A Short Guide to Web Application Testing Services
Web application testing services is a general term that can quickly spiral down into a techno babble of software testing methods and practices. That perspective misses the real point about why you want to test in the first place.
In this short guide, I’ll help you understand what those terms mean and how to get what you really want – Certainty of Success.
Testing evaluates and minimizes risk exposure. Testing shows you where there are faults in your web application that might cause you or your business injury or harm.
Software testing answers this question – “Where or how might I suffer a loss or injury to my business with this software and how might I prevent that?”
Web Application Testing Can Be Your Most Valuable Investment
Modern web applications are no longer a simple or inexpensive business tool. They typically take many weeks or months to build and can easily cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a business owner or manager, you need and want to make sure that your investment is successful and produces the business value you expect – increased sales, reduced expenses or even more customers.
Not only have you invested a lot of money, you’ve also invested a lot of time, energy and thinking in your web application project. It should go right but you know there are many, many moving parts and it’s possible that something might not work right.
Why is Web Application Testing so Important?
Web application testing has many effects on your website’s visibility and how users are affected by your website’s features. With web application testing, you can see exactly what are the causes to the root issues on your website. This allows you to fix any major and minor bugs and other issues on your website to ensure that the user experience is seamless. Ignoring web application testing can lead to broken links, image loading, keys not working and more. Customers have a short attention span when visiting your site, so fixing these issues will increase the time users spend on your site.
Some of the main benefits of web application testing include:
Web application testing ensures that your site is compatible across browsers, devices and more. Your current site may look different when accessed from different browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Since browsers are constantly changing, testing will help make sure that your website performs well regardless of which browser a user is using.
Web application testing is also crucial to optimizing performance. There are a lot of factors on your website that influence performance; aspects of your website like code, graphics, user interface, etc. have a significant impact on your website’s performance. Testing illustrates which of these factors is slowing down your performance and how you can fix it.
Web application testing can also increase your SEO rankings significantly. SEO rankings are not random and Google takes many aspects of your website into consideration in regards to SEO. For example, things like broken links, images not loading and duplicate content can hurt your SEO rankings. Web application testing can find the root cause of your SEO issues and resolve them permanently.
Testing is also essential to show all of the security risks your website is experiencing. Cyber attacks can damage your website, brand and entire business. Web application testing can reveal the vulnerabilities your website has and how you can address them immediately. Without testing, you can’t know exactly what cyber attacks your website is susceptible to. Depending on the nature of your business, a cyber attack can lead to personal customer information being stolen and that can have significant legal ramifications.
Here’s How Defects Cost Your Company
- Customers frustrated by a web application defect will either stop their interaction with you or call your support phone number. This is either a loss of revenue or an increase in expenses.
- Prospects who can’t purchase or order from you because of a web application defect will probably not pursue the additional steps needed to be your customer – they’ll shop somewhere else. This is a loss of revenue.
- Your staff or team members who can’t complete their work due to a web application defect WILL PROBABLY continue working on that task and consume much more time to complete it. They may possibly stop working on that task because they can’t complete it. This is an increase in expenses and also probably a loss of revenue.
These are just some general ways that defects can cost your company significant capital. There can be additional costs depending on your business, the complexity of your product and what type of industries you operate in. For example, heavily regulated industries such as aerospace and healthcare will require you to prove your product is safe multiple times before getting out to market again. Additional defects in the future can lead to the closure of your entire business.
In short, web application testing can help insure the value you’ve built in your web application and prevent any unexpected risks or losses to your business. This might be one of the most valuable investments you can make!
The Three Primary Areas Of Concern Leading To Web Application Testing Services
- Does your web application do what it is supposed to do? “Functional Testing” in web application testing services is the process of evaluating the behavior of your web application to determine if all of the “functions” in your app perform as you expect them to perform. Examples of functional behavior include everything from accurately calculating and processing transactions to gracefully and politely denying access to anyone without valid log in credentials – and everything in between. Functional testing can take several forms – from writing formal test cases and test plans to ad-hoc or exploratory testing.
- Will your web application work on the web browsers and mobile devices your customers use? “Cross Browser Testing/XBT” or “Compatibility Testing” is the process of evaluating the behavior of your web application to determine if it performs properly on a variety of operating systems, web browsers and mobile devices. Examples of XBT include testing on the last three versions of IOs or Android (not everybody takes the updates!) to testing on the last three versions of Windows with Firefox, Chrome, Safari and whatever Microsoft is calling their current web browser. Don’t forget iPads and other tablets!
- Will your web application crash when a lot of your customers use it at the same time? “Load Testing” is the process of determining the “break points” in your web application as the number of simultaneous users increases. Very few web application crash anymore and this is due to the way that servers are typically provisioned and managed. Gone are the days of getting “slash dotted” when your web server couldn’t keep up if your web application or web page suddenly got national attention or “went viral”. Load Testing will evaluate a variety of usage scenarios and report the simultaneous user count at which your web server begins to slow down and annoy your users. These are the “break points” at which you will want to make sure that your servers are increased to effectively handle the additional load.
