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Software Testing – Web Application Testing Checklist with Test Scenarios

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  • Last Updated : 17 May, 2022
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Web testing or web application testing ensures that your website functions as you or your clients expect as per requirements gathered during the project’s initial stages. It is a  comprehensive scope that touches multiple disciplines, including usability, functionality, compatibility, security, performance, and data storage and retrieval.

This article will touch upon all these disciplines with hands-on practical examples. The following topics will be discussed:

  1. Usability Testing
  2. Functionality Testing
  3. Compatibility Testing
  4. Database Testing
  5. Security Testing
  6. Performance Testing
  7. Top 5 Tools For Web Testing

Let’s discuss each of these topics in detail.

Usability Testing

Usability testing involves examining the user-friendliness of the web application’s interface to the end-user. When using the web application, users can navigate the website efficiently, with clear, simple instructions and fewer obstacles. Additionally, the attractiveness of content sans spelling and grammatical errors forms an integral part of usability testing.

What is the purpose of Usability Testing?

If the website is not user-friendly, the visitors will immediately leave it as there are ample competitor websites out there. Furthermore, performing usability testing will help to uncover issues associated with the website’s user-friendliness that may have been missed during the development.

Letting actual users test the usability of the website, helps to identify:

  • Whether the site provides the optimum functionality and efficiency.
  • Whether users can easily navigate to the desired piece of content they’re searching for.
  • Even if the users are lost or confused, sufficient information, such as sitemaps, 404 pages, etc, with clear instructions are available.
  • Whether the product is built according to the prototype given by the client.
  • If the users can perform all the actions without any interruptions or hindrance.

Example Test Cases

Let’s say a web application for flight booking is built. So one can test if one can book a flight to London from New York on 22nd March at midnight and return on 1st April. During the testing, one needs to ensure the following:

1. Does the site provides accurate and precise information?

Does the site provide accurate instructions for the user to sign up, select the airline of their choice, choose the dates, make the payment and book the flight? Information should be clear and informative yet straightforward without spelling and grammatical errors.

2. Does the site provides an attractive and clean interface?

The interface must be clean and not contain colors that drive away visitors. The dropdown for selecting dates should be visible, and the user can navigate with ease.

3. Are there provides a minimum number of actions to complete the task?

Users can perform the above sequence of actions in minimum steps with no complexities.

4. Does the site speaks the user’s language, not the products?

Instructions should not include a product’s technical jargon as some users may not be able to grasp them. So you need to present them in simple, clear language that anyone can understand easily.

5. Does the site provides reliable customer service?

Suppose a customer comes across a difficulty when performing the above task, is there an easier way to contact customer support through phone, email, or chat? These include FAQ pages to get help for the issue that the user is struggling with.

Functionality Testing

Functional testing validates the functional requirements of web applications based on requirements mentioned in the Software Requirement Specification (SRS). Some of the necessary functional tests include White box and Block box testing, which does not concern the application’s source code. Instead, they test if the product does what it claims to do by examining its:

  • Major functions.
  • Usability.
  • Accessibility.
  • Error Handling.

Testers can either perform them manually or by automating.

What is the purpose of  Functionality Testing?

  • Functionality testing aims to ensure the developers have built the web application correctly. 
  • Testers achieve it by testing each web application component by providing relevant user input and verifying the output against the functional requirements. 
  • The ultimate goal of functional testing is to ensure that User Interface, Database, security, and client/server communication operate as expected.

Example Test Cases

1. Testing Forms: The collected form data in websites or web applications are stored in the database or sent to the system admin or site owner through an email. However, as a web developer, you must validate all the user input to ensure that no junk data goes to the database. So these validations would consist of:

  • Validating all the mandatory form fields and displaying an error message for incorrect or empty user input.
  • Use captchas to ensure that no spam messages go through.
  • Formatting forms for enhancing readability.
  • Once the user submits the form, and after proper validation, it should be stored in the database, or a mail should be sent.
  • Performing the input validation both on the client-side and the server-side.

