Web Test Integration and Performance Evaluation of E-Commerce web sites

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					                                                              (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                                                           Vol. 10, No. 9, September 2012

                   Web Test Integration and Performance
                   Evaluation of E-Commerce Web Sites
                   Md. Safaet Hossain                                                            Md. Shazzad Hosain
  Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science                 Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
         North South University, Dhaka Bangladesh                                  North South University, Dhaka Bangladesh
           Email: safayet@eecs.northsouth.edu                                             Email: shazzad@northsouth.edu

Abstract— Web applications are becoming progressively more                In a study by Glenn A. Stout [13], Senior Functional
complex and imperative for companies. The e-commerce web                  Specialist, The Revere Group, demonstrates that poorly
sites have been serving to accelerate and disseminate more widely         operating websites are stunning, and even affect the online
changes that are already under way in the economy. Their                  business severely. The study also showed that when errors are
development, including analysis, design and testing, needs to be          found on an e-commerce website, 28% of the people stopped
approached by means of support tools, while their correctness             shopping at that site, 23% stopped buying from the site, and
and reliability are often crucial to the success of businesses and        6% of the people were so upset, that they stopped buying at e-
organizations. There are some tools provided to support analysis          commerce sites [13]. One can only surmise that the customers
and design. However, few tools are provided to directly support           feel that if the company cannot provide a quality website, then
the software testing on Web-based applications. In this paper, an         they may not be able to sell a quality product from their stores.
automated online website evaluation tool hosted at
http://safaethossain.comze.com is proposed to support the
automated testing of web-based applications. Testers can                  To make an online site popular, effective, and competitive to
evaluate performance of a site with other websites and can                business, whether it is an e-commerce site or social
precisely express the existing websites and find out what are the         networking site or any other site, there is no alternative of
modifications required. The tool elevates the automation level of         making a good quality site in terms of performance and
functional testing for web applications into a new height.
                                                                          reliability. Before launching any online sites, thus it is
                                                                          imperative to test the site for its high performance and
Keywords: Web based applicatoin testing, performance testing,             reliability with World Wide Web consortium standard. At the
functional testing, test methods integration, e-commerce.
                                                                          same time, the site requires to be compared with other online
                                                                          sites to be competitive in the e-commerce market.
                      I. INTRODUCTION
We need internet in almost every field of life. We use internet
                                                                          There are many different techniques or Web test methods that
mostly in form of web applications. We use web applications
                                                                          we can apply for performance evaluation and for error free
for paying utility bills, social networking, email, online                sites. Tools such as HTML validator, bobby, Netcraft allows
transactions etc. Online shopping has become progressively
                                                                          static analysis of sites e.g. HTML errors, link errors etc. The
widespread over the years. E-commerce sales in U.S. grew                  following table demonstrates about the sites that provide tested
from 72 billion U.S. dollars in 2002 to 228 billion U.S. dollars
                                                                          result like page size, performance time etc.
in 2010. The leading portions of online revenues were
generated by the retail shopping websites, which earned 142
billion U.S. dollars in 2010. A 2011 e-commerce market                     TABLE 1: LIST OF ONLINE WEB TESTING TOOLS TO EVALUATE
projection predicted that online retail revenues alone would
reach 269 billion U.S. dollars by 2015. Simultaneously, the                       Web Site                          Measurements
number of online shoppers in the U.S. is expected to grow
                                                                               HTML Validator          This HTML Validator – checks the markup
from 140 million in 2010 to 170 million in 2015 according to               http://validator.w3.org/    validity of Web documents in HTML,
eMarketer estimates [14].                                                                              XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc.

                                                                               Links Validator         The Link Checker analyzes anchors
In recent years, web applications have become important for                http://validator.w3.org/    (hyperlinks) in a HTML/XHTML document.
                                                                                   checklink           Useful to find broken links.
many companies, as being a convenient and inexpensive way
to provide information and services on-line. Since a                       Functional Accessibility    Use this tool to evaluate the functional
                                                                           Evaluator                   accessibility of your web site.
malfunctioning web application could interrupt an entire                   http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/
business and cost millions of dollars, there is a strong demand
                                                                           Hera                        HERA is a tool to check the accessibility of
for methodologies, models and tools that can improve the                   http://www.sidar.org/       Web pages according to the specification
quality and reliability of web sites [1].                                  hera/                       Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
                                                                                                       (WCAG 1.0).

