Manually testing web applications can be a time-intensive, error-prone activity, even more so if you’re dealing with a layered, functionally rich piece of software.
That’s where browser automation comes in. Browser automation tools help developers, non-developers, and quality assurance (QA) professionals accelerate and refine application testing.
They do this by handling repetitive, tedious tasks such as filling out forms, extracting data, or conducting UI tests, which frees your time and lets you focus on creative, strategic work.
With intelligent browser automation tools, your web applications run smoothly and dependably. You can also speed up your release cycle and meet customer expectations with ease—an undeniable business advantage as the demand for streamlined workflows grows.
If you’re looking for the best tools to automate your browser, here are 10 alternatives to explore this year.
What is a Browser Automation Tool?
A browser automation tool is software that can control and automate web browser actions like visiting URLs, filling out forms, clicking buttons, extracting data, and performing repetitive web tasks without manual user input. It uses automation software to mimic human interactions with websites or web applications. The aim is to simplify web automation processes and eliminate repetitive manual work.
What Should You Look for in Browser Automation Tools?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a browser automation tool, such as platform support, programming languages, and budget. Here’s a handy checklist to guide the decision.
- Compatibility: Firstly, check if your tool supports your operating system and preferred web browsers. Your tool needs to work within your tech environment
- Programming language: Check if the tool supports the programming languages you use
- Efficiency: Opt for tools that can keep up with your time-sensitive tasks. Efficiency is the key. Here, user-friendly interfaces win over complex, clunky software
- Flexibility: Ensure you can customize the tool according to your specific needs and use cases
- Cost: Consider the overall cost, including licensing fees and any hidden expenses. Your perfect tool shouldn’t just fit your needs, it should also align with your budget
Now, let’s talk about browser automation tools that score well on the above fronts.
The 10 Best Browser Automation Tools to Use in 2024
With our cherry-picked list of the optimal browser automation tools, you’ll be able to automate your workflows in no time and with zero stress.
ClickUp is the ultimate multi-tasker for all work environments. Its features to automate productivity and workflows directly from your browser are every productivity hacker’s dream.
You can automate workflows in ClickUp by setting up task dependencies, custom actions and triggers, and automatic reminders, etc. For example, you can trigger sequential tasks when a prior task is marked complete.
ClickUp’s automation functionalities, complete with usage alerts and detailed documentation, take care of your busy work and freshen you up to do more meaningful work as a team or as a solo user.
What’s more? You can easily automate data flows between ClickUp and other tools you use. Simply enable ClickUp’s Zapier integration to connect ClickUp workflows with over 1000 other apps. ClickUp’s Chrome Extension allows creating tasks directly from your browser. You can highlight text on a webpage and create a task or add it to an existing list in ClickUp. You can also save web pages, images, links, etc., directly to ClickUp tasks for reference.
By integrating your browser activities with its task management workflow, ClickUp prevents context switching and makes you more productive.
ClickUp best features
- Customize ClickUp to match your unique work processes
- Automate repetitive tasks with custom triggers and actions
- Apply pre-set, multiple automation templates, task management, and project organization, or create your own
- Create tasks automatically from emails sent to a particular address
- Connect ClickUp with popular apps like Bugsnag, Calendly, Email, GitHub, Twilio, and HubSpot for smooth workflow management workflow
- Get API access to manage tasks, lists, time entries, etc., programmatically
- Fewer integrations as compared to some competitors
- New users experience a learning curve
- FreeUnlimited: $7 per month per member
- Business: $12 per month per member
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
ClickUp ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (9200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (3900+ reviews)
Puppeteer is a Node.js library used for automating tasks in a browser. Its USP is that it can control browsers behind the scenes in a very stealthy manner.
Unlike other top browser automation tools like Selenium, Puppeteer directly controls the Chrome browser without launching Chrome visibly on the screen. All the browser interactions happen in the background.
