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Tetiana Chuiasova, Automation Quality Assurance Engineer

Mar 07, 2024 16 min read

How to Test a Website Manually

In this article, we will explain where this figure comes from and how to test a website manually, detailing its stages and types. 

How to Test a Website Manually

Creating a website is a complex process where each team member performs specific actions. Web testing is critical for creating a valuable resource because the testing quality will determine the project's success. As practice shows, many developers need to pay more attention to this stage, relying solely on their knowledge and experience. And what do we get as a result? Errors that lead to colossal expenditures of time, effort, and money. A resource that malfunctions elicits negativity from users, causing a decline in trust in the company and adversely affecting its reputation. Website testing can account for up to 50% of the time and budget. In this article, we will explain where this figure comes from and how to test a website manually, detailing its stages and types. 

What Exactly is Manual Testing? 

Manual testing manually analyzes software to help ensure that it meets specific requirements and works as intended. Unlike automated testing, which relies on pre-written tests, manual testing involves human testers who closely observe test cases, observe application behavior, and report problems encountered. Manual testing will be performed on a website, including verification of functionality, interaction, and interactivity through the active participation of the tester. 

In contrast to automated testing, which utilizes predefined scenarios, manual testing entails the tester's active engagement with the website to identify potential issues and shortcomings. Critical aspects of manual testing encompass exploratory testing to study functionality, verify correct operation, test on various devices and browsers, assess user-friendliness, and identify potential security issues. Manual testing is crucial for ensuring quality and user satisfaction on the website.  

Companies can detect flaws and assess customer experience for their online websites with the help of manual testers. You can also discover the advantages of our manual testing services and how they can benefit your project. 

Why Test a Website?  

Web testing is a critical process in software development to ensure web application quality, functionality, and performance. While the definition of web testing encompasses various aspects, its primary goal and benefits are fundamental to understanding its importance in the development lifecycle. The overarching goal of web testing is to identify issues that could negatively impact the functionality of a website or application. Web testing can help identify areas for website improvement, leading to better outcomes such as increased traffic, sales, and customer satisfaction.  

The testing procedure is extensive. Web testers examine the entire system from start to finish before releasing the website to the market.  

Now that we've established what web testing is and why it's essential, the next stage is understanding how to do it. The web testing process involves various crucial testing stages to ensure the end user is satisfied with a product. It entails testing not only the functionality of the website but also various interfaces, the compatibility of web applications with browsers, performance, and many other aspects.  

Below are the primary types of testing required for a website.  

Types of Testing Required For a Website 

Here is a rundown of the critical website testing types you need to understand. 

Functional Testing 

Have you ever faced a situation where you visited a website that didn't work as you expected? If yes, you likely left promptly, a reaction shared by many. Functional testing is a way to ensure that your website behaves as expected. It helps to identify any issues that might cause inconvenience to your visitors and hinder your website's performance.  

Typical functional testing checks:

  • Forms: Do they work? And do they work on desktops, tablets, and critical mobile devices? 
  • Live URLs: Are your redirect pages working? Do you have a custom 404 page? 

Payment Testing 

Payment testing ensures customers can complete their purchases regardless of location, browser, and device. Payment integrations are checked to ensure no transaction falls at the last hurdle. 

Typical payment testing checks: 

  • Payment Options: Are your payment options compatible with various devices and platforms? 
  • Coverage: Do you offer the proper payment methods for different locations? 
  • User Experience (UX): Is the payment process smooth and user-friendly? 

Usability Testing 

This type of testing enables you to make data-driven changes by understanding how users interact with your website. 

Typical usability testing checks: 

  • Navigation: Are all user journeys seamless experiences? Are there different user journeys for various user types? 
  • Search: Can users quickly find the desired pages when searching? 

Accessibility Testing 

Accessibility testing helps to ensure your website is accessible to all users.  

Typical accessibility testing checks: 

  • Text alternatives for images: Ensure that all images on the website have descriptive alternative text (alt text) to convey their meaning to users who rely on screen readers or may have images disabled. 
  • Contrast and color usage: Make sure to test the website using color contrast checking tools to ensure enough contrast between text and background colors. This will make it more accessible to users with visual impairments or color blindness. 
  • Skip to content links: Check: Include "skip to content" links at the beginning of the page to allow users to bypass repetitive navigation and directly access the main content. 
  • Readable fonts and text spacing: Use readable fonts and provide sufficient spacing between lines of text. Users with visual impairments may require larger fonts or increased line spacing. 

