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What Is Ghost Inspector? Overview & Tour Of Features

What is Ghost Inspector? Discover how Ghost Inspector works—what problems it can help you solve and who uses it, along with a tour of its features, pricing, and integrations. I’ll also explain how Ghost Inspector compares to similar tools.

What is Ghost Inspector?

Ghost Inspector is a codeless automated testing product that allows you to easily create and run automated browser tests for your websites and web applications. These tests carry out actions in a web browser the same way a real user would to ensure that everything is working properly.

Ghost Inspector launched in 2014 with the goal of providing a comprehensive and approachable service for testing websites and web applications using browser automation. Our single, easy-to-use product lowers the technical hurdle and allows teams to benefit from end-to-end testing by empowering all team members to take part in quality assurance.

We’re a small, fully remote team that’s spread around North America. We’re passionate about what we do. We’re always striving to improve our product and support our customers.

Who is Ghost Inspector for?

Ghost Inspector is designed for use by a wide audience looking to perform quality assurance of their website or web application without substantial training or technical expertise. We are often used by small businesses and web development agencies looking for a streamlined way to ensure that their website is always functioning properly. Testing shopping carts, payment flows, and contact forms is of paramount importance for these types of customers.

On the other end of the spectrum, we scale all the way up to large, Fortune 500 companies with hundreds of team members. These types of organizations often have thousands of tests—sometimes running every minute—to ensure that every aspect of their application is working.

What challenges does Ghost Inspector help solve?

We make automated testing approachable.

Building an automated test suite used to mean months of training and coding, all so you could end up with some brittle Selenium scripts that stopped working soon after. We’ve simplified the process of creating and managing tests with our test recorder and codeless test editor.

We provide all the features you need in one product.

Our tests ensure that your website is functioning properly—but we don’t stop there! Our screenshot comparison performs visual testing to ensure that your website also looks the way it’s supposed to look. Want to test for accessibility? We’ve got that. Need to schedule tests or trigger them on deployment? We’ve got that too. All your bases are covered.

We solve the technical challenges so you don’t have to.

In the past, automated browser testing required you to glue together all kinds of different tools and packages. Ghost Inspector changed that. You don’t have to worry about writing code, managing Docker images, storing screenshots, or anything else. Our hosted service takes care of all that for you.

What’s on the Ghost Inspector Roadmap?

Since Ghost Inspector was launched in 2014, the product has continued to evolve. We’ve added new browser versions, geolocations, integrations, and tons of useful features. The product roadmap for the coming year includes some exciting updates, namely:

  • Screenshot Comparison Steps - Screenshot comparisons are currently performed at the end of each test to check visuals. This new feature will allow tests to perform screenshots comparisons at various points throughout the test steps.
  • Expanded QA Management Integrations - We’ll be adding and expanding integrations for QA management tools like Jira and Test Rails.
  • Expanded Accessibility Testing Features - We launched our accessibility testing feature in 2021 and our customers love it! We’ll be improving and expanding this feature in 2022.

Ghost Inspector Features Overview

To get an idea of how Ghost Inspector works, here’s a tour of the main features and how they can help you effectively test your website or web app. 

1. Test Recording Extension

Ghost Inspector includes a test recording extension that’s available in both Chrome and Firefox. Our streamlined recorder makes it easy for you to record yourself performing a test in your own browser and turn it into a repeatable, automated test in your Ghost Inspector account. After you’ve captured steps, assertions and screenshots, simply save your test and run it on the Ghost Inspector platform with the click of a button.

Ghost Inspector Browser Test Recording Screenshot
The Ghost Inspector browser test recording extension works right in Chrome and Firefox.

2. Visual Testing via Screenshot Comparison

It’s important that your website works properly, but it’s also important that it looks the way it’s supposed to look! Ghost Inspector’s visual testing feature automatically takes a screenshot at the end of every test and compares it to the last passing screenshot to identify differences. Our system will flag any changes for your review so that you can easily catch visual bugs.

Visual Testing via Screenshot Comparison
Two website screenshots being compared by the Ghost Inspector visual testing feature.

3. Parallel Test Running by Default

Ghost Inspector is fast. Very fast. We’ve built our system to run tests in parallel by default. We do not charge for different levels of concurrency. We simply run your tests in parallel as quickly as we can. This lets you run large suites of tests against your application and see the outcome in minutes, not hours.

Parallel Test Running By Default Screenshot
A suite of Ghost Inspector tests running in parallel.

4. Data-driven Testing Using Spreadsheets

It’s important to test your sign-up form, but how about testing it with 30 sets of varying inputs? Ghost Inspector’s data-driven testing feature lets you upload spreadsheets of data and run your tests with them. Our system will trigger a copy of the test for each row in the spreadsheet, swapping in the values provided for the variables in the steps. Test every imaginable data set and never miss an edge case bug again.

Data-driven Testing Using Spreadsheets Screenshot
A modal showing data to be imported and used for test runs.

5. Customizable Browsers, Screen Sizes and Geolocations

Users are visiting your website from all over the world using different browser versions and screen sizes. Your tests should do this too! Ghost Inspector allows you to select as many browser versions, screen sizes and geolocations as you would like in your settings. Our system will run a copy of the test for every combination that you choose.

Customizable Browsers, Screen Sizes and Geolocations Screenshot
Ghost Inspector allows you to select browser versions, screen sizes, and geolocations for your tests.

Ghost Inspector vs The Competition

Ghost Inspector outshines the competition by combining a user-friendly product, a huge feature set, and very affordable pricing. We don’t put you through a grueling sales funnel just to see prices. Instead, anyone can sign up for a free trial and begin testing in minutes. All of our plans include every feature and pricing breaks down to less than $0.01 per test run.

Ghost Inspector Integrations

Ghost Inspector includes a wide range of integrations for other products in the testing space. Our integration documentation includes just about every continuous integration service on the market, such as Jenkins, GitHub, Bitbucket, CircleCI, and many more. For those services not included, we offer a flexible API with a CLI tool for custom integration.

Beyond continuous integration products, we also integrate with many alerting tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and PagerDuty. Generic webhooks are supported as well. We even have a WordPress plugin!

Ghost Inspector Integrations Screenshot
A screenshot of Ghost Inspector’s suite run report displayed in Slack.

Ghost Inspector Pricing

Ghost Inspector offers a number of different pricing plans that include an allotment of monthly test runs and member seats. Our Small plan starts at $99/mo and includes 10,000 test runs per month with 5 member seats. This provides you with a huge testing capacity off the bat!

There’s no limit on the number of tests that you can create or the number of domains on which you can test. A test run is simply counted against your monthly allotment when a test is executed (meaning that a browser is launched and the test’s steps are carried out). You can upgrade or downgrade anytime. Discounts are available when purchasing on an annual basis.

By Justin Klemm

Justin is the founder of Ghost Inspector. He’s a seasoned engineer with a passion for creating good user experiences and a particular interest in automation.

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