Common Web Testing Services Explained
You’re looking for Web testing services, but we know you’re really looking for Website testing or Web app testing. Correct? You’ve come to the right place.
We typically see three types of testing when someone asks us to provide Web testing services.
Functional Testing Gets the Inputs and Outputs Right
Does your website or Web app gather data, collect information or calculate any sums?
Does your website create reports or display graphs of data?
Or, maybe your website looks up data or connects with other databases to show the results?
Ever wonder if it’s possible to crash your website or web application with “bad data”?
If you want this type of web testing service, you’ll probably want some Functional Testing to make sure that the inputs and outputs all behave properly. What could go wrong? Usually, not much if your users are behaving as well. But, if they get confused and press the “Back” button one too many times, does your Website or Web app help them or just crash and make them start over? Functional Testing will find these problems for you before they frustrate your prospects and customers.
This is the primary concern for most people that want web testing services.
Cross Browser Testing Requires More than a Tool
Do your prospects & customers use a wide variety of desktop and mobile devices to visit your Website or Web app?
Have you tried your website or web app with something other than your favorite browser?
Can you see from your server logs that your prospects & customers use different browsers and operating systems?
Did your website or web app developers use some “tricky” code to get your site to do something “cool”? Will that “cool” code run on all browsers or only the one your developer uses?
If so, you’ll probably want some Cross Browser Testing (XBT) to make sure that you website or web app displays properly in the most popular browsers, devices and operating systems. Why could this be a problem? Some of the newest browsers and mobile devices won’t display some HTML/CSS code properly. The most common approach to solving this problem is to rent or buy a Cross Browser Testing Tool.
We use this approach as well. However, there’s more to using a Cross Browser Testing Tool than first meets the eye. Most Cross Browser Testing Tools emulate a mobile device/operating system/browser. This usually works but when it doesn’t, you won’t really know unless your very familiar with which tools work best and which devices don’t emulate very well. Additionally, just using the XBT tool is challenging if you genuinely want accurate test results. Sure, almost anyone can use them but we’ve found that an expert can get much more value with much less frustration from the XBT tool than an average or new user.
Load and Performance Testing
Are you worried about your Website or Web app crashing due to too many prospects or customers?
Do you know how many prospects or customers can visit your website or web app before it overloads and crashes?
Adding server resources is easy today, but they aren’t cheap. How will you know when to turn on more servers?
If so, congratulations! We hope the good part of your concern (too many prospects or customers) comes true and we can also help you make sure the “crashing” part doesn’t happen.
Load testing generally answers the question, “How many users can my Website or Web app handle before it becomes too slow or crashes?”.
Performance testing generally answers the question, “When and where does my Website begin slowing down or performing poorly?”
With performance testing, aspects of performance like responsiveness, speed, reliability and scalability can be quantified. There are different types of performance tests and they can gather different, specific results depending on the objectives. The data from performance tests can analyze the different KPIs such as response time, latency and errors per second. With this, you can identify bottlenecks, errors and bugs and figure out the next steps forward. Performance testing should be used when you want to check the performance of your website, apps, networks, databases and more.
Load testing provides several more insights than performance testing. Load testing examines how your system performs with many concurrent users. This will exhibit how your system will react when there is heavy traffic over a given period of time. Load testing differs from performance testing because it is something you should be doing all the time. Load testing allows you to test different user scenarios and optimize your system to handle large volumes.
Load Testing will typically be your biggest concern. Load Testing will give you a quick analysis of the user loads (number of simultaneous users of your Website or web app) that show performance problems. With this data, it’s a straight forward task to build reserve capacity for your Website or Web app that will engage when specific user loads are reached.
API Testing, or Not
API Testing can be included or ignored in your website testing services depending on how you use them.
How connected is your website or web app to other websites and web apps? Maybe more than you realize!
Is your “front end” separate from your “back end”?
On the Back End
Is the “back end” used by other website or web apps?
Sometimes, your website or app is built so that the “front end” is separated from the “back end”. This means that the “front end” website or app, where you input information and read responses, is unique, separate and autonomous from the “back end”. The “back end” is also a unique and autonomous system where your server application and databases store the user info, combine or compare it with various other data sets and then send outputs back to the “front end”. This front end/back end situation is largely a technical decision based on your unique situation and preferred technology.
On the Front End
The “front end” communicates with the “back end” by using API calls. API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs provide a simple and effective method for communicating between the “user side/front end” and the “server side/back end”. This allows development (and testing) to occur at different times without impacting the end users.
Do you need to include API testing in your website testing services?
Sometimes and it depends.
If you only have a single front end and a single back end, then your APIs are primarily a convenience connection and don’t typically need testing. Why? Since you only have a single front end and single back end, the only time the APIs are used is through the front end and front end testing can usually provide you with the quality and confidence you’re looking for. The possibility of overlooking an API in this situation is very small.
But, if you have multiple front ends or your front end calls multiple back ends, then you’ll definitely want to get your APIs tested. In this case, the possibility of overlooking an API call that is faulty is quite high if you only test through the front end.
Each API testing situation is unique. The decision to include API testing in your website testing services is your choice. We’re happy to take as much time as you’d like to explain our approach and recommendations.
Benefits of API Testing
Testing core for functionality: This is the first and most important benefit of API testing. API testing allows access to an application without a user interface. Testing the core functionality of an application gives an early evaluation of an application prior to GUI testing. This allows testing to be proactive because smaller issues can be resolved then before becoming large problems in the latter testing stages.
One of the most important functions of API testing is to protect you from malicious code and breakage. API testing removes any vulnerabilities that can lead to both malicious software and breakage.
API testing is time effective because it takes a fraction of the time it takes to do normal GUI testing. API testing can do far more testing than GUI tests in the same time period because it doesn’t have the same restrictions. For example, GUI tests have to have webpage elements polled which significantly slows down the testing process
Integration with GUI
API testing can easily integrate with GUI testing. Functional GUI tests can be done along with API tests for comprehensive testing.
Although the benefits of API testing are vast, there can be several issues that can arise from API testing in certain cases. Some the drawbacks include:
Tracking API Inventory
Since there are numerous APIs and they act independently, it’s important to keep up with any updates on APIs and how that can affect the overall program. Neglecting APIs can lead to many difficult issues down the road
Since APIs interact with each other through defined contracts and protocols, the protocols may lead to difficulties when integrating and testing between different components
Sequencing API Calls
Often, API calls need to appear in a specific order for it to work. This can create issues for the testing team if they cannot come up with the correct order. Having a release candidate can help with managing and seeing the sequence of API calls
All of these drawbacks mentioned above are things that TESTCo has done and solved time and time again. When consulting with TESTCo, feel free to mention any of your API concerns and TESTCo will provide strategies and plans of action to assess your concerns.
Web Testing Services, Web App Testing, Website Testing — Call It What You Want
Yeah, there’s really no such thing as “web testing” but we know what you mean and we’re happy to help with our Web app and Website testing services.
Sure, you can do this yourself , but our clients have told us time after time that we find bugs they miss, and we do it faster. Better and faster wins every time.
Ask for help. You will be surprised at how easy it is.