Security Testing 

Security testing is crucial to ensure your website is free from vulnerabilities, threats, and risks that could harm your business. 

Typical security testing checks:

  • Authentication: How do you verify user identities? 
  • Confidentiality: What privacy settings do you have in place? 
  • Compliance: Do you adhere to regulations such as the GDPR? 
  • Authorization: How do you control user privileges? What security measures protect your website from online threats? 

UI/UX Testing 

UI/UX testing focuses on evaluating the user interface and experience of a website to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of users. 

 Some typical checks performed in UI/UX testing include

  • Navigation and usability: Testing the ease of navigation and user interaction across different pages and features of the website. 
  • Responsiveness: Verifying that the website displays and functions correctly across various devices and screen sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. 
  • Visual design consistency: Checking for consistency in branding, typography, color schemes, and visual elements throughout the website. 
  • Content presentation: Assessing the clarity, readability, and organization of content to ensure it effectively communicates the intended message to users. 
  • Error handling: Testing how the website handles errors, such as 404 pages, form validation errors, and error messages, to provide users with helpful guidance. 

API Testing 

API testing focuses on verifying the functionality, reliability, and security of the application programming interfaces (APIs) that power website functionality.  

Some typical checks performed in API testing include:

  • Functional correctness: Testing API endpoints to ensure they perform the intended operations accurately and produce the expected results. 
  • Data validation: Verifying that input data sent to API endpoints is validated correctly and produces the desired output. 
  • Error handling: Testing how the API handles various error scenarios, such as invalid input, authentication failures, and server errors, to ensure robust error handling mechanisms are in place. 
  • Security: Testing the API for vulnerabilities such as injection attacks, authentication bypasses, and data exposure, to ensure sensitive data is protected. 

Localization Testing 

Localization testing ensures your website is accessible worldwide by addressing linguistic, technical, and visual aspects, overcoming translation and dialect barriers. 

Typical localization testing checks: 

  • Translations: Are specific dialects or special characters necessary for accurate translation? 
  • Local details: Is the contact information correct for each location? Do you accommodate different address formats? 
  • Performance: Does your website function properly across various locations, ensuring availability and functionality? 

The Benefits of Website Testing 

Website testing brings a broad range of benefits to your business. 

Increased Revenues 

Did you know that issues can cost your business a lot of money? You might be surprised to learn that when Amazon experienced a crash on its Prime Day, it lost an incredible $34 million per hour. Although your business may be smaller than Amazon, issues can significantly impact online sales. For instance, if your website's has poor functionality, crashes frequently, or has slow load speeds, visitors are likely to leave your site without converting. Considering that global e-commerce sales are predicted to exceed $6.38 trillion by 2025, your digital experience is now more critical than ever to your revenue. 

Boost Your Brand 

In today's digital age, a company's online reputation is paramount. Any security breach, functionality glitch, or poor user experience can damage trust and credibility. Website testing helps identify and rectify issues, safeguarding your brand's reputation and enhancing product performance. It also addresses various user experience problems, such as broken links, slow loading times, and mobile optimization issues, ensuring a seamless interaction with your brand. 

Expedite Your Time-to-Market 

Website testing provides valuable feedback to your developers, allowing them to proactively identify and fix issues, create a maintainable codebase, and optimize the digital experience before launching the site. This approach lets developers focus on improving the online experience rather than reacting to defects.  

Cut Costs 

There are many benefits to website testing, including cost savings. For instance, you can significantly reduce your tech expenses by identifying and resolving any software or hardware bottlenecks early on. This minimizes the need for extensive maintenance and costly emergency fixes. Streamlining your development process enables you to add value at every stage of your digital experience.   

Additionally, a well-functioning website means that your customer service team will have to deal with fewer issues from online customers. It will free up their time to handle other customer inquiries and reduce their required resources.  

The Challenges of Website Testing  

Here are some of the critical challenges associated with manually testing websites: 

Resource-Intensive 

  • Challenge: Manual testing can be time-consuming and requires a significant investment of human resources. 
  • Impact: It may slow down the overall development process, especially in projects with tight deadlines. 

