Cypress, a great alternative for the bigger players

Most companies use agile methods nowadays. As a result, they can release new versions as much as they want. This evolution has only been possible due to drastic changes in application development. But many companies seem to have overlooked the significance of evolving testing as well. This because they still rely primarily on manual testing. Although some companies have taken the step to automate their tests, they rarely update them after setting them up. Selenium remains one of the biggest players on the market (perhaps the biggest) despite its few updates. It is not without competition, however, as several tools like Cypress are there to challenge the status quo.

Selenium, the biggest player on the market

Let’s start by saying that Selenium isn’t a bad tool at all. Because of its large community of users, a lot of documentation is available. A wide range of popular languages are supported, such as Java, C#, PHP, Python and Ruby. Additionally, it is compatible with the most popular browsers. Furthermore, many third-party tools support Selenium, such as AppliTools for visual test automation and Sauce Labs, BrowserStack, and CrossBrowserTesting for cloud-based test automation, and many others. Selenium has become well-known among test automation engineers, and many open-source or custom-designed frameworks are built on it.

Learning to work with Selenium, on the other hand, requires some technical knowledge and experience. 

Cypress as an interesting alternative

Now let’s discuss Cypress, a complete end-to-end testing experience. Cypress is an open-source front-end testing tool that enables quick, easy, and reliable testing for anything that runs in a browser.

Differences between Selenium and Cypress

What are the differences between Cypress and, say, Selenium? Unlike Selenium, Cypress is very simple to install; all drivers and dependencies are installed and configured automatically. Furthermore, Cypress is more than a library; it is a solid test automation framework that supports E2E testing.

The way Selenium interacts with the browser is one of the most significant differences. Without getting too technical, one can say that Selenium communicates with the browser via HTTP, which may cause delays.

Cypress, on the other hand, has its own mechanism for manipulating the browser and operates entirely within the browser, without the need for network communication. This significantly accelerates Cypress’s performance. Because Cypress is a JavaScript End to End testing framework, it only supports JavaScript (including TypeScript). In terms of browsers, Cypress currently supports Firefox and Chromium-based browsers (including Edge and Electron). 

Cypress has many features

Cypress has its own user interface (UI) that makes developing and debugging tests a breeze. It also has many other features, such as Time Travel. This feature allows you to navigate through the executed tests and see snapshots of each individual step, allowing you to easily track exactly what happened.

Furthermore, it includes implicit waits by default, so you don’t need to add explicit waits and sleeps to make your tests stable. You can also easily configure cypress to automatically save a screenshot and/or video when a test fails. A number of features commonly used in unit testing, such as spies, stubs, and clocks, are also available.

Cypress, like Selenium, has a multitude of third-party plugins, including AppliTools, Percy, CircleCi, and BrowserStack. The online documentation for all of these features and plugins is extensive. There is also a wealth of other useful information, tutorials, and examples on their website about using Cypress and Docker. 


Overall, Cypress can be an incredibly interesting alternative to Selenium. Please visit Cypress’s website or our free intro session (in Dutch) for more information. We also host basic and advanced trainings; check our website regulary for the upcoming training dates and more information. 

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