Does UI automation make sense for a CMS?

I saw an interesting question pop up last week that I hadn’t seen on The Club before.

does UI automation testing make sense for a CMS? So if we have a website, let’s say medium size business, and they have a CMS where a dozen or so employees manage the website content, adding images, creating pages etc. Now, we are building a new CMS to replace the old. Someone asked me if it makes sense to try UI automation testing, which would obviously be used for maybe some years as an ongoing tool. My first instinct was “no” because the CMS is not continuously developed so they rarely break + cost/value factor as CMS itself is ‘just’ a tool.

So, what do you think? Does UI automation make sense for a CMS?

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Some questions I’ve got:

  • how high is the product risk for the website? (Is the content paid for? Does marketing benefit the company?)
  • how went the introduction of the current CMS (and previous ones)?
  • why is automation of the CMS needed?
  • is UI automation for the CMS more important than other items in the backlog?
  • are there other automatic tests like unit tests and integration tests?
  • is exploratory testing used?
  • are testers/ developers available for manual testing? (Most bugs occur after migration.)
  • are time and budget available for the maintenance of the CMS UI automation?
  • is it enough to make smoke automation tests for the CMS?
  • is it later possible to scale up the automation tests of CMS, if necessary?
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Very interesting question. I’ve been part of a couple of custom CMS projects very early in my career.

I’m gonna assume that the new CMS is built from scratch and is not based on already existing CMS frameworks.

In my personal opinion, it is definitely worth writing UI tests for the new CMS. Every time when a question pops up regarding UI testing, the first question I ask I what value will it add to the testing.

So I believe it would add value here, to select the areas in the CMS that the team identifies as potentially risky, and automate those parts alone. That way, every time you add new code, you have a certain level of confidence that your critical aspects of your CMS work as expected.

Curious to know others’ thoughts too.

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