For any application or system that will be put to use, there is a need to first carry out a test. In fact, this is a fundamental axiom and it is true in all ramifications. When it comes to WordPress, the different types of tests have consistently increased over the years. Therefore, this article will discuss the various testing types that can be utilised for WordPress.
What is Testing in Web Development?
Testing is the use of various tools or means to make sure that changes to your code or website are working as expected.
To ensure that the changes you make to your code work very well, there are several testing types that you can use. Each type of testing has its features, advantages, as well as its disadvantages. However, in this article, we have covered the testing types most suitable for WordPress.
Manual or Automated Types
Manual testing is done by an individual clicking through the application or interacting with the software and APIs with the appropriate tools. It is costly as it requires someone to set up an environment and execute the tests themselves, and it is prone to human error because the tester can omit steps in the script or make typos.
Automated tests are more robust and reliable than manual tests. They are carried out using a machine that executes a test script already written, meaning that the quality of your automated tests largely depends on how well the test script has been written.
Automated testing is a crucial component of continuous integration and continuous delivery, and it’s a great way to scale your application as you add new features to it. But one can not underestimate the value in doing some manual testing.
Now lets, zoom into specific kinds of testing;
Unit testings are very low-level tests, close to the source of your application. They consist of testing specific methods as well as functions of the classes, modules or components used by your software. Unit tests can be run quickly using a continuous integration server, and they are generally cheap to automate.
Unit testing is useful for WordPress core and Plugin Development. This is possible because the goal of unit testing lies in the actual code and module components of development. It is an essential testing done by developers. In more precise terms, Unit testing can be seen as a foundation for all other tests.
Integration tests help in verifying that the services and modules used by your application are working together as expected. For instance, you may be testing the interaction with the database or trying to make sure that microservices work well together. Integrated tests are generally expensive to run as there is a need to have multiple parts of the application up and running.
The relevance of Integration testing in WordPress is significant; however, since it’s expensive, the bulk of integration testing is done by the WordPress community, usually from the source of development.
Functional tests have a direct focus on an application’s business requirements. The tests only verify the output of action and never check the system’s intermediate states when performing the action.
Although both functional and integration tests require interaction between multiple components of the application, there is a difference between them. While an integration test will verify that you can query the database, a functional test would expect to have a specific value from the database clearly defined by the product requirements.
End-to-end testing replicates a user behaviour with the software in a complete application environment. The tests verify that different user flows work as expected. This can be as simple as loading a web page or logging in or much more complex scenarios checking email notifications, online payments, etc.
End-to-end tests are handy, but they’re expensive to perform and can be hard to maintain when they’re automated. It is recommended to have a few critical end-to-end tests and rely more on low-level types of testing (integration and unit tests) to identify breaking changes quickly.
Similar to system testing, End-to-End Testing involves testing of the complete application environment in a way that mimics real-world use, such as using network communications, interacting with a database, or interacting with other hardware, applications, or systems if appropriate.
At this juncture, we must emphasise that Functional testing is the same as End to End testing for us. This checks that the whole software is working. Some may even categorise this as System testing.
Why not Do Everything with End-to-End Testing?
Well, the downside to this is that it is too slow and not cost-effective. Therefore, for a large project, it might take too much time and money. However, for small projects, it is sufficient.
For the essence of completion, here is a list of other testings that may be useful in WordPress;
- Performance Testing
- Load Testing
- Security Testing
- Compatibility Testing
- Install Testing
- Recovery Testing
To conclude this article, it is essential to discuss the primary objective of testing. First, is to ensure that users can truly make use of an application. Second, is to check that your system does not break when unexpected actions are performed. What will happen when a user makes a typo, uses the wrong API or tries to save an incomplete form? These are the reasons for the test. In addition, you need to ensure that no one can easily compromise the data or get inappropriate access to resources. An excellent testing suite like one provided by Testup will be of great value.