When testing any web application, browser extensions come in quite handy in making us more productive. A browser extension is a software application which adds functionality to the browser and enhance the functionality of a website. Such programs have different names – browser extensions, plug-ins, add-ons. When determining to install an extension, one must keep in mind the kind of resources the extension has access to and where it will be sending the data it collects.
For testers, a plethora of browser extensions are available today. As a tester, it’s your responsibility to select the best browser extensions for testing that meet your requirements.
Almost every browser supports the installation of this additional functionality. Here is a list of top browser extensions for software testing which can be used by testers on two of the most popular browsers, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They can be used as the most effective and time efficient software testing tools.
1. Postman – API
One of the top browser extensions for testing APIs a software tester can use. It has a friendly GUI for sending requests to the web server and getting the response back. Test suites can be created by testers using Postman’s simple interface. It is easy to configure; you just need to point to the service URL and there you go. It works in backend and ensures each and every API is working as intended.
2. Page Load Time – Performance
When a page loads, it involves network and coding interaction to display the webpage within a stipulated time. This extension can be used to measure the page load time and displays the time in toolbar. With this extension you can view the breakdown of the speed of the page loading and rendering.
3. Wave – Accessibility
This extension can be used in both Chrome and Firefox. Using this extension, you can evaluate if your website and applications are compliant to web accessibility standards. Since the extension runs withing the web browser, it ensures 100% secure accessibility reporting. Apart from detailed summary of the issues on the web page, WAVE has tabs which displays structure and color contrast for a detailed view of how the web page is doing with both issues.
4. LambdaTest – Cross Browser
LambdaTest helps you to run cross browser tests on cloud platform. With this chrome extension for testing, you can just select the browsers and launch the URL. You can test your application across multiple browsers. If you find an issue, you can take screenshots on up to 25 different browsers and operating system at the same time. This extension supports more than 2000 browsers and their versions. Using this extension will save a lot of time.
5. Bug Magnet – Exploratory
This extension can be installed in both Chrome and Firefox. With Bug Magnet you have easy access to boundaries and edge cases for exploratory testing. You can cover problematic values and edge cases to the context menu (right-click) for input fields, text areas, content editable DIVs, which often cause failures. Example:
- Lorems – Text in different charsets and languages
- Text size – Word limit
- Names – Names like NULL or Chloë Rømer
- E-Mail addresses – Valid or invalid addresses
- Numbers – Large numbers
- Whitespace – Leading white spaces, tabs or newlines
- Format exploits – SQL injection or broken HTML
6. Bird Eats Bug – Efficient Reporting
This chrome extension allows even non-technical people to create a data-rich bug report which allows developers to discover the root cause of the problem much faster. With this extension you can capture bugs with screen recording, console logs, network logs, and more. It directly integrates with Jira, Linear, Trello and other management tools.
7. Window Resizer – Resolution
This extension resizes the browser in order to display application in various resolutions. It is very useful in testing application on different browser resolutions. You can easily customize the resolution to a new dimension. The extension also enables you to customize global key shortcuts and allows you to export your settings and then import them to another computer. Similarly, we have Window Resizer extension available on Firefox as well.
8. Lighthouse – Performance and Accessibility
Using this chrome extension for testing, you can improve the performance, SEO, quality and correctness of any web application. It can audit the web page for its performance and accessibility. Lighthouse provides a breakdown of website into Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices, SEO and Progressive Web Applications. Reports generated will aim at explicit segments and even lines of code which can be fixed.
9. Selenium IDE – Automation
A Firefox extension which can be used to record, edit and debug tests. You can record and save the scripts and playback later on. Tests can be organized into suites for easy management and can be converted to different programming languages such as html, Java etc. It requires minimal knowledge of programming language. It helps you to record the interactions with websites to enable you generate and maintain site automation, tests, and remove the need to manually step through repetitive takes. This extension has been widely used by automation engineers and is considered to be top browser extension used for automation.
10. Firesizer – Resolution
This Firefox extension allows user to resize the window to different dimensions. It helps you to check how your website would appear in different screen resolutions. This extension sets the size of the entire window which the end user would be using and not just the HTML area.
11. Load Timer – Page load time
This Firefox extension measures page load time and displays the result in the toolbar. For precise measurement, Navigation Timing API is used here. With this extension you can verify how your web application is performing.
Thus, we can say that browser extensions benefit us with fast access, intuitive controls, cross-platform and adaptation for any browser. Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are innumerable other browser extensions available in the market but, you must choose the right one to increase your productivity in software testing.
Due to diverse functionalities that are possible, browser extensions are very popular, but you should choose the correct one else, you could unwittingly download malware, adware, and trojan horse viruses. Above listed browser extensions for testing are the top extensions for software testers in 2021.