Selenium is a very fast-paced and dynamic open-source software testing tool used to test different aspects of web applications. There are various versions of Selenium available in the market, but the most popular one is selenium RC which stands for regression and compatibility testing.

This post discusses all Selenium free version benefits and the challenges faced in selenium automation testing, and finally, how to get started with it.

Benefits of using the free version of Selenium:

1. It is a time saver:

Selenium’s free version is open-source software; hence it is free, and thus its installation cost is almost zero. This leads to the faster execution of the tests. The tests are run in the browser where there is no confusion regarding the different platforms that need to be installed to execute the tests, as would be the case with other tools.

2. It is the only tool that can test on multiple browsers:

The Selenium browser automation framework supports more than 40 browsers and hence can be used to test on various browsers; that would mean a lot of time-saving compared to other tools where you might have to install different tools for testing on different browsers. This tool is also handy when you are using old versions of some web application to test it out.

3. It is very portable:

The automation framework of the selenium free version is written in Java language, and hence it can work on any platform that supports java. This means that you can work on the cloud as well as on the local machine. Thus you have a lot more freedom about the testing platform.

4. It can perform heavy-duty testing:

Selenium is a test framework that allows the creation of very complex test scenarios according to your requirements. It also enables you to run those tests repeatedly whenever necessary, without any change or modifications in the code of Selenium and thus making it a handy tool for performing performance testing, etc.

Challenges faced in Selenium automation testing:

Selenium is a browser automation tool widely used across the globe, but some disadvantages come across when using the free version of selenium.

The most common challenges faced in Selenium automation testing are:

  • It takes longer to run tests: Using it for all of your projects creates long waiting times between each test run.
  • Ineffective Cross-browser testing: The most challenging aspect of automation is test scalability. Running testing on different browsers, operating systems, and resolutions is something essential to do. Selenium WebDriver allows us to run tests in sequential order, but it does not give a practical approach to cross-browser testing.
  • Glitches: Browser crashes and other errors can occur while testing your website
  • Requires time to understand the tool: It needs more knowledge and time to learn how to use it properly, making it a challenging resource for an individual to handle alone.

Why choose the Paid Version over the Free one?

The paid plan features unlimited pages (tests), more resources for complex tests, and cloud auto-scaling that ensures optimal performance under high load. Additionally, you can take advantage of a business license to use it on multiple machines at once. This plan is suited for organizations with tens or hundreds of applications that need to be tested before deployment.

Achieving this level of automation has never been easier or cheaper!

The following are some features of the selenium paid plan:

  • Screen scraping, where code can be run on the browser to interact with elements on the page
  • Browser synchronization
  • Remote control capabilities
  • Multiple types of test execution (sequential, parallel) with customized parameters
  • Platforms tests that can include access to native SDKs such as Android or iOS programming language basics.

Selenium paid plan is used by IT professionals who are required to implement measures that are not free. Selenium has made available support for multiple programming languages such as Java, Ruby, Python, etc. But some of the features like a virtual machine and a few testing features are not available in the “Free Trial” version, though it:

  • Allows testing applications across multiple browsers
  • Has a Cloud Testing Option
  • Supports Multiple Programming languages
  • Web application functional tests are free with Selenium free plan

There are a lot of benefits while talking about the paid version of Selenium. But there are certain disadvantages that you must note:

– Selenium paid version doesn’t allow Screen scraping on public internet sites.

– One-time fee for advanced features (FTP, Telnet, etc.)

– You can’t use this plan to automate mobile apps.

– It is not applicable all over the world due to its payment method, i.e., PayPal.

Hence by looking at the benefits and challenges faced in selenium automation testing in both paid and free versions, it’s up to oneself to select the best one. The plan must be selected based on your project requirement and specifications.