                                                                     65                                    http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/
                                                                                                           ISSN 1947-5500
                                                              (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                                                           Vol. 10, No. 9, September 2012
Any Web site that requires evaluating the above mentioned                 There are different sites or Web applications to evaluate e-
criteria would require accessing these Web applications                   commerce sites that can check the web pages against the web
separately, obtain test result for a specific functionality, merge        standards [18]. HTML Validator (http://validator.w3.org/)
and evaluate the result manually for proper decision. It                  checks HTML, XHTML or CSS documents, and returns a list
increases the time as well as the cost of application testing.            of warnings & errors according to the standard. It also helps us
Testing of web-based applications in particular deserves                  to eliminate website problems that cause visitors to abandon
further examination due to economic considerations and                    websites. The Links Validator (http://validator.w3.org
companies are choosing not to test due to resource constraints.           /checklink) reads an HTML or XHTML document or a CSS
However, if we could integrate different online Web test tools            style sheet and extracts a list of anchors and links so that no
or applications, it would make the Web testing much faster                anchor is defined twice. It then checks the status of every page
and easier thus help building robust e-commerce sites.                    links. The W3C Link checker accepts URL address of Web
                                                                          page and parses each and every hyperlink to find broken links
Application integration is not entirely a new idea. Recently              in the page. The Functional Accessibility Evaluator
this issue is of much interest, especially in Bioinformatics              (http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/) analyzes web pages for markup that
application domain, such as found in [17]. Thus our idea is to            is consistent with the W3C standard. It analyzes the web pages
use existing Web testing applications and integrate these                 based on navigation & orientation, text equivalents, scripting,
applications for faster and reliable Web testing. The idea is to          styling etc. The Hera is a tool to check the accessibility of
develop a test tool, where users will put their Web site URL to           Web pages according to the specification of Web Content
test and the tool automatically crawls different existing test            Accessibility Guidelines [18]. HERA (http://www.sidar.org/
sites, submit queries for test purpose, gather test result and            hera/) performs a preliminary set of tests on the page and
display the result to user in an integrated view. Thus in this            identifies any automatically detectable errors or checkpoints
research our main contributions are:                                      met, and which checkpoints need further manual verification.
                                                                          The Web Page Size Checker tool gives us the page size of the
    1.   Integrate different online Web test applications.                specified URL. Page size determines how long it will take
    2.   Evaluate performance of Web applications.                        usually for users to open the web page. For example: 10 kb is
    3.   Compare different web sites performance to make an               approximately a small page size, which means the loading
         e-commerce business competitive.                                 speed is also quicker. In this paper we also demonstrate an
                                                                          additional feature included into the integrated web test model.
                                                                          By traversing all the web page link of an e-commerce web site
The paper is organized as the following. Section II provides              it will provide response time and page size of all links along
related works, section III presents Web test models, section IV           with the URL (uniform resource locator).
describes Web evaluation methodologies and finally section V
draws the conclusion.

                       II. RELATED WORKS                                                       III. WEB TEST MODELS
Good quality Web application is one of the important criteria
for successful e-commerce sites. Investigation by Forrester               The present web test model in simple terms is checking the
Research [6] found that consumers expect pages to load in two             web application from specified URL to check potential bugs
seconds or less, and after three seconds, up to 40 percent users          before it’s made live or before code is moved into the
will abandon the site. In another research [16] authors also              production environment. During this stage users need to visit
pointed out that users feel uninterrupted page response time if           several sites, put URL into these sites and gather reports from
it is less than 1.0 second, even though the user will notice the          all the sites for test result. It increases the time and cost of web
delay. However there are still no industry standards for                  testing. The model is shown in figure 1.
acceptable application response time. According to Gomez
benchmarking [15], the comparison between different
websites can be made by evaluating the average response time
of all the pages of a Web site.

The user view of quality e-commerce site can be assessed
mainly in terms of functionality and usability. World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) [18] defines a set of guidelines for
quality Web designing and testing. These guidelines cover a
wide range of development standards including HTML tags,
CSS, web accessibility, HTTP/1.1: Status Code Definitions                                    Figure 1: Present Web test model
etc. Every guideline provides a technique for accessing the               In contrast to the present web test model, the integrated web test
content of Website. The qualitative measures [19], [20] such
                                                                          model that we are proposing in this paper as shown in figure 2,
as text formatting, link formatting, page formatting, graphics            integrates existing test sites into a single platform. In this
element, page performance and site architecture are used to
                                                                          approach, user puts the web URL under test into the integrated
achieve quality of website.

