Advantages and Disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing

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In web testing, several hours are spent to ensure the functionality inside and outside the locally developed environment. Among the automation testing tool, Selenium is well known for its capability of testing across different operating systems and browsers. However, the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing require to be investigated before diving into its efficient use. The present blog will give you detailed information on the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing. It further guides you in proceeding with the Selenium Automation Testing in the future.

Introduction to Selenium Automation Testing

Selenium is an open-source and automated software testing tool that helps in the testing of web applications. It validates the web application across diverse platforms and browsers. It is based on the WebDriver testing framework, which is well known for its reliability and efficiency. It can do performance testing, regression testing and agile testing, and many others. Most of the software team prefer using Selenium Automation Testing when they intend to have the first experiment with the automated testing.

Need for Selenium Automation Testing

Before going into the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing, it will be beneficial to know the need for Selenium Automation Testing. In the testing process, a manual tester involved in testing the web application usually have to go through several steps involving the input of an invalid string, validating it against the regexes and other values in the database, and entering a valid string in each of the input. Following this, checking the welcome page and creating of new ID is noted, and if the test is passed, it’s done and marked failed if it showed an error. The above process used by the manual testers is simple, yet requires huge time and effort for its accurate accomplishment. However, software developers and the production team do not have the time that could be invested in testing, but this process cannot be ignored or done in a hurry for its release. This is the reason for the need for Selenium Automation Testing that helps in feasible, free, easy, and fast testing of the web application.

However, software developers and testers can come across different limitation and benefit while using Selenium Automation Testing. Hence, it is important to be well knowledgeable and aware of the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing so that effective solutions and action can be taken promptly by the testers.

Let us explore the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing.

Advantages of Selenium Automation Testing

1. Open source and freely available

Selenium is freely available to the user and can provide robust automated web application testing. Anyone involved in this field can download and use the source code for testing. Further, modification of the source code can also be done. It has no upfront cost for the users and allows for the extension of the base framework for professional and personal usage.

2. Test scripts are written in different languages.

Testing tools might be specific to certain languages that are required to be learned for performing the test process. In Selenium Automation Testing, the tester need not learn a new programming language to automate the testing because they support different languages. Selenium Automation Testing provides official language binding with Ruby, Python, Kotlin, PHP, C#, Java, and JavaScript. In addition, it also provides some other unofficial language binding for other languages as well.

3. Supports parallel testing on multiple platforms

The working of the application requires to be ensured for its cross-browser compatibility over different browsers, devices, operating systems, and hardware. However, such an approach needs to be created many test cases, which might cause incur of huge time and effort. With Selenium Automation Testing, the tester can parallelly execute the testing on thousands of operating systems, devices, and browsers. It is beneficial to have better coverage in a short time, along with ensuring the quality of the application. Selenium Automation tools integrated with Selenium Grid support the parallel test execution.

4. Supports different operating system

Selenium Automation Testing supports different types of operating systems. Test cases can be developed in any operating environment like MS Windows, and their execution can be done in other operating systems like Linux and Macintosh. Generally, web application testing requires to be done in the new operating system. For this, a new test script for each cross-browser test. Therefore, with the use of Selenium Automation Testing, the application can be tested across different operating systems, which results in minimum effort and time.

LambdaTest- a cloud testing platform that has an Online Selenium Grid that helps in the execution of the automating testing above 3000+ real browsers at the same time parallelly. Hence, it helps in reducing the efforts by performing the test cases several times on multiple browsers. The Selenium Grid of LambdaTest is compatible with different test automation frameworks and programming languages supported by Selenium.

Disadvantages of Selenium Automation Testing

Selenium Automation Testing is a more powerful and popular approach, yet noted with some disadvantages.

1. Testing excludes the visual layer.

Selenium Automation Testing involves the search of element locators in the application’s underlying code to interact with the web elements to proceed with the test. The addition of steps verifying the visual settings of the elements like color and size can be done. However, this approach of Selenium Automation Testing has two downsides:

  • The test is passed despite the presence of bugs in the user interface, which the real users easily note. The reason is the presence of a visual bug that is hidden or imparted incorrectly.
  • Without making any changes to the user interface, Selenium Automation Testing gets fails. It occurs because slight changes in the element locator break the Selenium test.

2. Writing and maintaining test scripts is time-consuming.

Noting the fact that Selenium Automation Testing supports many different programming languages, testers and developers find maintaining and writing Selenium tests incurs a huge amount of time. It is required to learn new testing frameworks; however, each of the test scripts needs a large setup and coding. For example, while writing the test scripts in Selenium, each of the elements that require testing should have a written code and the addition of custom attributes. To overcome the above issue, Selenium WebDriver supports different languages like PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Perl, and Selenium IDE-a record-and-playback tool that helps in writing test scripts. However, testers are still required to write and form test scripts built on code. In the situation of failure of tests or updates, there is a load of code to sort through.

3. Debugging test failure is time-consuming.

Failure and success of the test are investigated when a test is run. Selenium Automation Testing does not offer any reporting ability for the test outcome. Rather, the tester needs to click on each test to note whether it has passed or failed. On noticing the failure of the test, the reason need to be found as Selenium Automation Testing does not give an option for identifying why the test failed. Thus, testers have to invest many hours in finding the failure’s cause. They end up having many codes for the investigation to find the small error that leads to the failure of the tests.

4. Non-availability of technical support

Selenium Automation Testing is done based on the open-source framework. In the situation of any issue encountered while performing Selenium Automation Testing, the testers or developers have to depend on the community forum for assistance with the technical issues.

5. Requires third-party tool bindings

Selenium Automation Testing is not a complete solution for automating web application testing. There is a requirement for third-party libraries and language binding for the effective use of the tool. For example, the TestNG- automation framework allows casing these libraries for allowing end-to-end testing needs. Further, it is not possible to perform testing on the images. Hence, the need of a third-party tool like Slkuli is required.

6. Lack of continuous testing and isolated process

Selenium Automation Testing mainly depends on the User Interface, making it difficult for the testing project to shift to the left, which is essential for continuous testing. Further, despite integrating the testing with other tools, there is a lack of concrete integrations with Test Automation, Test Management, and Requirement Management Solutions. This makes Selenium Automation Testing an isolated process. Manual work can also be required to keep the process of testing coordinated.


Selenium Automation Testing is easy to get started with functional testing of the web application. It offers many advantages for web developers as it makes the testing process feasible and free. However, since it is noted with disadvantages too, the developers and testers need to consider it while performing web application testing. Therefore, the use of the automation tool should align with the needs and requirements of the web application’s testing. Hence, the choice should be made accordingly.