In my previous beginner’s guide, we discussed what is Puppeteer, installed required dependencies and reviewed some of its capabilities via code examples. Now, we’ll dive even deeper into Puppeteer, and compare Selenium vs. Puppeteer. Selenium is by far the most commonly used functional test automation tool. This article will evaluate both the pros and cons of Selenium and Puppeteer so we can decide which one is better under the given circumstances.
Table of Content
- Getting started with Puppeteer Guide (Previous article)
- What is Selenium
- What is Puppeteer
- Selenium Vs. Puppeteer in the Industry
- Selenium Vs. Puppeteer: A Comparison
Selenium is the most widely supported tool in the web automation industry. Selenium has been around for more than 16 years now and consequently, it is the industry leader for web automation.
- Selenium Grid offers parallelism.
- Multi-language support.
- Selenium with Appium offers mobile automation.
- Cross-browser automation support.
- Selenium with TestNG offers enhanced features.
Puppeteer is a Node.js library that provides a high-level API to control Chrome or Chromium over the DevTools Protocol. It runs headless by default but can be configured to run non-headless. Puppeteer is the go-to tool for automation if speed and performance of automated tests are more important than portability and compatibility. It has an edge over Selenium due to its improved control over Chrome.
- Puppeteer offers more control over Chrome
- Puppeteer’s default headless mode is extremely fast
- Enables web scraping
- Takes screenshots and PDFs of pages for UI testing
- Measures Rendering and Load times by Chrome Performance Analysis tool
As it is evident from the picture above, Puppeteer has overtaken the Protractor from August and is continuously in good competition with Selenium. This data shows the trends of downloads by using npm (Node Package Manager) between 2018-2019 and it is suggesting that the battle of web automation will be between Selenium and Puppeteer! 💥
Now let’s see a comparison of these two tools with respect to the features offered by them:
|Browser Support||Chrome only||Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, IE, Opera|
|Community Support||Google Groups, GitHub and Stack Overflow||Wide community support over multiple forums|
|Execution Speed||Faster but only with Chrome||Relatively Slower|
|Installation and Setup||Easy to setup with just one command||Relatively complex for a new user|
|Cross Platform Support||No||Yes|
|Recording||No||Yes with Selenium IDE|
|Screenshots||Both Image and PDF support||Image support only|
|Testing Platform Support||Web||Web and Mobile with Appium|
|Coding Skills||Required||Required for Selenium Web driver but not Selenium IDE|
It is pretty obvious from the above comparison that Puppeteer will the best choice when we have to perform unit level testing for any web application and a fast & flexible solution is required. Selenium will be the better choice for the cases where we have a web and mobile application and cross-platform support is our number one requirement.
We have looked at the features offered above by Selenium and Puppeteer, and now its time to decide which tool to use when researching for the best automation tool 🧐. Selenium is for you if you are looking to integrate your test automation framework for your web applications as it offers a CI/CD support, plus a wide programming language support. On the other hand, Puppeteer is perfect for you if you are not looking for cross-browser automation, and targeting to explore a more controlled environment for your test automation and greater flexibility with chrome tools as well.
What will you choose? Share in the comments what is your preferred solution💪🏻