Automated browser tests of sites
The site is created to provide certain information or services 24/7 without interruption. If some form on one of the pages has stopped working correctly, then you need to find out about this as soon as possible. Why could this happen at all? The hosting company has rolled back the server on which your site is located or, during the development of new sections of the site, web-developer accidentally deleted (damaged) part of the existing functionality.
How to keep abreast of the performance of your site?
Finding such problems can be done manually, which is quite time consuming.
You can use data from Google Analytics. But this service is more focused on assessing how the user behaves while using the site and will not say that some element on this page is not working.
Selenium-based automated software can be used.
More on each item below.
Manual check? Human factor plus high price
The developer who creates the site checks the performance of each page at the time of the delivery of HIS part of the work. But he cannot do it every day. Edits made by other developers may cause malfunction of one of the forms on one of the pages. And if there are hundreds of these pages, then the problem is not easy to immediately notice, except that you can expect indignant comments from visitors to the technical support. But there is always a risk that without filling out the form, because it does not work, the visitor will simply close this browser tab and go to another site.
Server checks of various companies
Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica can already do a lot. If the site is unavailable, they will immediately notify about it. They can track targeted conversions from one page to another. But even they cannot make a full-fledged assessment of one or several pages, checking the functionality of the specified forms, buttons, drop-down lists and other elements, which is quite within the power of a program based on Selenium.
Selenium based software
Selenium allows literally the following — the program launches the Chrome or Firefox browser and then, controlling it, visits the specified pages, performs the specified actions, actually imitating human actions.
Checking the operation of a 30-field form is not a problem for such a program, filling out will take no more than 1 second (it can be slower, if necessary) — such speed is not available to humans. In addition, the program cannot "forget" check the button or field with the last name (login, whatever).
You can use SiteTester for individual single tests or for interval checks. In the second case, the launch occurs every 10-20-60 minutes around the clock, of course, if the computer is turned on.
If an error is detected at some stage, the program either stops the check and sends an error message, or (if possible) continues checking, simply leaving a record where the error is. If the error is critical (the "Save" button does not exist or does not work), then the check will inevitably stop at this stage. If one of the fields just disappeared (second / eighth name, etc.), but this is not critical, then a record of this incident will simply be made and the check will continue.
What can you check?
The scope of validation should be discussed before you start building technical task for software to validate your site. This can be simple following links on specific pages.
It may be necessary to check the correct operation of the order filling form, taking into account where after clicking the "Save" button or whatever the user should be redirected to and where to the redirect actually occurs.
To get acquainted with the work of the program, I propose to see personally how it works with the demo HTML form located at the URL http://maxbarannyk.ru/exampleform.
To run the demo version of the site testing program:
Download and install the latest JAVA-JDK on your Windows computer https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/javase-downloads.html.
Install Mozila Firefox browser.
Unpack the geckodriver.exe file to the C:\users\public\documents folder.
Install Chrome browser. Check your browser version by following the link chrome://settings/help
Download chromedriver the same version as your Chrome browser (93 version of Chromedriver for 93 version of Chrome) link: https://chromedriver.chromium.org/downloads.
Extract the chromedriver.exe file to C:\users\public\documents.
Move the previously downloaded ExampleFormTester.jar file to the C:\users\public\documents folder.
Right click on the file and allow the file to run:
Double click to run the program.
Select the item "Fill example form", click on the button "Start single test".
This will automatically launch the Chrome browser (or Firefox, depending on your choice above the Start single test button).
Note: this application automatically launches the browser, controlling its actions - do not interfere with the operation of the browser window that appears! In order to process the information received, the application itself will also send data on the beginning and end of the check to the POST server. Windows Firewall can inform you of this.
Data for viewing test results in your personal account:
Login (email): email@example.com
Email to contact with site owner: firstname.lastname@example.org