Repetitive Tasks 

  • Challenge: Testers may need to perform repetitive tasks, such as data entry or regression testing, leading to potential errors due to monotony. 
  • Impact: Increased likelihood of oversight and fatigue, affecting testing accuracy. 

Scalability Issues 

  • Challenge: Scaling manual testing for large and complex applications can be challenging, requiring additional workforce. 
  • Impact: Difficulty maintaining the same testing efficiency level as the application grows. 

Subjectivity in Testing 

  • Challenge: Testers' subjective judgments may influence test results, leading to inconsistencies. 
  • Impact: Varied interpretations of user experience and functionality make ensuring uniform testing standards challenging. 

Limited Coverage 

  • Challenge: Manual testing may only cover some scenarios, especially in large and complex systems. 
  • Impact: Some critical paths or edge cases may be overlooked, potentially leading to undiscovered issues. 

Human Error 

  • Challenge: Testers are prone to human errors, such as overlooking details, misinterpreting requirements, or making mistakes in test execution. 
  • Impact: Increased chances of missing critical defects or introducing false positives/negatives. 

Difficulty in Load and Performance Testing 

  • Challenge: Manual load and performance testing can be complex and may not accurately simulate real-world scenarios. To find out more, read our article about how to do performance testing
  • Impact: Inability to identify performance bottlenecks and scalability issues effectively. (You can also learn how to do load testing with our comprehensive guide)

Despite these challenges, manual testing remains a valuable and necessary part of the testing process. Balancing manual and automated testing based on project requirements, resources, and the application's specific characteristics is essential. Learn how to test a website using manual testing to ensure a thorough evaluation of its functionality and user experience in our detailed guide below. 

The Challenges of Website Testing  

 How to Test a Website Manually: A Detail Guide 

Testing a website manually involves a thorough process to ensure that all aspects of the website function as intended. Below is a detailed guide on how to manually test a website: 

1. Analyzing Requirements: Review and understand the requirements and specifications of the website. 

2. Test Planning: Develop a test plan outlining the scope, objectives, resources, and schedule for testing. 

3. Documentation: Document test scenarios, procedures, and results meticulously to maintain clarity and provide a reference for future testing cycles. 

4. Test Design: Test cases and test scenarios should be created based on the requirements and user stories. 

5. Environment Setup:  

  • Set up the testing environment, including hardware, software, and network configurations. 
  • Ensure compatibility with different browsers, operating systems, and devices. 
  • Install necessary tools and frameworks for testing. 

6. Functional Testing

  • Test all website functionalities, including navigation, forms, links, and interactive elements. 
  • Verify data input and output. 

7. Browser Compatibility: To ensure compatibility of the website, test it on various web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and others.) 

8. UI/UX Testing

  • Evaluate the ease of navigation and user interaction across different pages and features, ensuring an intuitive and user-friendly design. 
  • Verify that the website adapts and functions correctly across various devices, screen sizes, and orientations, providing a seamless user experience. 
  • Check for consistency in branding, typography, color schemes, and visual elements throughout the website to maintain a cohesive appearance. 

9. Usability Testing

  • Evaluate the overall user experience. 
  • Check for readability, accessibility, and user interface intuitiveness. 

10. Performance Testing

  • Assess the website's loading speed. 
  • Check performance under different network conditions. 

11. Security Testing

  • Verify that sensitive information is handled securely. 
  • Check for SSL certificates and data encryption. 

12. Mobile Responsiveness: 

  • Test the website on various devices (phones, tablets) to ensure responsiveness. 
  • Check for mobile-specific issues. 

13. Database Testing: 

  • Verify data integrity in databases. 
  • Test database connections and transactions. 

14. Accessibility Testing

  • Help to ensure the website is accessible to users with disabilities. 
  • Use tools to check for compliance with accessibility standards. 

15. Defect Reporting: 

  • Report defects promptly and comprehensively, including steps to reproduce, severity, and screenshots or videos if necessary. 
  • Prioritize defects based on severity and impact on user experience to focus on critical issues first. 

16. Feedback and Improvement

  • Gather feedback from the testing team and stakeholders. 
  • Implement improvements based on feedback. 

Remember to adapt this guide based on the specific requirements and characteristics of the website you are testing. Regular communication with the development team and stakeholders is crucial for a successful testing process. 

