PHP is the market’s most widely used open-source, server-side language to create dynamic websites. Many popular websites, like Facebook, Wikipedia, and Etsy, use PHP. PHP is so common in the market due to multiple factors –

  • Availability of different frameworks to choose from
  • Advanced security features
  • Faster development
  • Better performance, and so on.
Many testing tools are widely used to ensure the quality of PHP websites. Let’s go through the top 5 testing tools and analyze the pros and cons of each of them. The tools that we are going to review are:


Behat is a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) framework for PHP that allows developers to write tests in natural language. It is an open-source tool that aims to bridge the gap between stakeholders and technical teams by enabling them to collaborate and communicate effectively.

One of the key features of Behat is its focus on behavior-driven design, which emphasizes writing tests that describe the expected behavior of the application in terms of user stories or scenarios. These scenarios are written in Gherkin, a simple language that is easy to read and understand by both technical and non-technical stakeholders.

Behat supports various types of testing, including acceptance testing, functional testing, and integration testing. It provides a rich set of assertions and supports different testing frameworks, such as Selenium and Mink, which allow testing web applications in different browsers.

Behat can integrate well with various PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, and Yii. It also supports various plugins and extensions that allow developers to extend its functionality to meet their specific needs.

Pros & Cons of Behat

  • Open-source tool.
  • The use of Gherkin language gives good clarity and easy-to-read test cases.
  • Provides great HTML reports for test executions.
  • Supports execution in headless browsers like PhantomJS.
  • Works on Mac, Ubuntu, and Windows.
  • Has good community support and documentation.

  • Scripts are created in PHP, so QA needs to know PHP.
  • Supports only desktop browsers, no support for mobile browsers.
  • API testing is not supported by default.
  • Implementation time is lengthy, and test executions are not that fast.


PHPSpec is designed to encourage Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) practices. It is an open-source tool that helps developers write tests that describe the behavior of objects and classes in a clear way.

The emphasis on BDD design encourages developers to write tests that describe the code’s behavior in a natural language format. This makes it easier to understand the code’s expected behavior and helps ensure that the code is written to meet the desired behavior.

PHPSpec supports a number of built-in matchers that allow developers to write tests that describe the expected behavior of objects and classes. These matchers can be used to check that methods are called with the correct parameters, that properties are set to the correct values, and that exceptions are thrown when expected.

PHPSpec also supports the use of “mock objects,” which are objects that mimic the behavior of real objects but are designed for testing purposes. Mock objects can be used to simulate interactions between objects and help developers write tests that accurately reflect the behavior of the code.

Pros & Cons of PHPSpec

  • Supports object-oriented programming practices and encourages developers to write testable and maintainable code.
  • Integrates with various PHP frameworks, including Symfony, Laravel, and Zend, making it easier to write tests for code built on top of these frameworks.
  • Supports the use of mock objects, which can be used to simulate interactions between objects and help developers write tests that accurately reflect the behavior of the code.
  • Provides a range of built-in matchers, making it easier to write tests that accurately reflect the behavior of the code.

  • PHPSpec can have a steep learning curve, especially for developers who are not familiar with behavior-driven design or object-oriented programming practices.
  • PHPSpec may not be the best choice for testing legacy code or code that was not written with testing in mind.
  • Not be the best choice for testing applications that are heavily dependent on external systems, such as databases or APIs.


PHPUnit is the most commonly used testing framework, mainly supporting unit and integration testing. Developed by Sebastian Bergmann, it’s considered a programmer-oriented framework. PHPUnit can be used by Developers too for test-driven development. Though it can’t be used for End-to-End testing or API testing, this tool finds its place in Unit and Integration testing between Components. Almost every PHP framework uses PHPUnit for Unit testing. It supports execution via the command line and tests various controllers without extending it. PHPUnit can be installed by downloading the PHAR or added as a development-time dependency to your project using Composer. You can learn more about PHPUnit here.

Pros & Cons of PHPUnit

  • It’s an open-source testing tool.
  • Widely used for unit testing on all PHP platforms.
  • Used for analyzing the code coverage efficiently.
  • Provides different types of test reports.

  • Doesn’t support End-to-End testing or API testing.
  • Not a functional testing tool.
  • More useful for Developers than the QA team.


Codeception is one of the most used testing frameworks that support unit testing, functional testing, and acceptance testing. It became more popular because of its high test execution speed, ease of use, and easy maintainability of the code base. It has default integration with PHP frameworks like Symfony2, Laravel4, Zend, Yii, etc. Codeception requires PHP with a version greater than 5 for installation; also, it requires curl. Codeception can be installed by downloading the PHAR or by downloading and installing manually via Composer. Codeception follows a behavior-driven development approach. So test cases can be written in Gherkin language, similar to JBehave and Cucumber. It has integration with many CI tools like Jenkins and TeamCity. It provides various database modules supporting database testing. Codeception also has REST modules that help to test web services. Click here to learn more about Codeception.

Pros & Cons of Codeception

  • It’s an open-source tool.
  • Easy to read test cases as it follows the BDD pattern.
  • Supports unit testing, acceptance testing, and end-to-end testing.
  • It can be integrated with other frameworks like Selenium.
  • It works with most PHP frameworks.
  • Provides Integration to CI/CD tools.

  • It supports PHP language, so the QA person needs to have good knowledge of PHP.
  • Java and Ajax in the webpage can’t be tested using Codeception.
  • Though it can be used for unit testing, it’s volatile to code changes.
  • Acceptance testing is slow because it requires a real browser.
  • Functional testing emulates the browser, so more false positive results.
  • No support for mobile browsers.


testRigor is not a framework per se, but rather an entire system. It is the industry-leading no-code automation tool supporting various types of testing, such as integration testing, acceptance testing, end-to-end testing, API testing, and database testing. Test scripts are written in plain English, allowing the QA team to easily create scripts. It also supports BDD out of the box. testRigor, with its enhanced AI support, captures multiple locators of the same element, making scripts fail proof. It’s a cloud-hosted tool, so there won’t be any hurdles in tool setup. testRigor also supports the execution of scenarios in desktop and mobile browsers. It has built-in integration with tools like:

  • CI/CD Tools – Jenkins, Azure DevOps, CircleCI
  • Test Management tools – TestRail, Zephyr, Jira, Azure DevOps Ticketing
  • Infraproviders – BrowserStack, LambdaTest, SauceLabs.

You can learn more about testRigor and its features here.

Pros & Cons of Codeception

  • Supports cross-browser, cross-platform testing. A single test case can run across different browsers and platforms such as desktop and mobile.
  • Excellent choice for BDD, functional, end-to-end testing.
  • Visual validations can be performed without adding any extra plugins.
  • Supports integrations with Slack, MS teams, or emails for sending test reports.
  • Allows automation of 2FA, emails, phone calls, etc.
  • Provides a free trial account to try out all the features.

  • Requires commercial license.

Wrapping Up

In summary, there are several testing frameworks available for PHP, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right framework will depend on the specific needs of your project and the experience and preferences of your development team. By selecting the right framework and following best testing practices, you can ensure that your PHP application is thoroughly tested and free of bugs and errors, leading to a better user experience and greater overall success of your project.