Not everyone who is active on the Internet is proficient in programming. And yet the codes hidden in the background are what makes websites work — if something goes wrong, programming errors have to be analyzed. Test programs with a graphical interface are designed to remedy this very problem.
What is front-end testing?
What is behind the front-end testing and how powerful are modern tools? Are there alternatives to front-end testing with programs? One fact, at least, is indisputable: no website can hope for commercial success without the comprehensive testing of presentation and function.
Front-end testing of websites ensures that Internet pages function. There are several sources of errors that can have a negative impact on the appearance and functionality of websites. For instance:
If the input field for a postcode in a form also accepts letters or special characters, this leaves the door wide open for unusable orders.
A faulty CSS code has a negative effect on the presentation of the website. Example: One element overlaps another, so that essential content is hidden for the user.
Another common error is the poor display of websites on mobile devices. However, without Responsive Design, a large number of potential customers are excluded from the very start. Usually, these kinds of errors can only be detected through extensive tests that check the presentation in different browsers and devices.
Which tests are important?
The more extensive websites become, and the more options they offer the user, the more complicated testing becomes. The tests must therefore be reduced to the essentials. Restrictions can already help at the test level:
End-to-end tests provide a comprehensive check of the functions of an application — from the beginning to the end.
Integration tests check the interaction and compatibility of different functionalities.
Unit tests are smaller tests for narrowly defined applications as part of a website.
Front-end testing is essentially nothing more than the use of software to test software. The tester works with an interface that is as easy to use and that offers various options for detecting and correcting errors.
Have the functionality and usability of your website tested not only by a few people, but by the crowd. Thousands of Clickworkers are looking forward to visit your web pages and document possible errors or usability problems.
Most GUI programs (GUI = Graphical User Interface) for front-end testing of websites are based on Selenium. The direct application of selenium offers the user flexible possibilities to test websites in a wide variety of fully automated ways. There are hardly any limits to creativity here. However, the framework itself requires coding skills and it can take quite a while to set up a specific test.
The alternative to extensive programming work — if you insist on selenium — is outsourcing. This involves placing specific test orders with IT agencies that write individual tests in Java, PHP, Python or another programming language. The advantage is that these tests run on all standard browsers and provide a high level of security. Front-end testing with more basic software, on the other hand, is usually limited to certain browsers.
Front-end testing tools
There are many tools for testing websites. Most of them are focused on narrowly defined tests. One exception is LambdaTest, the most popular cross-browser front-end testing program with a variety of options.
If you know from the outset which tests are needed, you can choose from a range of programs to find the right tool.
Needle focuses on testing CSS, i.e. the codes that are responsible for the display of web pages.
All programs are fee-based. But when you consider the loss of revenue that even the smallest programming errors can incur, you should at least consider investing in front-end testing tools.
Why tests are so important
An increasing number of everyday applications take place on the web today. Shopping, banking, private and business contacts work just as well online — often even better — than in the analogue world. Today, customers start by searching for a website that offers solutions to almost every problem.
Providers of these websites are in fierce competition. Hundreds, if not thousands of websites offer their services for exactly the same demands. This is why small details in the functionality of a website are often decisive in determining whether the potential customer clicks to the competition or continues his journey to a purchase. Front-end testing of websites prevents these kinds of abandonments.
Front-end testing with the crowd
The potential of the crowd lends itself to remote testing. The front-end testing of websites can be divided into narrowly defined microjobs, which can be carried out by any number of crowdworkers.
Front-end testing with the crowd is highly scalable and flexible. It delivers results that are based on human input but can still be used by the client in a similar way to software. Bugs and usability problems can be precisely localized to quickly track down costly errors.
Front-end testing of websites is a must for success-oriented Internet presences. In highly competitive market segments, it is of vital importance to localize as many sources of error as possible in advance. This procedure is necessary in order to offer the customer a flawless customer journey. A variety of tools have proven effective for this purpose, but they have different focuses and are often difficult to use.
Microjobs performed by the crowd are a good alternative to front-end testing of websites. They deliver reliable, human-based results for the analysis of a website’s functionality.
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