How can World Wide Web sites be tested?

Answer /


Web sites are essentially client/server applications - with
web servers and 'browser' clients. Consideration should be
given to the interactions between html pages, TCP/IP
communications, Internet connections, firewalls,
applications that run in web pages (such as applets,
javascript, plug-in applications), and applications that
run on the server side (such as cgi scripts, database
interfaces, logging applications, dynamic page generators,
asp, etc.). Additionally, there are a wide variety of
servers and browsers, various versions of each, small but
sometimes significant differences between them, variations
in connection speeds, rapidly changing technologies, and
multiple standards and protocols. The end result is that
testing for web sites can become a major ongoing effort.
Other considerations might include:
• What are the expected loads on the server (e.g., number
of hits per unit time?), and what kind of performance is
required under such loads (such as web server response
time, database query response times). What kinds of tools
will be needed for performance testing (such as web load
testing tools, other tools already in house that can be
adapted, web robot downloading tools, etc.)?
• Who is the target audience? What kind of browsers will
they be using? What kind of connection speeds will they by
using? Are they intra- organization (thus with likely high
connection speeds and similar browsers) or Internet-wide
(thus with a wide variety of connection speeds and browser
• What kind of performance is expected on the client side
(e.g., how fast should pages appear, how fast should
animations, applets, etc. load and run)?
• Will down time for server and content
maintenance/upgrades be allowed? how much?
• What kinds of security (firewalls, encryptions,
passwords, etc.) will be required and what is it expected
to do? How can it be tested?
• How reliable are the site's Internet connections required
to be? And how does that affect backup system or redundant
connection requirements and testing?
• What processes will be required to manage updates to the
web site's content, and what are the requirements for
maintaining, tracking, and controlling page content,
graphics, links, etc.?
• Which HTML specification will be adhered to? How
strictly? What variations will be allowed for targeted
• Will there be any standards or requirements for page
appearance and/or graphics throughout a site or parts of a
• How will internal and external links be validated and
updated? how often?
• Can testing be done on the production system, or will a
separate test system be required? How are browser caching,
variations in browser option settings, dial-up connection
variabilities, and real-world internet 'traffic congestion'
problems to be accounted for in testing?
• How extensive or customized are the server logging and
reporting requirements; are they considered an integral
part of the system and do they require testing?
• How are cgi programs, applets, javascripts, ActiveX
components, etc. to be maintained, tracked, controlled, and
Some sources of site security information include the
Usenet newsgroup '' and links
concerning web site security in the 'Other Resources'

Thanks & Regards

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