This gives Puppeteer some advantages:
- It is very fast and lightweight since it doesn’t have to render the browser UI, which takes up resources
- The tests/automation are not visible to an observer, allowing for discreet automation
- It feels more like controlling an actual user behavior rather than a robot
However, you still need to provide clear instructions and write code to make it perform the actions you want in an automated manner.
Puppeteer best features
- Enjoy a straightforward and intuitive API, ensuring ease of learning and usage
- Use it seamlessly on various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Only works on Chrome or Chromium browsers
- Scripts might get slow during extensive interactions with the browser
Puppeteer ratings and reviews
- Not enough ratings
Bardeen is a go-to solution for simplifying complex workflows. With its intuitive and hassle-free user interface, Bardeen AI allows users to integrate AI into their daily workflows, freeing them up for strategic, high-value tasks.
With just a few lines of instructions, you can delegate repetitive tasks to Bardeen and build a more efficient and streamlined workplace.
Bardeen best features
- Create and manage workflows without coding skills
- Keep your data secure as it runs locally in your browser
- Receive suggestions regarding which tasks to automate
- Lacks team plans and is primarily designed for individual use cases
- Starter: Free
- Professional: $10 per month
- Business: Custom pricing
Bardeen ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.9/5 (20+ reviews)
Cypress is a front-end testing framework built for the modern web. With Cypress, you’re ready to create, debug, and automatically run tests within your continuous integration builds.
The Cypress Dashboard service provides test recordings, screenshots of failure, and video recordings across multiple machines. It boasts an easy-to-understand API and allows you to watch your end-to-end and component tests run in real time as you develop your applications.
Its time-traveling debugger allows you to go back in time to replay the test run, making it easier to debug applications. Debugging failures becomes even simpler by using in-browser developer tools you’re already familiar with.
Cypress best features
- Use the simple, chainable API for describing browser interactions in a readable way
- Stop testing at any point to check how the application is doing
- Avoid any extra work since all the libraries and dependencies already exist
- Capture screenshots while tests are running
- It can’t control two browsers simultaneously
- Free: For small teams
- Team: Starts at $75/month
- Business: Starts at $300/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Cypress ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.8/5 (90+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (60+ reviews)
Testsigma automates web, mobile, and API testing in one convenient platform. The test automation tool offers a built-in test lab with a wide range of real devices and browsers on a high-availability cloud, enabling simultaneous testing across multiple devices.
Testsigma uses an intelligent algorithm to detect and fix page elements, ensuring smooth test execution even when there are changes to the application under test.
The platform provides comprehensive test reports with detailed information on the results, execution time, device details, and other essential metrics.
Testsigma best features
- Adjust page elements for smooth testing even if the app changes
- Connect easily with common tools like Jira, Jenkins, GitHub, and Slack for better teamwork and ongoing improvements
- Expand test coverage quickly with built-in data-driven testing
- Some users find the process of adding steps in Testsigma tedious
- Identifying the correct HTML element can be challenging
- Pro: Custom pricing
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Testsigma ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.5/5 (20+ reviews)
- Capterra: Not enough reviews
6. QA Wolf
QA Wolf simplifies and accelerates web application testing and helps you achieve automated end-to-end test coverage in a matter of weeks. With unlimited parallel runs and a Zero Flake Guarantee, QA Wolf significantly reduces QA spending while boosting test coverage.
The platform provides a comprehensive overview of QA spending, test coverage, release frequency, and development capacity.
Its Wolf-O-Vision feature enables parallel testing, reducing QA cycles and eliminating the traditional assembly process.
QA-Wolf best features
- Eliminate the need for any installation or setup, resulting in zero hassle
- Gain the freedom to concentrate on additional tasks without the testing burden
- Enable teams to execute browser tests in parallel with efficient and speedy runs
- Some users report expensive automated testing
- Pay per test
QA-Wolf ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.8/5 (60+ reviews)
Watir, short for “Web Application Testing in Ruby” (and pronounced as “Water”) is an open-source, easy-to-use library crafted in Ruby to automate web applications.