                                                                     66                                http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/
                                                                                                       ISSN 1947-5500
                                                                (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                                                             Vol. 10, No. 9, September 2012
Web test tool, the test tool then automatically crawls other                Based on these above criteria we evaluated four Bangladeshi
existing Web test tools, submits URL for test purpose, gathers              e-commerce sites www.hutbazar.com, www.bazarsodai.com,
results from different sites and merges the results so that user can        www.clickbd.com, and www.cellbazaar.com as elaborated
view all the testing results at a glance. The integrated model also         below:
provides some new web testing features such as link status
                                                                            Evaluation of Good and Bad Links of a Web Site
checking, page response time for every link, page size checker of
the specified URL in bytes and kilo bytes. These additional                 Broken hyperlinks on websites are not just annoying – their
results relieve the user to measure the response time of all the            existence may cause some real damage to ecommerce online
links of the e-commerce site and thus get an average response               business as well as to the reputation in the online business.
time and average page size.                                                 Search engines might stop crawling the e-commerce site if
                                                                            broken links found. Our developed integrated tool traverses all
                                                                            the hyperlinks and finds out page statuses that are shown in
                                                                            table 2. The corresponding graphs are shown in figure 3 and 4.

                                                                                 TABLE 2: PAGE LINK PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF
                                                                                               DIFFERENT WEB SITES

                                                                                           Bad      Good       Total                  Good Link
                                                                              Website                                      Link
                                                                                           Link     Link       Link                      %
                                                                             Hutbazar        1       55         56         1.79         98.21
                                                                            Bazarsodai       5       101        106        4.72         95.28
                                                                             ClickBD         0       121        121        0.00         100.00
                  Figure 2: Integrated Web test model                       Cellbazaar      331      14         345       95.94          4.06

In the integrated web testing view we will get errors and
warnings about HTML code, page links reports, page link
status code definitions, total number of good link and bad link,
list of all URL links and a table mentioning link number with
page access date & time, web page link response time, web
page size for every webpage link into the e-commerce sites.
Getting all these information would require accessing at least
five different Web test sites.

Like any complex piece of software there is no single, all
inclusive performance indicator that fully characterizes a Web
site. Different fault types define different problems. For
example, HTML head tag errors, font tag errors and body tag
errors identify the problems in the text elements of web page.
Thus text formatting measures are to be evaluated. The image                        Figure 3: Number of good vs. bad links of four sites
tag error and image load errors identify the errors in display
link tag errors. The script tag errors, server connectivity errors,
down load time of Website and broken link errors contribute
the need of Website architecture redesign. However in this
research the following fault types are investigated:
      Web page faults: This includes web page faults
       according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
       and World Wide Web consortium.
      HTML faults: This includes HTML tag opening and
       closing error.
      Link Error: This includes page link error.
      Page Link status: This includes page link status
       according to the benchmark.
      Response time testing: This includes response time of
       each page link.

                                                                                  Figure 4: Percentage of good and bad links of four sites

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                                                                                                         ISSN 1947-5500
                                                                      (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                                                                   Vol. 10, No. 9, September 2012
Web Page Link Response Time                                                    sites can provide a useful service for communities and
The end-to-end time elapsed to response a web page link, or in                 identifies areas in which additional automated performance
                                                                               analysis is needed. However use of number of different
other words, time elapsed from client’s HTTP request to
render response page in client’s browser. We have traversed                    techniques or web test methods has shown that there are
                                                                               inconsistencies in the way they operate, which can result
all the page links of a Web site and collected page size (KB)
and response time (second) to evaluate the site. It was                        inconsistencies and difficulties in producing results. Our future
                                                                               line of work would be to test different benchmark [18] suites
observed that response time increases as the page size
increases, which are obvious. Result of one such site                          for different kinds of tools. We can further extend this work to
www.hutbazar.com is shown in figure 5.                                         identify other components of web site design for quality
                                                                               assessment which would further enable to improve the design
                                                                               as a part of the end user experience which emphasizes the
                                                                               continuous improvement of the design aspect and promote a
                                                                               culture of performance excellence of web design.
                                                                               Some points that are not addressed, but are certainly beyond
                                                                               the scope of this paper are the new breed of Web Application
                                                                               that utilizes Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and
                                                                               with the page centric view, and page that change their
                                                                               structure depending on the input. Next step is investigating
                                                                               more changeable issues in the new breed of web applications
                                                                               to improve the proposed test path generation approach and
                                                                               developing a prototype tool to execute the web testing model.

