Testing Web Applications – Best Practices

Web app testing should be thorough, in order to avoid troubleshooting at a later stage. You need to choose the right methodology and practices during the testing of your web apps depending upon the developmental parameters and application characteristics. For instance – for a banking web app, security takes precedence over usability while with commercial web apps, reliability and availability are the key requirements. The following are the best practices for testing or debugging web apps –

Interface Testing – Interface testing is a must for web apps that are going to work on a variety of platforms. The data flow between modules should be smooth and interfaces should be backward compatible while accommodating to frequent component changes at the same time.

• Functional Testing – This testing targets the reliability of individual functions. For invalid inputs, the error messages should be appropriate and prompt, and boundary conditions must be tested in the test cases. Functional testing for web apps includes flow testing, compatibility testing, configuration testing and database testing. It can be as simple as testing whether all the links are functional to something as complicated as reflection of user made webpage changes on the database.

• Security Testing – For web apps where modifications and data leaks are the main areas to counter, security testing is the most important part of testing. Authorization and authentication mechanisms for these web apps need to be extremely efficient and effective. This testing can be dynamic – running the app and checking its response – or static – simple code analysis.

• Performance Testing – Various scenarios need to be considered for performance testing of a web app. This would include stress testing to gauge the maximum performance limits, scalability testing to determine application adaptability to software or hardware changes, and load testing to check performance under heavy load.

• Usability Testing – The user interface is tested in this phase, making sure that the accessibility standards are being followed. Web navigation, site map, color combinations, over-crowded content issues, user friendliness, et al are tested in this phase.

• User Acceptance Testing – Is your web app ready to go live and be used effectively by a user? This is what this phase of testing focusses on. It checks proper data feeding controls, field widths and time outs, mandatory fields, and browser compatibility. It would involve alpha and beta testing as well.

Various testing tools are used in the process of web app testing like RFT, JSpec RhinoUnit, Dojo Testing, Adobe Flex, et al.

Preventing Problems with Web Applications


Web apps are so ubiquitous in the current time that normal users of the internet don’t even know they exist. However, when they are shopping on a website and their cart fails to load or the video player on their favorite music site stops playing, their experience is hampered. These are web apps that are an inherent part of most websites and if preventive measures are not taken, the results could be fall in traffic of buggy web apps. These points list out some preventive tips for ensuring the web apps are not buggy –

• Minimize Fancy Effects and Complicated Styling That Does Not Enhance User Experience – It is true that users are dazzled by bells and whistles on websites but they would be even more dazzled when the app actually works instead of being buggy and erratic. Always remember that the more complicated and useless styling-effects are used, the greater are the chances of bugs. Don’t do anything that increases the frequency of bugs in your web app.

• Choose a List of Supported Browsers and Redirect Unsupported Browser Users with Scripting – You cannot cater to everyone on the internet. There are bound to be some lesser known browsers that you will miss. Another advantage of following this tip is limiting styling and scripting needs for a huge number of browsers – common and uncommon (according to the information provided by webhostingprof.com). By only catering to the popular browsers, you would also be able to test your web app on these browsers more thoroughly.

• Use JQuery, EXT JS, and Other Cross Browser Compatible Libraries – These libraries have one huge advantage – many communities support and develop them – which automatically means that their activity is working and robust across a huge variety of web browsers. You will not have to exert excessive effort in the management of various supported browsers. Also, by leveraging the effort of these communities for certain tasks, you will not have to start from scratch.

• Beta Testing and Regular Monitoring – The first step of testing is ensuring that the web apps are performing as expected on supported browsers and unsupported browsers are properly handled as well. The second step, however, is constant monitoring of apps and the servers that ensure the website and apps stay online all the time. In fact, app performance monitoring is a service that many companies offer. There are a number of outside tools that you can use for application performance management, and there are also a number of free tools too. What’s the best fit is up to you, and it’s something that you have to decide based on your needs.

If you take these tips seriously, you will be able to minimize the requirement of troubleshooting in the future.

Application Performance Monitoring: Do You Really Need It?

Having a malfunctioning web application can damage a company’s reputation as well as create a bad user experience. In order to prevent bugs or web applications malfunctions from occurring businesses should take the necessary steps to a guarantee the site is properly functioning. The steps listed below can help to prevent bugs and help to create a positive user experience.


Test the system yourself
Some website owners do not understand the specifics of website development or coding. If you are one of these individuals you can do simple tests to make sure your website is bug free and functions properly. Start by clicking all of the links to make sure that the appropriate pages load. If your website application requires certain fields to be filled out then attempt to fill out those fields. If you notice everything works perfectly when you fill out the required fields, then see what happens when you leave certain fields out. The goal of the test is to see what the customer sees. If this test renders an error or error page then your web application could contain a bug.

Make sure your coding is up to date.
Keeping your website updated does not only include basic information such as phone numbers or address. Other information that cannot be seen by site visitors should also be updated. Web application coding and components should be regularly updated. This should help to keep outdated codes from causing glitches within your web application. This is especially necessary for individuals that constantly add components to their website. These components can conflict with the existing code and cause web application bugs to occur. Make sure that your web application functions properly by keeping your coding up to date.
Also, some the components that you have added to your website may have updated versions. Removing the outdated version and replacing it with the newer version can also keep your web application moving smoothly.

Further testing
Inspecting and testing your web application can help to find some bugs but for others a more in-depth test will be needed. You website developer will be able to administer such tests as grey-box testing, unit testing, integration testing, component interface testing, or system testing. These tests not only allow bugs or glitches to be identified but they also recognize vulnerabilities could become victim to hackers or viruses. If your website developer is not able to provide you with this service, there are software’s and other professionals that offer this service. There are also a number of services that you can use to keep testing your the performance of your applications automatically. Dotcom Monitor’s application performance monitoring tool is quite robust if you’re looking for an all around paid solution. There are also free solutions like OppsView and others.

Keep users coming back to your site by making sure that it is free of bugs and does not malfunction. Your business and your profits will thank you for it.