2. Testing Links: One needs to test whether all the internal and external links are working correctly. If there are broken links, one needs to make a note and fix them. Furthermore, one must test MailTo links as well. Some of the prominent software that can be used for checking broken links include:

  • Google Webmaster Tool.
  • Dead Link Checker.
  • Xenu’s Link Sleuth.
  • Ahrefs broken link checker.

3. Testing Cookies: Cookies need to be tested to ensure that the users don’t have to log in every time they visit a web page that requires login. So cookie testing includes:

  • Deleting cookies: From the browser, one can delete the cookie files and verify that the web pages ask one to login in the absence of cookies.
  • Editing the cookies: Navigate to the cookie file on the PC or laptop and edit the information. Then the website should not allow you in when you try to log in with the cookie file you edited. 
  • Cookie encryption testing: Before writing the cookie file to a user’s PC, one must ensure that the web server encrypts sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. 
  • Cookie corruption test: Corrupt the cookies and check how the web application performs. Cookie corruption is one of the most critical tests to protect the web application from malicious actors.

4. Validating HTML/CSS: With HTML/CSS validation, one must ensure that the markup is semantic for search engine spiders to locate it quickly. Make sure that the structure of your web application is separated from its presentation. That is having the CSS files separate from HTML or source code files.
In addition, one must ensure that the HTML version of the web application is compatible with W3C standards. Other standards include OASIS, IETF, ISO, ECMA, and WS-I.

5. Interface Testing: The main interface components are the web, application, and database server. So one needs to test the interactions between the web server interface and Application server interface, and the application server interface and database server interface.

In other words, one needs to test if the connection requests between the application server and the database server operate as expected. In case of failure, the application layer should present helpful error messages.

Also, it should be tested if the data that returns for all the application queries is displayed correctly on the front end with appropriate formatting. When the database server throws errors for any queries, it must be ensured that they are adequately caught with proper error messages at the application level.

Compatibility Testing

Compatibility testing is a form of non-functional testing that inspects if the web application functions correctly across a myriad of web browsers, operating systems (OS), databases, mobile devices, hardware, and networking platforms.

Not every user has access to the latest sophisticated web browsers or mobile devices. Therefore one must develop at least the basic functionality of the web application to be backward compatible with legacy platforms.

What is the purpose of Compatibility Testing?

When the application is initially developed and tested, typically, it is done in a familiar platform. But once the application is deployed into the production environment, users may try it on various platforms, including outdated ones. Some of these defects may not be worth considering in terms of quality.

However, it would help if considered that the customers would use the application on various platforms. So there is a need to cater to most of them to ensure that the application works consistently across all the platforms by performing compatibility testing. On the hand, it will keep them happy.

Example test cases

1. Cross-browser Compatibility: Some of the elements in web pages display differently across various browsers, which implies that some HTML elements and their CSS properties are browser dependent. In addition to this, it is browser-dependent when you write plain native JavaScript.

Therefore is a need to test the web application in various browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and other major browsers.

It will help if CSS hacks are used to achieve a consistent look and feel across each browser. Also, there are JavaScript frameworks like jQuery, which behave consistently across all major browsers.

2. Operating System Compatibility: Like cross-browser compatibility, operating system compatibility is another severe issue for compatibility testing. Not all operating systems implement the latest sophisticated interface calls such as API.

On the other hand, some operating systems don’t support all the fonts. So the look and feel of websites may differ across various operating systems.

So it would help if one made sure that looks and functionality are compatible in different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.

3. Mobile Compatibility: With the escalating usage of mobile browsers to browse and interact with mobile applications, gone are the days when you developed websites just for desktops and laptops. It would help if the websites are built to cater to various handheld devices. So, it would help if the media queries are used effectively when building the layout.

4. Network Compatibility: One can test the web application in different types of networks such as Wifi, 3G, 4G, and 5G  for various bandwidths, network speeds, and capacities.

