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Selenium Vs Testcafe: A Quick Comparison

Every QA would have come across Selenium, it is undoubtedly the most popular tool for automation testing today. From great community support to a large number of features, high flexibility, and so on, Selenium used to be the first choice for testers until the new kid hit the block- TestCafe.  

In this article, we will see which is the better one among the two- Selenium or TestCafe. Before we proceed further, let’s learn about each of them. 

What is Selenium? 

It is an open-source automation tool which is used popularly in automating a test for web applications. With a suite of external plugins and a rich user interface, it is easy to create and run tests with Selenium. Even web-based tasks can be automated with the tool. You can perform unit tests and test various components and behaviours in the backend with the help of a Behavior-Driven Development or Test-Driven Development.  

What is TestCafe?

It is an end-to-end Node.js automation tool that’s used to test web applications. You do not require external browser plugins to run tests on the modern web browsers. TestCafe can do a multitude of jobs including starting browsers, running tests, gathering the results and generating the test reports.  

Now, let us look at how Selenium compares against TestCafe: 


Selenium helps test web apps and web services. It supports most of the major languages- PHP, Java, Perl, Ruby and C##. If you are a tester, this tool provides the flexibility to write the test code in the language they are comfortable in. The tester can work with a range of IDEs such as NetBeans, Visual Studio and Eclipse.  

With TestCafe, the Visual Test Recorder lets you create tests without having to code. Although TestCafe only supports JavaScript, it doesn’t affect anything as the latter is easy to learn.  

Multiple Browser Tests: 

One of the most important jobs of a testing tool is to see the performance on different browsersSelenium lets you test on a variety of browsers, but you might encounter a few issues when you do so for the first time. You need a number of plugins that are associated with different browsers to run the tests. Issues with timings and wait are the things that plague Selenium when it comes to testing multiple browser tests, but they can still be run successfully though.  

For those who are new to TestCafe, testing on multiple browsers can be a bit tricky. In the beginning, you might only be able to run tests on Chrome browsers if you are new to testing.  

Presence of a helpful community: 

Since Selenium has been around for a long time, it has a huge community of helpful users. There are guides and documentation to help the testers solve the issues that they are met with. If you choose to automate your tests by Selenium, you can be certain about finding help any time of the day as the community is always active.  

TestCafe is a newer tool, so it doesn’t have the kind of community support that Selenium boasts of. You might not get help immediately if you are stuck with some issue.  

Language Selection:

Selenium supports PHP, Python, and Ruby. Since most testers use Python to test applications, Selenium becomes the de facto platform to test web applications.  

TestCafe uses JavaScript, so if you are not familiar with the language, you might find it difficult to use. If you want to use multiple languages, Selenium is the better option. 

Installation and Setup: 

You can install TestCafe in less than 30 seconds and run your first test within 15 minutes.  

Selenium takes the same amount of time to install, but if you want to test on different browsers, you need external plugins to get the job done. The WebDriver plugin is required if you want to run tests on the browser. While setting up WebDriver, you might encounter issues to make the plugin to work with different browsers. It might even take an hour to run the tests when setting up WebDriver for the first time.  

Waits in the tool: 

Selenium can be a bit complex when it comes to wait. There is implicit wait, explicit wait and fluent wait, and can be difficult for beginners to grasp.  

TestCafe only has an implicit wait which is built into the async calls, which makes it easy for the tester to deal with in the automation tool.  

Easy to learn: 

To run automation tests on Selenium effectively, you need to have an understanding of programming languages. But with TestCafe, the API is easy to use. The tester can spend more time on testing and less time on understanding the technicalities.  

Mobile app testing: 

For mobile app testing, Selenium needs support from Appium or Selendroid. TestCafe is capable of performing mobile app testing by itself without the help of plugins.  

Selenium or TestCafe: Which one to choose?  

Selenium has been in the market for sometime now and is quite popular. TestCafe is the latest automation tool and has gained quite a traction because of its enhanced features. The only downside to TestCafe is that it only supports JavaScript while Selenium supports all the major programming languages.  

Although both of them have their own sets of pros and cons, they are different in terms of their performance and architecture. Understand the test automation requirements of your organization and evaluate each of the framework to find the right test automation tool 

If you want to detect issues faster and 10x your release cycles, get in touch with Zuci’s test automation experts to see how we can help you

Keerthi Veerappan

An INFJ personality wielding brevity in speech and writing. Marketer @ Zucisystems.

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