Watir lets you capture screenshots during testing whenever necessary and monitors interim testing progress. It executes instructions much like a human would and supports a range of browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Edge.
Typically, it’s most compatible with testing frameworks such as RSpec and Cucumber.
Watir best features
- Capture screenshots automatically when testing is completed
- Measure page performance with ease
- Enjoy support from an active open-source community adding new features and maintaining integration with the latest browsers
- Not compatible with testing frameworks other than Ruby
- Lacks mobile testing optimization
Watir ratings and reviews
- Not enough reviews
Appium is an open-source project and a self-contained ecosystem of associated software. It helps automate native, hybrid, and mobile web apps on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.
It uses WebDriver protocol to drive native apps like a user would. It can tap, swipe, enter text, and perform other interactions to streamline UI task automation across various app platforms.
The Ecosystem page offers a range of drivers and plugins to enhance your browser automation experience. The focus is on black box testing from an end-user perspective rather than internal code quality.
Appium also allows you to navigate the CLI Reference for command-line usage, and explore the Command Reference for a comprehensive list of commands.
Appium best features
- Integrate Appium seamlessly with various development and testing software, including Perfecto, Bamboo, Jenkins, and others
- Create tests for multiple mobile platforms using a unified codebase
- Offers limited support for web applications and desktop applications
- The setup and configuration of Appium can be complicated
Appium ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.4/5 (50+ reviews)
Katalon offers users a powerful platform for test automation. It seamlessly integrates advanced AI tools to enhance regression testing.
Blending low-code simplicity with full-code flexibility, Katalon Studio facilitates swift test creation through features like record-and-playback and automatic test object capture.
The platform’s versatility spans web, mobile, API, and desktop testing, showcasing a modern approach to quality assurance.
Katalon best features
- Run tests without the need for additional extensions
- Generate insightful analytics with Katalon through built-in reports that can be exported in PDF, HTML, Excel, or CSV formats
- Free: For small teams
- Premium: $167/month
- Ultimate: Custom pricing
Katalon ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.4/5 (60+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (700+reviews)
Selenium is a powerful tool that automates browser testing by simulating human behavior, either locally or on a remote machine using the Selenium server. Users can tailor it to their specific needs with three different tools.
Selenium IDE is available as a Chrome, Firefox, and Edge add-on, enabling simple record-and-playback of browser interactions. Users can record tests as a series of steps/actions on the browser, which can be exported as scripts.
Finally, Selenium Grid helps its users scale their automation efforts by distributing and running tests across multiple machines. It’s useful when running large test suites across different browsers, versions, and operating systems.
Selenium best features
- Test website functionality across various browsers
- Develop flexible automation suites and tests for browser-based applications
- Scale and distribute scripts across diverse environments
- It is not a good replacement for traditional website analytics tools as it does not have built-in result reports
- Scripts are prone to breaking when changes are made to the website being tested
- Users have reported the unavailability of reliable technical support
Selenium ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.5/5 (80+ reviews)
Navigating the Browser Automation Landscape in 2024
Browser automation tools like Puppeteer, Watir, and Selenium enable you to programmatically drive browsers for testing, automation, and more. However, each tool has tradeoffs to consider in terms of language support, capabilities, and use cases.
While lucrative and powerful, browser automation does come with some risks if not implemented carefully. Using web scraping techniques, bots can overwhelm servers with requests or scrape data unethically. Be mindful and use automation judiciously to prevent the suspension of your app accounts.
To maximize browser automation benefits while minimizing headaches, pair the tools with a platform like ClickUp for task and workflow automation. ClickUp allows you to schedule and orchestrate automated browser actions as part of broader workflow management. Moreover, you can try it for free and scale up at a very affordable price. So whether you’re a developer, QA professional, or simply an efficiency enthusiast, sign up for ClickUp today to see instant productivity gains.