looking for tools you can use to set up a good foundation for a basic website testing process, this 10-step process is a great place to start. 

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1. Establish web test goals that are measurable and written down.

Prioritize goals so testers can make sure the major issues are dealt with first. Testing is not about perfection but about the ability to meet the intended audience’s needs. 

2. Clarify the reporting structure.

Make sure all testers on the QA team are on the same page and know who they are reporting to and how reports are to be organized. Designate who the point person for coordinating everything for processing. 

3. Create a report to track bugs, defects, and issues. 

Once testing has been organized, it’s important to have a plan for tracking bugs, defects, and other issues that come up with test cases. The data has to be stored and shared as appropriate. Some companies already have systems in place or you can either create your own or use an online test management solution

4. Create a proper test environment. 

Create a separate web application and database server as needed. Move code to the test environment under a proper procedure. Test the source code and make sure all issues are identified. 

5. Check user experience.

Check on the following:

a. Usability testing to see how simple it is to navigate the web application
b. Action availability for the user
c. Consistent web application that goes page to page – fonts, colors, etc.
d. Does it meet the requirements for people who have specific disabilities?

User experience is paramount in web application testing. Enhance your UX testing capabilities with QA automation platforms designed for UX

6. Test these small details of your web app.

Make sure you are testing the minutia of the website or app. Small things like making sure data has been saved to a database when something is clicked is an example. Do range checking to make sure places that need numbers submitted only accept numbers or how to control names that are in the wrong order. Don’t forget to check the apostrophe placement as well as all the basic functions that make the site user-friendly. 

7. Check the HTML and that it works for all intended users.

Start this verification by using the World Wide Web Consortium validation service.  You need to confirm that your syntax is correct and that all opening and closing tags match as they should. Also, verify that pages on different browsers and OS work as you want. Verifying your HTML from early on can save a lot of work later. 

8. Do load testing for maximums.

Why is load testing essential for a web app? This is where you simulate how people will use your web application on a regular basis. Doing load testing early helps you implement important design changes as needed. It is to help make sure the site is not overloaded and should go hand in hand with performance tuning to expose all vulnerabilities. You want pages to load in less than 15 seconds in every web browser if possible and you should be able to check if the website is down due to overload. It’s important to know the load maximums and you can use testing tools to help with this. 

9. Run a beta test. 

Make sure your web app is working as it should for the user. Doing a beta test will make sure it is easy to use and do what it is supposed to for the end-user.

10. Security testing is paramount. 

So, what is security testing for web applications? Something that protects your site from internal and external threats. 

Do security testing audits consistently so the site is always secure over time. Use web app testing to ensure your site is safe. A simulated cyber-attack (also called web application penetration testing) helps you preempt any cyber issues that can take down your site. Testing web applications must include this step to avoid data and security breaches. 

All of the above and more can be accomplished using web application testing tools or other QA software.

How do you Test Web Applications?

What are the frequent problems of test web applications written in HTML and javascript? Using these 10 steps will make sure you have covered all the basics of web testing. Proper testing of a web app is important to its success. 

If you get stuck, need further support, or have questions such as what frequent problems of web applications are written in HTML or JavaScript or organizing your team's assessments, link up with us at The QA Lead.

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By Jason Boog

Over his 15-year career, Jason Boog has worked as a QA tester, QA analyst, and Senior QA Analyst on video games, commercial sites, and interactive web applications. He spent more than a decade building out the QA team and process as Director of Quality & Client Support at a full-service digital agency.