When building and maintaining a website, updated features will inevitably break your code. Every developer and entrepreneur has suffered from having an error on their site go undetected for a long period of time, resulting in lost revenue and embarrassment.

Utilizing a tool like Ghost Inspector makes the decision to incorporate automated regression testing into your workflow, an easy one.

It is an extremely flexible product that minimizes some of the headaches that inevitably come with building a web-based business. For entrepreneurs and developers who don’t want to spend weeks building a platform to monitor key site functionality, Ghost Inspector is an affordable and easy-to-use alternative.

  • Test Recorder & Visual Editor
  • Advanced Test Scheduling
  • Video & Screenshot Comparison
  • API & Third Party Integrations and Notifications

It allows you to record yourself performing simple actions on your website via a browser extension. This browser extension records and runs tests to check specific functionality (and find errors or variations) on your website or applications. You can sync them to the Ghost Inspector cloud service and run them as a regression test, getting an email notification whenever an error or variance is detected.

You can record tests on your staging server and execute them through our API when your code changes - or record them on your live site and automatically run them at a set interval to continuously check for issues.

Ghost Inspector goes beyond simple uptime monitoring by implementing customized, targeted tests. Not all bugs or issues bring your whole website down, sometimes it is deep content or features which break and without robust automated evaluation a lot of time might elapse before you learn of these situations.

While you will almost always notice if your entire website goes down, a simple code push that breaks functionality in your shopping cart and prevents potential customers from adding items may go without notice for days. If you have Ghost Inspector continuously running tests, however, you’ll get an alert as soon as something goes wrong.

Ghost Inspector is capable of tracking what your website is supposed to look like via its screenshot comparison feature. It takes a screenshot at the end of every test run and performs a pixel-by-pixel comparison to the last passing screenshot to look for differences. Additionally, Ghost Inspector gives you the ability to modularize your tests. You can import the steps of one test into another by using the “Import steps from test” option. This allows you to segment out certain operations and easily reuse them.

You can set up Ghost Inspector with a nice variety of tests to keep your website and apps functioning smoothly. Here are some ways they recommend you use their product:

  • Testing new user registration process (including email notifications)
  • Testing shopping cart functionality
  • Testing contact forms to ensure emails are sent and form submissions saved Screenshot comparison variance testing (ie, be alerted if a page simply looks different than the baseline)

Of course, every website is different, and how developers use Ghost Inspector or another regression testing tool will be varied, the important thing is to actually incorporate this form of testing into your workflow. Don't let uncaught regressions ruin your users' experience!