Web Site Testing Basics Part 2 – Website Test Plan and Testcases

What is a website test plan?
A website test plan is a written document that outlines detailed test cases. For a web site, the test cases are organized based on the pages of a site as well as by the main functions performed on the site.

For example, to test an e-commerce web site, the test plan may contain test cases to cover the following:

– Navigating the web site
– Searching for a product
– Purchasing a product
– Returning a product
– Creating a customer account

There are many other areas that this test plan would cover such as printing pages from the site, testing input forms, and so on.

The test plan document also includes details about the test environment (browser, operating system, and configuration) as well as space for writing down the actual results of the test cases. These results can then be communicated to the site designer or programmer.

In a nutshell, the test plan is the overall organizing document for all testing that should be performed on the web site.

What are website testcases?

A test case is simply a set of steps to follow along with expected results for each step. Each test case has a purpose such as finding a broken link or validating an input form.

Test cases are important. By writing down the steps to test portions of a web site, you can track results and pinpoint problems on your site. In addition, test cases are reproducible and reusable.

By reproducible, I mean that when I run a test case, I’ll get the same results as another person running the same test case in the same environment. Test cases are reusable because they are written down. So, if you make a change to your web site say in two months, you can re-run a test case after your changes are complete to verify that the test case still passes.

How do you create a website testcase?

As an example, let’s create a test case for testing a link from the home page to the contact page on a web site. Your expected result is that the contact page displays when you click on the contact link.

The test case steps would go something like this:

Display the site’s home page in your browser window.
Click the link to the contact page.
If a page displays, record the URL of the page that displays.
If a page does not display, record any error message received and mark the test case as failed. Go to #7.
If the URL is the contact page, mark the test case as successful.
If the URL is not for the contact page, record the page title of the page that displayed and mark the test case as failed.
End Test Case.
The above test case not only checks for a broken link, but also checks for a link to the wrong page.

As you can see, test cases can be very detailed. For something like checking links, you can use an automated tool or a spreadsheet to speed up the process.

Quick Tip:

Type your test cases into a spreadsheet or word processor so you can revise and reuses them the next time you change your web site. For each item, make sure you leave some space for recording the results of your testing.

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