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Best Practices

This guide aims to share our best practices that help you write performant and resilient tests.

Use resilient selectors​

Using selectors that are resilient to changes in the DOM, you'll have a less or even no tests failing when the for example a class is removed from an element.

Classes can be applied to multiple elements and should be avoided if possible unless you deliberately want to fetch all elements with that class.

// 👎
await $('.button');

All these selectors should return a single element.

// 👍 
await $('aria/Submit');
await $('[test-id="submit-button"]');
await $('#submit-button');

Note: To find out all the possible selectors WebdriverIO supports, checkout our Selectors page.

Limit the amount of element queries​

Every time you use the $ or $$ command (this includes chaining them), WebdriverIO tries to locate the element in the DOM. These queries are expensive so you should try to limit them as much as possible.

Queries three elements.

// 👎
await $('table').$('tr').$('td');

Queries only one element.

// 👍
await $('table tr td');

The only time you should use chaining is when you want to combine different selector strategies. In the example we use the Deep Selectors, which is a strategy to go inside the shadow DOM of an element.

// 👍 
await $('custom-datepicker').$('>>>#calendar').$('aria/Select');

Prefer locating a single element instead of taking one from a list​

It isn't always possible to do this but using CSS pseudo-classes like :nth-child you can match elements based on the indexes of the elements in the child list of their parents.

Queries all table rows.

// 👎
await $$('table tr')[15];

Queries a single table row.

// 👍
await $('table tr:nth-child(15)');

Use the built-in assertions​

Don't use manual assertions that do not automatically wait for the results to match as this will cause for flaky tests.

// 👎
expect(await button.isDisplayed()).toBe(true);

By using the built-in assertions WebdriverIO will automatically wait for the actual result to match the expected result, resulting in resilient tests. It achieves this by automatically retrying the assertion until it passes or times out.

// 👍
await expect(button).toBeDisplayed();

Don't overuse commands and assertions​

When using expect.toBeDisplayed you implicitly also wait for the element to exist. There isn't a need to use the waitForXXX commands when you already have an assertion doing the same thing.

// 👎
await button.waitForExist();
await expect(button).toBeDisplayed();

// 👎
await button.waitForDisplayed();
await expect(button).toBeDisplayed();

// 👍
await expect(button).toBeDisplayed();

No need to wait for an element to exist or be displayed when interacting or when asserting something like it's text unless the element can explicitly be invisible (opacity: 0; for example) or can explicitly be disabled (disabled attribute for example) in which case waiting for the element to be displayed makes sense.

// 👎
await expect(button).toBeExisting();
await expect(button).toHaveText('Submit');

// 👎
await expect(button).toBeDisplayed();
await expect(button).toHaveText('Submit');

// 👎
await expect(button).toBeDisplayed();
await button.click();
// 👍
await button.click();

// 👍
await expect(button).toHaveText('Submit');

Lint your code​

Using eslint to lint your code you can potentionally catch errors early, use our linting rules to make sure that some of the best practices are always applied.

Don't pause​

It can be tempting to use the pause command but using this is a bad idea as it isn't resilient and will only cause for flaky tests in the long run.

// 👎
await nameInput.setValue('Bob');
await browser.pause(200); // wait for submit button to enable
await submitFormButton.click();

// 👍
await nameInput.setValue('Bob');
await submitFormButton.waitForEnabled();
await submitFormButton.click();

Async loops​

When you have some asynchronous code that you want to repeat, it is important to know that not all loops can do this. For example, the Array's forEach function does not allow for asynchronous callbacks as can be read over on MDN.

Note: You can still use these when you do not need the operation to be synchronous like in shown in this example console.log(await $$('h1').map((h1) => h1.getText())).

Below are some examples of what this means.

The following will not work as asynchronous callback are not supported.

// 👎
const characters = 'this is some example text that should be put in order';
characters.forEach(async (character) => {
await browser.keys(character);
});

The following will work.

// 👍
const characters = 'this is some example text that should be put in order';
for (const character of characters) {
await browser.keys(character);
}

Executing code in parallel​

If you do not care about the order in which some code is ran you can utilise Promise.all to speed up the execution.

Note: Since this makes the code harder to read you could abstract this away using a page object or a function, although you should also question if the benefit in performance is worth the cost of readability.

// 👎
await name.setValue('Bob');
await email.setValue('bob@webdriver.io');
await age.setValue('50');
await submitFormButton.waitForEnabled();
await submitFormButton.click();

// 👍
await Promise.all([
name.setValue('Bob'),
email.setValue('bob@webdriver.io'),
age.setValue('50'),
]);
await submitFormButton.waitForEnabled();
await submitFormButton.click();

If abstracted away it could look something like below where the logic is put in a method called submitWithDataOf and the data is retrieved by the Person class.

// 👍
await form.submitData(new Person('bob@webdriver.io'))

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