7 Challenges with Selenium Automation Testing

Selenium is an open-source and freely available automation testing tool used to validate web applications’ functions across various browsers. If you are a tester or developer, you must be familiar with the term and use it for testing the web application.

Selenium automation testing provides easy and fast testing with supporting multiple languages like Java, Python, JavaScript, C#, etc. However, it also comes with some challenges, which are important to be noted and learned.

The challenges with Selenium automation testing are faced by all the testers and developers using it. These challenges create hurdles in the process of testing the web application. The present blog will discuss the 7 most prominent challenges with Selenium automation testing.

Before going into the challenges, we will discuss about Selenium automation testing.

What is Selenium?

It is an automated testing framework and open-source tools that automate web browsers. There is no involvement of license cost, which is an important benefit over other testing tools.

It helps in providing a single interface that allows the tester to write test scripts with different programming languages like Ruby, NodeJS, Python, Java, C#, and others.

It is not just a single tool but includes different tools, each catering to diverse Selenium automation testing needs. These tools include Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE), WebDriver, and Selenium Grid.

Using Selenium, the developer can test their web programs for the code and applications and debug by performing visual regression tests according to the need of the website.

Types of Selenium

types of automation testing

Selenium Automation Testing

The automation testing done using Selenium is known as selenium automation testing. With the increase in the complexity of the web application, Selenium automation testing has gained more popularity and is widespread. It has made the testing process easy and less complex.

It automates the browser to mimic the action of real users on the web. It offers flexibility to the user as it supports different browser versions of chrome, opera, and other browsers, including the newest and legacy ones.

It also supports different operating systems like Linux, Mac, and windows. We can perform below things with Selenium automation testing:

  • We can reuse the test scripts.
  • We can debug the test scripts
  • Allows control flow statement
  • Have improved location functionality.

Challenges with Selenium Automation Testing

There is no doubt that Selenium automation testing has made the testing process far less complex for many teams and developers across the globe. It also has some challenges due to its open-source nature.

The availability of a large portion of issues that are faced by the testers have moderately less straightforward solutions. This is the main reason that makes us outline the challenges with Selenium automation testing.

1.     Issue in Cross-Browser Testing

It is well-known that selenium automation testing is widely used for cross-browser testing of web applications as it supports multiple programming languages and operating systems.

However, many of the tester and developers find that some of the application’s elements only work on a single browser. When we launch an application, we must ensure that it works appropriately and uniformly in all browsers and with versions of these browsers and resolutions.

This makes it challenging to execute cross-browser testing through Selenium automation testing. It requires running the script continuously on different browsers and evaluating the outcome. However, if this fails in some browsers and then you need to change the locator strategy.

2.     Limited to Web Application Testing

Selenium automation testing allows testing of the web application on any of the browsers and operating systems on the desktop. However, with regard to mobile application testing, Selenium automation testing fails to execute the process with Android and iOS.

This can be explained with the example, say the version of the Instagram that runs in the Firefox browser on your Mac system can be appropriately tested with the use of Selenium.

However, it cannot be tested in a mobile Firefox browser on your Android and iPhone.

An alternative option to address this challenge is LambdaTest. It is an Appium-supported mobile test automation cloud that helps in cross-browser testing.

3.     Failure in recording pop-ups in the Web Application

In the automation testing process, pop-ups on the screen are very common as they are part of the operating system. There are mainly three types of pop-up windows: prompt alerts, confirmation alerts, and simple alerts.

However, Selenium fails to record such pop-ups, which challenges the tester and developers to automate this process.

Further, it is outside the ability of Selenium to have windows-based alerts due to its association with the operating system. With the effective use of the SwitchTo technique, Selenium WebDriver helps manage the pop-ups while keeping the browser in the background.

An alternative method is to apply the “getAlert” function. Prior to running the Selenium script, you need to import the package to this and form a WebDriver script that follows the commands of -getText ( ), void dismiss ( ), and then void accept ( ).

The final two commands will work as the Cancel or OK commands to manage and control pop-ups.

4.     Performing Data-Drive Testing

Another great challenge with Selenium automation testing is the difficulty in executing the data-driven testing. It does not have any built-in data-driven testing system. This indicates that you must manually link your mechanized tests with the external data sources.

This is followed by reading the information from such sources and running the test situation with further data in case you need to execute the data-driven testing process.

You can also select a few information connectors, for instance, CSV documents, SQL databases, basic information tables, and Excel records.

You can use the information from such sources to execute the test cases with diverse data sets.

5.     Unable to make a decent report

One of the core issues with Selenium automation testing is that it can get decent reports. It does not support much on reporting of the issue or bug on its own. It is well-known fact that reporting in automation testing is vital in the testing phase as it acts as the bridge between the testers and developers.

Thus, Selenium not being able to report on the issue is a great challenge. To address the issue, Selenium is complimented with third-party tools such as CrossBrowserTesting, which helps capture browser screenshots. It shares the reports through integrations like HipChat and Slacks.

 Alternatively, we can also use a programming language framework for adequate code designs and reporting. For instance, the Java framework helps provide useful reports, including Gauge and TestNG.

6.     Occurrence of the false positive and false negative outcomes

In Selenium automation testing, false positive and false negative results are the crucial challenge that confuses the tester and developers about the test outcome.

False positive is defined as the scenario when we get the issue or error in the test cases despite the fact that the application under the test works fine.

Similarly, a false negative outcome is defined as the situation when the application has a bug, and we get pass results of the test cases.

The occurrence of such flakiness in the form of false positive and false negative outcomes can mislead the tester and developers. It can also lead to a surge in the communication gap between the development and QA teams.

Thus, addressing such flaky tests in the form of false positives and false negatives is a challenging task for automation testers. To overcome such challenges, we should appropriate the test plan, test cases, and testing environment.

7.     Difficulty in identifying the dynamic elements

In the web application and website, we must have come across various web elements that keep changing and are dynamic. This is something not visible on accessing the sites for the first time.

This shows that web pages are user-specific and show different data for diverse users according to the requirement. This happens on the emergence of new data on the web page at a certain time or when the users click on something on the web page.

Dynamic content is based on dynamic identifiers. For instance, if the ID of the elements is modified on every page load, then it is difficult to handle such a situation adequately.

It also creates a challenge in addressing the web elements on the ground of a situation where you cannot use ID locators to recognize the elements. Hence, we can use dynamic XPath or CSS selectors to easily identify the dynamic elements.


Software testing is something where challenges and barriers are common when it comes to automating the test for a web application. In the present blog, we have presented 7 most common challenges that Selenium-based testers might encounter.

LambdaTest- cross-browser testing platforms allow executing automation testing for web applications by providing scalable, reliable, and secure online Selenium Grid. It helps to run Selenium tests in over 3000 online browsers parallelly.

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