Simply Testable Blog

Figuring out how to automate away the pain of routine front-end web testing; the story behind

216 posts covering the initial idea, growth of the service, features, advances, failures and successes.

Site Crawler Released (And The Story Behind It)

The Simply Testable service lets you run a set of frontend web testing tools against your entire site all in one go.

When I started building the service I had to decide on how to collect URLs such that your entire site is tested. In this respect there are two options: try to figure this out, or ask someone who knows.

I decided to go with the ‘ask someone who knows’ option, that is to check a site’s XML sitemap to discover URLs to be tested. I decided it was more important to build a tool to test websites than it was to build a tool to find URLs to test.

Now that I have built a tool to test websites, I checked how many tests cannot start due to a site not having a sitemap.

If there was a significantly high number of these, I told myself, I should add a crawler that can discover URLs to be tested. I wasn’t sure how to measure ‘significant’ but didn’t let that stop me.

Armed with a database of past results and the power of SQL, I set about the task of finding out. And in 0.0002 seconds I had my answer: about 30% of tests failed due to there being no sitemap.

Well, that’s what I initially thought until I wasn’t calculating things correctly.

The true answer: nearly 70% of tests were not able to proceed due to there being no sitemap. Turns out I don’t need to define ‘significant’. 70% is significant no matter how you define it.

A couple of weeks ago I set about putting in place a crawler to discover URLs to be tested if a site has no sitemap and about a week ago this was silently released.

It’s now the case that if you try to test a site and the test cannot proceed due to the site having no sitemap, you’ll be given an option to crawl the site to find URLs to test.

There is now no site that we cannot test. You might just find that useful.