5. Device Compatibility: The application’s compatibility is evaluated with various devices such as USB, Bluetooth, SD Card, printers, and others.

Database Testing

Database testing examines the integrity and consistency of data, schemas, tables, procedures, functions, and triggers of the database under test. Testers perform these tasks by creating sophisticated queries that will enhance how well it adapts to different circumstances.

These days you seldom find static websites as data retrieval and storage form a critical component of any web application. Such web applications consist of several layers requiring testing: interface, business, data access, and database.

What is the purpose of Database Testing?

  1. Database testing is essential as testers ensure that users do not enter any junk data, including null values or text with special characters.
  2. Therefore, the web application can count on a reliable, fully-functional database with accurate data to respond to user queries from any part of the globe.
  3. Failure to perform database testing implies that data would be incorrectly stored, never stored, or lost. 
  4. It could result in application performance not being up to expectations with poor user experience (UI).

Example test cases

1. CRUD Operations Testing: The first set of test cases covers your application’s Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) activities to ensure that it stores and accesses data by maintaining its integrity. A tester can perform queries using SQL data manipulation language (DML) commands directly from the application interface or through a database management system (DBMS). For the testers to guarantee that the system’s database is secure against SQL injection attacks, they can run malicious SQL commands from the testing environment.

2. Database Table and Column Testing: Let’s assume that there is a simple customer registration form requesting the customer’s name, email address, contact number, and message. When the customer fills the form before it gets stored in the database, the table and column tests must ensure the following:

  • Data types of the form fields must match with the corresponding database form fields in the backend.
  • The field length mentioned in the backend database must match the validation of those corresponding fields in the front end.
  • The database fields defined in the backend enable the user to enter suitable user inputs as specified in the business requirement specifications. 

3. Keys and indexes testing:

  • This test tests if you have created the primary and foreign key constraints.
  • It tests whether the foreign key references are valid.
  • Checks if the datatype of the primary key and that of the corresponding foreign key are of the same type.
  • Check if you have created the size and length of the required fields.
  • Check if you have named all keys and indexes according to the appropriate conventions.
  • The business logic tests if you have created the appropriate clustered and non-clustered indexes on the relevant tables.

4. Schema Testing: The testers need to grasp the concept of the database schema as it forms the foundation for database structure. Testers usually execute schema tests using regular expressions to check table field names and confirm the value matches the intended data type. Also, Testers can disclose the database structure using SQL describe (DESC) statements to ensure that it corresponds to what the application expects.

5. Server validations of the database:

  • Examine whether the database server configurations are set as per the business requirement.
  • Check that the intended users have permission to do just those levels of activities that the application requires.
  • Check that the database server can handle the maximum number of user transactions that the business logic allows.

Security Testing

Security testing focuses on conducting tests to protect the web application from malicious attacks, viruses, and malware that may infiltrate the web application due to the security loopholes in the application. Security testing is the only way to uncover such loopholes that the intruders or malicious attackers may take advantage of.

What is the purpose of  Security Testing?

  1. The primary purpose of security testing is to detect and assess potential vulnerabilities in a software/web application. 
  2. As a result, you can confront the attacks, and the system does not cease functioning or operate under exploitation. 
  3. It also assists developers in discovering all possible security hazards in the system and coding resolutions to the crises.

Example Test Cases

1. All the passwords must be encrypted at the code level: Anyone with access to a user database on a company’s servers might examine any stored passwords if the passwords were not encrypted. In addition, when the passwords pass between client and server, hackers would be able to steal them and cause a malicious act on the system.

2. Forms have used the post method instead of the get method: The values you submitted through the form are attached to the URL string if you use the get method. So it is more likely that hackers could steal such information and launch an attack on your web application.

3. Direct access to pages that requires login should be banned: There are some pages that require you to log in to perform certain actions In case a user accesses them directly, they must be directed login page.

4. Test if the captchas are placed on all major forms: CAPTCHA protects you from spam and password decryption by requiring you to complete a simple test that verifies you are a person rather than a robot attempting to access a password-protected account.