Other Business Risks To Mitigate With Web Application Testing Services
Depending on your type of business and your willingness to accept risks there are other justifications for web app testing.
- Can your web application be hacked? “Security Testing” will explore a variety of different hacks or penetration schemes to determine if, where and how your web application is subject to loss of data or inappropriate access. Most security testing is focused on external penetrations but internal cross penetration of privileged capabilities may also be a risk area.
- Is your web application too slow? “Performance Testing” is the process of determining your web application’s the speed of processing transactions. These measurements are taken in a variety of places within the most widely used scenarios and then reported to your development team for speed improvements where necessary. In most modern web applications, this is no longer a big concern.
- Is your web application legal? “Compliance Testing” is the process of comparing the behavior and display of your web application to the rules and regulations that your business is subject to. This can be a complex process, primarily because most regulations are subject to some degree of interpretation. An example of compliance testing that you should take into consideration is ADA compliance.
Web application testing services can look complex and baffling when you’re just given a web page full of techno babble. But, it can also be safe, easy and reliable when you can easily understand your options and select the services that are most valuable for you and your business.
A Quick Checklist To Help You
Even after you understand what web application testing services are, it can still be daunting to get the help you want and need for web application software testing your project. So, here’s a quick checklist of questions you can consider as you decide what works best for your web application testing project.
- What is the goal for my project?
- What are my constraints for my project?
- What are the top 3 risks for my project?
- What is the vendor’s goal for my project?
- What strategies did the vendor recommend based on my goal & constraints?
- What does the vendor offer or recommend to reduce the risks on this project?
This isn’t a complete list and there are a lot more questions that can help you improve your chances of success. But, if you know the answers to these six questions and make your selection based on those answers, you have an extremely high probability of selecting the best web application testing services partner and having a successful testing project.
A Sample Web Application Testing Project
Everyone’s web application testing project is different. But, with the hundreds of web application testing projects we’ve completed, it possible to show you an outline of what you can expect for your web application testing project.
Monday – you just got out of a product meeting and your web application project is nearing completion – you need to be ready to test in a week!
Tuesday – you Google “web application testing” and find our website. You send us a contact form asking for help with your project. We write back within an hour and agree to talk on the phone on Wednesday.
Wednesday – we talk on the phone for 30 minutes and discuss your web application testing project’s goals and constraints. You’re clear that you need help and you need to get it right the first time. We answer all your questions and you’d like for us to provide you with a proposal and quote. We schedule a 60 minute Scoping Session on Thursday with a QA Manager and Senior Test Engineer.
Thursday – you meet with our QA Manager and Senior Testing Engineer in a web-based “show and tell” to demonstrate your web application and show us the details of where you are concerned. We describe several different strategies that match your goals and constraints so we can get an idea of which strategies appeal to you.
Friday – we deliver a quote and proposal that clearly shows which strategy we recommend along with a detailed work plan and price quote that meets your budget constraints and timeline. You agree and ask us to begin work on Monday.
Monday – you begin by meeting with your QA Manager and Senior Test Engineer to discuss any last minute changes. Your web application testing project has begun! Your first Daily Production Report arrives in your Inbox early in the evening for you to review.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – You receive a Daily Plan in your Inbox with full details of the day’s work. You can also expect a call from the QA Manager if anything is unclear or we are blocked in our work plan. You receive a Daily Production Report each evening that details the testing work completed with links to all of the test cases we’ve built and defects we’ve found.
Most web application testing project are completed within 3-5 days.
Lastly, after your web application testing project is completed, you’ll receive a Final Report with a detailed list of our work and links to outcomes (you own the test cases we build for you). You’ll also receive a list of recommendations from our QA Manager of things that you might improve to lower your risk and expenses in the future.
That’s it! This process took two weeks but can be compressed to a single week if you find yourself in a rush.
TESTCo provides on-demand testing services for websites, web apps, and software. software testing services that are Safe, Easy and Reliable so that you can delight your customers and eliminate any nasty surprises when you release your software.
Tips For Product Managers
Many of our clients are Product Managers and we’ve collected a few Best Practices for Web Application Testing that should help you get more of what you want with less hassle and worry.
- Write and publish a Goal for your web application project. Almost every web application project requires a team. For a team to be successful, they’ll have to know and work towards a specific goal each day.
- Start testing now! Even if you don’t have any “code” yet, you can begin testing by building test cases and test scenarios from your stories and use cases. A little known secret is that software developers actually appreciate test cases and scenarios included with the story! Why? Ever had someone explain something to you that almost made sense? If you had an example, would it have made more sense? Yeah, your software devs will appreciate your forward thinking.
- Plan for quality and start early. Most project plans focus on getting the deliverables completed – usually with the assumption that they will pass testing. Here’s a Pro Tip – most deliverables DO NOT PASS TESTING the first time. Plan more time for quality DURING your project and your project will complete much more smoothly and on time. If you wait to the end to test, you’ll almost always need more time in your project plan.
If you’ll do these three simple things, your web application project will complete Faster, Better and Cheaper!