Web automation tools have come a long, long, looooong way. While they used to be complex, clunky, and expensive—today, they’re much more affordable and easy to use. Some even offer no-code solutions and have managed to bridge the gap between technical and business teams with the help of natural language processing (NLP).
The right web automation tool, or tools, can help your quality assurance (QA) team ship products faster by reducing testing times and improving productivity. But, depending on your needs, some tools are better choices than others.
So, to help you start saving time right away, we’ve put together a list of the 8 top web automation tools for different needs. Check them out below.
Here’s a quick overview of every tool:
- Selenium: The best free, open-source web automation tool—and also the most widely used.
- TestComplete: The best paid web automation tool, more powerful than Selenium in some ways.
- QA Wolf: Simplifies your testing a lot, and helps QA teams save loads of time.
- testRigor: Simplifies your workflows using an NLP parser.
- SoapUI: The best tool for UI testing.
- BrowserStack: Run multiple tests across 2,000+ browsers in one place.
- LoadNinja: For when you need to load test, fast.
- Cucumber: Execute test cases using plain English.
What are web automation tools?
Web automation tools (also known as web automation testing tools) help QA professionals test software products more efficiently. These tools are usually low-code, and they’re designed to help QA teams simplify the testing process and save time along the way.
Not what you had in mind? Many people assume web automation tools are any tool you can use on a website to automate a task or workflow. Don’t worry if you made this mistake—all of these different types of software are hard to wrap your head around sometimes. If this isn’t what you’re looking for, you might want to check out our other articles on the 10 best types of workflow automation software or our guide to task automation software.
8 Top web automation tools to try now
Wondering where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are some hands-on impressions for each tool and which use cases they might be perfect for.
Selenium is one of the best free, open-source automated web testing tools. In fact, it’s the most popular web automation tool, and it supports various programming languages, browsers, and operating systems.
When people talk about Selenium, they’re usually referring to Selenium WebDriver—the main tool for test automation. But Selenium also has Selenium IDE, a Firefox add-on that lets you record and playback your actions in your browser for testing. But testers have mixed feelings about the tool.
You can use Selenium to develop automation scripts in different languages, and run parallel tests (courtesy of Selenium Grid) to save time. So if you’re serious about web automation, you should definitely test Selenium out.
TestComplete also supports testing for enterprise products, like SAP, and it lets you run parallel tests on your local machine or in the cloud.
Despite how powerful TestComplete is, it’s not nearly as popular as Selenium. This is mainly because TestComplete is a paid tool with an expensive license. But the tool does offer a free 30-day trial, so you can test it out and make sure it meets your needs before committing fully.
3. QA Wolf
Founded in 2019, QA Wolf is a relatively new web automation tool designed to help teams automate web testing with minimal effort. The company claims to help teams achieve 80% automated test coverage in four months and to cost 50% less than an in-house QA team.
QA Wolf supports major browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, and WebKit. It also includes videos and logs of failures to help you quickly identify problems in your apps. Like TestComplete, QA Wolf is a paid tool, but it comes with a risk-free trial.
testRigor is a web automation tool that does a great job at simplifying your workflow—by using an NLP parser to parse plain English. In other words, it lets you express tests as executable specifications in plain English. This opens up a world of opportunities and helps people with limited technical abilities perform web testing.
testRigor can explore your website automatically and take groups of screenshots that represent a user’s possible paths. You can also record test cases using the tool’s Chrome extension, and it lets you run test sessions on multiple browsers and devices in parallel.
testRigor has different subscription plans with various features, but it also has a Free Forever public version. It lets you add unlimited users and perform unlimited tests.
Looking to perform some API testing for your web apps? SoapUI is an excellent choice. It’s the most popular tool for API testing, and can be used to test both SOAP and REST APIs. Users love its drag-and-drop functionality and how user friendly it is.
Some of SoapUI’s more advanced features include:
- Asynchronous testing
- Data-driven testing: load files or databases to simulate users’ interactions with your APIs
- Script reuse: SoapUI lets you reuse functional test cases for load testing or to perform security scans
Overall, SoapUI is an excellent tool for API testing and is used by thousands of companies worldwide. The open-source version is free to use, and the Pro version costs $659 annually for medium-to-large teams.
As the name implies, BrowserStack is a niche tool designed to help developers test their apps across multiple browsers from a single platform. And we’re not talking about dozens or even hundreds of browsers here—BrowserStack lets you test applications across over 2,000 of them. It’s designed to serve its niche really well.
BrowserStack is cloud-based, and you can set up different testing environments that include support for firewalls and proxies. The tool accurately tests different scenarios as if they were run on a real device. The company is also known for its stellar, responsive customer support.
LoadNinja is a load-testing tool created by SmartBear, the same company that owns TestComplete. LoadNinja is excellent for point-and-click scripting, allowing you to create load tests, debug your app, and get browser-based metrics to act on.
LoadNinja automates the tedious parts of load testing by replacing load emulators with real browsers. It lets you zero in on performance issues, and the InstaPlayer feature lets you create tests without scripting and play them back.
LoadNinja’s VU inspector tool helps you manage virtual user activity in real time, and since the tool is entirely hosted on the cloud, you don’t need to conduct any upkeep or dedicate a computer to the server.
While LoadNinja is one of the best web automation tools for load testing, it’s not cheap to use. The tool’s subscriptions start at $1,200/year, and the premium plan costs a whopping $7,800. However, you can schedule a free demo to check if the tool is worth the investment for your team.
Cucumber is free web automation software that describes itself as a “behavior driven development” tool, because its goal is to help you develop test cases for the behavior of your app’s functionality.
Cucumber is used by some major brands, including PayPal, TypeForm, and the Ministry of Justice. The tool’s UI is intuitive and easy to use, and one of the real draws of using this tool is its plain English testing functionality.
With Cucumber, you can write executable specifications in plain English for your test cases. It will then read your instructions and run the test case accordingly. This functionality makes it easier for business and technical teams to collaborate effectively.
The app lets you run code on Selenium and other frameworks, and although it’s written in Ruby, it also supports programming languages like Java, Scala, and Groovy.
Ready to scale your web automation?
As you can see, there’s no shortage of good web automation tools available—and no niche that’s been neglected. Whether you need to perform comprehensive end-to-end testing or aggressive browser testing, there’s an automated tool that has your back. Now start winning back more of your time!