Performance Testing

The primary goal of performance testing is to navigate and resolve performance blockages in web applications. It is also known as “Perf Testing” and is a subset of performance engineering. Thus performance testing is a software testing method for evaluating a software application’s speed, reaction time, stability, dependability, scalability, and resource utilization under a specific workload.

What is the purpose of  Performance Testing?

  1. Stability, scalability, and high-speed applications should be your goals in terms of performance, and performance testing may help you get there. 
  2. Before launching an app, every business owner should make this a top priority, and it should also be applied sooner in the process to save time and money afterward.
  3. The best aspect is that a robust performance testing approach helps position your product to match your end-users demand patterns and needs. It can also prepare your program to suit your company’s internal requirements!
  4. Testers design Performance tests to show how your application performs in various scenarios. A system may work nicely with a thousand concurrent users, but a performance test technique indicates how it would perform if there were a hundred thousand.

Example test cases

  1. You can test if the application crashes with thousands of simultaneous users.
  2. Another prominent example of performance testing is checking the CPU and memory performance under optimum load conditions.
  3. Checking the execution time of the database when thousands of records are read/written concurrently.
  4. Check the application’s reaction time under low, medium, moderate, and heavy workload scenarios.
  5. When network connectivity is sluggish, check that the Application Under Load response time is within an acceptable range.

Top 5 Tools For Web Testing

1. Selenium: Selenium is a framework widely used for testing web applications across various platforms. Some of its significant features include:

  • You can test web applications in multiple browsers and operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • You can write test cases in various programming languages such as PHP, C#, Java, Ruby, Pearl, etc.
  • It provides record and playback functionalities to create test cases. As a result, you don’t have to learn Selenium IDE.
  • It supports some prominent browser vendors who ensure that they have Selenium drivers installed in browsers.

2. TestComplete: TestComplete is a product of SmartBear which automates functional testing across numerous platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Web, iOS, and Android applications. Its major features include: 

  • It consists of a test visualizer, which allows you to visualize the results.
  • GUI testing option for GUI-based applications.
  • Provides scripting language support such as JavaScript, Python, C# script, etc.
  • You can record tests and provide playback.

3. QTP/UFT: Mercury Interactive created QTP/UFT, then HP, and is now MicroFocus bought it later.QTP stands for QuickTest Professional, while UFT stands for Unified Functional Testing.QTP is an automated functional testing tool that assists testers in running automated tests to find any flaws, faults, or gaps in the application under the test with expected outcomes. 
Some of its major features include:

  • Testers can perform automated function tests without interruptions.
  • You can test a combination of Desktop and web applications.
  • It provides record and playback.
  • Technical and non-technical users can use it with ease.

4. Acunetix: Acunetix by Invicti is a simple and easy-to-use tool that helps small and medium-sized businesses protect their online applications from catastrophic data breaches. It accomplishes this by detecting a wide range of online security concerns and assisting security and development experts in resolving them quickly.
Some of its major features include: 

  • Provides advanced crawler for most sophisticated web applications, including password-protected areas.
  • It gives evidence of the exploitation of many vulnerable attacks.
  • It combines interactive and dynamic application security testing to find vulnerabilities that other tools overlook.
  • Advanced online vulnerability scanning for over 7,000 web vulnerabilities, including  SQLi and XSS.

5. Sahi: Sahi is an open-source tool for testing web applications across cross-platforms. Its’ primary focus is to test web applications in multiple browsers, including those that hold Ajax and dynamic content.
Here are some of its major features:

  • It provides detailed error reporting for managers, testers, and developers alike.
  • Your QA team could create test cases with minimal programming knowledge.
  • It supports browser popups and modal dialogs.
  • It provides an in-built Excel framework enabling Business Analysts and testers with a non-technical background to contribute to testing. 


As websites or applications involve sophisticated functionalities and graphic design, you need to have an overall picture of all the building blocks that make up a website. 

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