What are your favorite web testing tools?
October 31, 2010 7:11 PM   Subscribe

Web developers - what tools do you use to test your sites?

I've been tasked with putting together a list of web testing tools. Since that's a really useful question in general, I thought I would get the hive mind's input.

What tools do you use for website testing? That can include everything from markup validators to link checkers to cross browser testing tools to anything else. Help me put together my list of popular web testing tools and tell me what you use for site checking.

One note: For this purpose, I'm not interested in SEO tools. That's a different list for a different day.
posted by fremen to Technology (15 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not a developer, but work closely with developers a lot of the time. Some of the tools we use are firebug and fiddler for front end debugging as well as third party tagging implementations. Fiddler is great because its cross-browser while firebug is Firefox only.
posted by jourman2 at 7:34 PM on October 31, 2010

Adobe's browserlab is fantastic.
posted by milarepa at 7:39 PM on October 31, 2010

It's an ancient and crude tool (though still maintained) but for small sites especially I still like to do at least one run-through with Xenu's Link Sleuth. It simply tries to follow all the URIs on the site and so sometimes uncovers problems I didn't see in other tools.
posted by XMLicious at 7:43 PM on October 31, 2010

I've used selenium for web application unit testing.
posted by contrarian at 7:49 PM on October 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

For more complex functional testing, you can record or write scripts using Selenium. This is useful for sites that provide many forms and change frequently. We also Twill for a similar purpose, which is an easily scriptable web browser for Python.
posted by sophist at 7:52 PM on October 31, 2010

Thirding selenium. And we tie that into BrowserMob for load testing.
posted by flipper at 8:02 PM on October 31, 2010

Sorry, borked the link: BrowserMob.
posted by flipper at 8:02 PM on October 31, 2010

When developing on your computer instead of uploading to a website (especially php) to view the site, use a personal server. Try WAMP.
posted by BurN_ at 8:17 PM on October 31, 2010

Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar pretty much go without saying.

I like to look at sites in Lynx (or Links) every once in a while.

The Live HTTP Headers add-on has helped me hugely with debugging, as has of course the Firefox error console.

There's an IE6-specific tool a bit like Firebug which I've had to use from time to time called DeBugBar.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 10:22 PM on October 31, 2010

MultipleIEs for running multiple copies of IE on one machine, although it has oddities. Yahoo's YSlow plugin and Google's Page Speed plugin are fun for optimization. Selenium, of course, for webapp testing. And at the end of the day, nothing beats a fresh pair of eyes.
posted by davejay at 11:06 PM on October 31, 2010

I have written a perl/wget crawler script to check a couple of (mostly) static websites I maintain: it goes over the files on the test server and checks for internal link consistency, reachability and completeness of the site map/navigation.

I'm worried some day this unholy creation is going to develop sentience and take over the internets, but for now it's working OK.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:22 PM on October 31, 2010

I read "testing" more as "Making sure everything works right" and not "Debugging a problem." (For the latter, Firebug, of course.)

For the former, I run a local instance of our website/application, and use Cucumber tests making heavy use of webrat. They advocate using it for BDD, but I typically use it for making sure I'm not introducing regressions. The tests aren't nearly complete, but they've caught a lot.
posted by fogster at 6:08 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like Keynote for remote measurement. It's a paid service but you can get their KITE testing tool for free and I think you can do a certain amount of instant tests free too. It's great to be able to validate actual page load from locations around the world, especially if you're working in an intranet environment and can't easy access an outside connection.
posted by Gortuk at 12:24 PM on November 1, 2010

... although I just checked out BrowserMob mentioned above for load testing and it does remote measurements as well, in a nice shiny Web 2.0 window.
posted by Gortuk at 12:42 PM on November 1, 2010

Speed Tracer and YSlow and WebPageTest and Chrome Dev Tools for latency / performance issues.

Firebug and Chrome Dev Tools for general JS errors, etc.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:25 PM on November 1, 2010

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