      Figure 5: HutBazar.com Website Evaluation with all page links

Website performance (avg. response time vs. avg. page size)
Web page link response time does not give much information
about a Web site, but knowing average page response time
gives insight of performance of an             e-commerce site.
However, if we like to compare different Web sites’
performance, then average response time vs. average page size
provides information about the quality of e-commerce sites.
For example, if an e-commerce site has smaller average page
size and thus less response time than other similar e-commerce
sites then the site is good and vice versa. Thus we calculated
average response time and average page size of the four e-
commerce sites as shown in table 3.

  TABLE 3: PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF DIFFERENT WEB                                           Figure 6: Average Page Response time

                         Response Time                Page Size
 Ecommerce Site
                            (Average)                (Average)
Hutbazar                  2.56 seconds                1.85 KB
Bazarsodai                5.34 seconds                4.64 KB
CellBazar                 6.40 seconds                6.39 KB
ClickBD                   2.84 seconds                2.84 KB

Figure 6 shows average page response time and figure 7 shows
average page size. According to these graphs it is evident that
hutbazzar.com is the best among these four sites.

                     V. FUTURE WORKS
This paper describes that automated web test integration                                          Figure 7: Average Page Size
according to the benchmarking [15] [16] of e-commerce web

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                                                                                                           ISSN 1947-5500
                                                                        (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                                                                     Vol. 10, No. 9, September 2012
                          VI. CONCLUSIONS                                             [10] P. Warren, C. Boldyreff, and M. Munro, “The Evolution of
                                                                                           Websites”, Proc. of the Int. Workshop on Program
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page link error, page size and page response time in                                       website metrics research. Proc of the 3rd International Workshop
                                                                                           on Web Site Evolution, 2001, pp. 78-85.
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                                                                                      [12] http://www.gomez.com/website-performance-test/, last access on
enable to adjudge the quality status of Web design of the                                  January 15, 2012
various sites and would indicate the necessity of improvement                         [13] Gerrard, P. (2000a). Risk-Based E-Business Testing: Part 1 – Risks
in the design of the Website. The integrated web testing tool                              and Test Strategy. Retrieved June 15, 2001, from the World Wide
evaluated effective testing methodology for web application                                Web: http://www.evolutif.co.uk/articles/ EBTestingPart1.pdf
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                                                                                           accessed on June 22, 2012
Using a series of online diagnostic tools, we examined many                           [15] 10 Best practices for benchmarkibg web and mobile site
dimensions of quality, and each dimension was measured by                                  performance, white paper: web performance management,
specific test online. To get results on the quality of a Web site,                         Compuware Corporation World Headquarters, Detroit, MI 48226-
                                                                                           5099 © 2011 Compuware Corporation
we measured sample data extracted from different web sites
                                                                                      [16] Mario Milicevic, Krunoslav Zubrinic and Ivona Zakarija
and calculate response time, page size, number of item, and                                “Dynamic Approach to the Construction of Progress Indicator for a
load test, tag validation, and broken link, number of link test.                           Long Running SQL Queries”, International Journal of Computers
Moreover because the ultimate determinant of quality website                               Issue 4, Volume 2, 2008, pp. 489-496
is the users, future directions for this research also involve the                    [17] Turker C, Akal F, Schlapbach R, “Life sciences data and
objective and subjective views of the website from user’s                                  application integration with B-fabric” Journal of Integrative
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                                                                                      [18] Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by W3C,
of our methodology has been described. We believe that this                                http://w3.org.
experiment provides encouraging results concerning the                                [19] G. Sreedhar and A.A. Chari, “An experimental Study to Identify
validity, correction and agility of the method.                                            Qualitative Measures for Website Design”, Global Journal of
                                                                                           Computer Science and Technology, University ofWisconsin, USA,
                                                                                           September, 2009.
                     TOOL AVAILABILITY                                                [20] G. Sreedhar, A.A. Chari and V. V. Venkata Ramana, “Evaluating
                                                                                           Qualitative Measures forEffective Website Design”, International
The tool has been released online for public use. More                                     Journal on Computer Science and Engineering,vol.02, No.01S,
information about the tool can be found at the following                                   2010, pp.61-68.
location: http://safaethossain.comze.com                                              [21] Ali Azad, “Elements of Effective Web Page Design”, Global
                                                                                           Competitiveness, January, 2001.
                                                                                      [22] L. Page, S. Brin, R. Motwani and T. Winograd, “The Page Rank
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          pp. 301-306.                                                              Md. Safaet Hossain is a Master’s student in the
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                                                                                    Dr. Shazzad Hosain is an Assistant Professor in the
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                                                                                    department of Electrical Engineering and Computer
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