Manual Web Testing Tools 

Here is a list of the essential tools for testers that you will need to know at the start to test a website manually. These user-friendly tools can help you enhance the manual testing process, find more issues, and execute your first test cases. 

Chrome Developer Tools 

It is your first helper on web testing. It was built into the Google Chrome browser, and you can access it by right-clicking on a webpage and selecting "Inspect." It allows you to inspect and edit HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, analyze network traffic, etc. 

Cross-Browser Testing Tools 

Browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, etc. are essential for manual testing. Testers need to check how the websites work, and the UI looks across different browsers. So, that is why you will need a tool that helps you test your website on different browsers and platforms. For example, the popular tool in this area is BrowserStack. 

Accessibility Testing Tools 

This tool provides visual feedback and suggestions to make your site more accessible to users. For instance, the most popular tool on Mac is VoiceOver. 

Postman 

Useful for API testing, Postman allows you to send HTTP requests and analyze responses, making it easier to test APIs without relying on a web interface. 

Screen Capture Tools 

Screen capture tools like Snagit will help you create screenshots or record videos of issues you will find during testing. These tools are beneficial for documenting issues and communicating them to developers or other team members. 

Bug Tracking Systems 

Bug tracking systems such as Trello and JIRA are valuable for reporting and tracking issues found during your manual testing. These tools allow you to create detailed bug reports, assign them to developers, track their status, and assist in collaboration between team members.  

Test Management Tools 

Test management tools like TestRail help organize and manage test cases, test suites, and test plans. These tools provide features for creating, executing, and tracking test cases and generating test reports and metrics. 

Collaboration and Communication Tools 

Tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Meet, and Bluejeans facilitate communication and collaboration among testers, developers, and other team members. These platforms enable real-time discussions, file sharing, documentation, and task tracking, improving overall team coordination. 

Documentation Tools 

Documentation tools like Google Docs and Google Sheets help create test plans, test cases, and other testing-related documents. They help testers organize and document their testing efforts, making sharing information more accessible and maintaining a comprehensive record of test activities. 

Proxy Tools 

These tools help inspect HTTP requests and responses, modify data, and identify security vulnerabilities or performance issues. One of the most known tools in this area is Charles Proxy, which helps you monitor and analyze network traffic, making it helpful in understanding how data flows between your browser and the server. 

JMeter

Apache JMeter is a powerful open-source tool that can simulate heavy loads on servers, measure response times, and analyze performance metrics. JMeter supports many protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, REST, and FTP. 

Note Tools 

You can use Notion, Monday, or Miro to document your and your team's thoughts, plans, and task priorities. 

Visual Tools 

You can use tools like Lucidchart, Mural, Draw.io, or Google Slides to visually represent your thoughts and ideas and create diagrams and tables. 

But you should know that the most essential tool for any tester is critical, detail-oriented, and mindful thinking. Manual testing requires a careful eye, a systematic approach, and an ability to think like a user to uncover potential issues and improve the whole user experience. The tools mentioned above can enhance your testing capabilities but are no substitute for a thoughtful and thorough QA process. And for sure, all manual testing relies on the tester's skills and experience. The choice of tools depends on your requirements, the technology stack of your web application, and your team's preferences and expertise. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, mastering the art of manual website testing is fundamental for delivering a high-quality, user-centric web experience. This guide has equipped you with a detailed roadmap, ensuring that your manual testing efforts contribute to the success and reliability of your website. Adapt these strategies to your needs for a thriving website in the digital landscape. Now you know how to test a website manually! Learn more about our successful collaboration with QPilot. We're happy to share our experiences and demonstrate how our partnership has led to successful outcomes for our clients. Don't hesitate to talk to us today. We're here to assist you and ensure the success of your project. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is manual testing still relevant in the era of automated testing?

Manual testing is crucial for uncovering user experience issues, ensuring usability, and validating real-world scenarios that automated tests may miss. 

How often should manual testing be performed on a website?

Manual testing should be conducted regularly, especially after significant updates, feature additions, or website architecture changes. 

Can one person perform manual testing for a website?

While one person can conduct various types of manual testing, collaboration between team members with diverse expertise is often more effective.

What are the critical challenges in manual website testing?

Challenges include time consumption, the need for diverse testing environments, and the potential for human error. 

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