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A Comparison of Playwright and Selenium: Pros and Cons

Playwright and Selenium

The Agile development process is focused on providing software quickly and in stages. According to the agile methodology, testing should be done every sprint. The tester should concentrate more on testing the individual components than the complete system, as opposed to evaluating the full application at once. The testing technique for manual testing necessitates repeated testing of the same test cases, which takes time.

However, given the timeframe and schedule, manual testing is a very challenging task. Manual testing causes a delay in the delivery of the software application even when development and deployment are quicker. Automation testing is the best answer to this. Once the automated test is created, you can run it repeatedly without your involvement. Although writing test cases for automation testing takes time, when you consider the long term, it is cost-effective.

The market is flooded with test automation frameworks. Selenium dominated for a long time. However, the most recent progress in web development led to the popularity of various automation frameworks. One such program that competes with Selenium is the Playwright. In this article comparing Playwright and Selenium, we’ll attempt to discuss each product’s advantages, disadvantages, and differences.

What is Selenium?

An open-source framework for automated cross-browser testing is called Selenium. A project that started out as an internal tool has grown into a hub for multiple tools and libraries useful for a range of use cases, including web scraping. Selenium’s main constituents are:

Selenium WebDriver – A group of application programming interfaces (APIs) for building and executing browser tests. It may control a range of browsers rather than concentrating on just one, like Firefox or Chrome. Additionally, language bindings are required for writing the script that will communicate with the Selenium WebDriver.

Selenium IDE – A test automation recorder and replayer that developers can use to capture their actions and script them. Additionally, test cases can be converted into file formats and executed using Selenium WebDriver.

Selenium Grid – A test automation recorder and replayer that developers can use to capture their actions and script them. Additionally, test cases can be converted into file formats and executed using Selenium WebDriver.

What is Playwright?

The first version of Playwright, a Microsoft-managed open-source test automation tool, was made available in May 2020. Playwright has undergone numerous revisions since then, and each update has brought additional functionality. Puppeteer and Playwright are very similar; in fact, the Playwright was created by the same group.

End-to-end testing was taken into consideration when the Playwright was first being built. However, it has been experimenting with API testing and component testing in response to audience expectations. The majority of popular browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Webkit Browser, are supported by Playwright.

Playwright has swiftly gained popularity in comparison to Selenium because of its simplicity and sophisticated features.

Playwright vs Selenium: Features & Limitations

Let’s explore some key features & limitations of Playwright and Selenium.

Features of Playwright

  • Playwright is more than simply a library; it comes with the entire framework and can be tested right away.
  • Different testing modalities, including API, end-to-end, and component testing, are supported by Playwright.
  • It is user-friendly for developers and offers a variety of debugging tools, including IDE integration, tracing, and logging.
  • Tests run using Playwright are the fastest and most reliable because it immediately injects commands into the browser.
  • Playwright has built-in reporters that support a variety of reporter kinds, including HTML, JUnit, list, line, and dot reporters.
  • There are built-in assertion and test runner libraries included; using external libraries is optional.
  • If you want to use a single framework for API and end-to-end testing, Playwright enables mocking and stubbing, which is a significant plus.
  • Playwright can be used for visual comparison testing, which allows users to test user interfaces separately from data integration. Testing styles, UI designs, layouts, etc., is part of the visual comparison.
  • There is no need to provide explicit waiting because the playwright uses automated waiting.
  • It is well documented. Playwright provided documentation for everything with an example since Microsoft supports it. Beginners can pick it up quickly and begin practicing.


Limitations of Playwright

  • Given that the community is continually developing, it is still quite fresh to the market.
  • The native Safari browser is not supported by Playwright.
  • The formal support for native mobile applications is still pending.
  • Legacy IE 11 is not supported by Playwright.
  • It makes use of the ineffective stock browser that comes with it.
  • Support for testing on cloud platforms is scarce.


Features of Selenium

  • Selenium is supported by a sizable community and donors and is open source.
  • The native versions of Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari are supported by Selenium. Native browsers, not stock browsers, are used for testing.
  • The scripts for Selenium automation testing are simple to comprehend
  • Using libraries from outside sources, Selenium supports mobile devices
  • Long-term support is anticipated for the Selenium tool because it has been around for more than 18 years.


Limitations of Selenium

  • Tests using browser-specific drivers are sluggish and unstable because Selenium automation testing employs an intermediary layer.
  • There are no built-in reporters that Selenium supports.
  • You can think of Selenium as a library rather than a framework. One can create an intricate and time-consuming automation framework using Selenium automation testing.
  • There are no built-in assertion libraries with Selenium. One must rely on external libraries.
  • Visual Testing and other image-processing functionalities are not supported by Selenium.
  • API testing and component testing are not supported by Selenium. It only supports testing via browsers.
  • Supported by all significant cloud testing service providers.
  • Excellent community support and a wealth of online tutorials are both available.
  • Long-term support is anticipated for the Selenium tool because it has been around for more than 18 years.

To leverage the use of Playwright and Selenium, a cloud-based platform like LambdaTest is preferred. It is a cross-browser digital experience testing platform that allows the execution of end-to-end automation testing in its Selenium Grid cloud across 3000+ browsers and OS combinations. LambdaTest offers seamless integration with Playwright, a modern browser automation library, and Selenium WebDriver, a popular choice for web application testing. You can write your test scripts using Playwright’s concise syntax or Selenium WebDriver’s rich API and execute them effortlessly on LambdaTest’s cloud-based infrastructure.


Choosing Between Playwright vs. Selenium

How can you select between Selenium and Playwright if they can both assist you with headless browsing? Well, contrasting the two can be very challenging. There are several situations where one might perform better than the other, ranging from the programming language and browser pairings to the needs of the scraping project.  Instead of naming them all, let’s look at some important factors you should take into account before choosing one over the other.


Browser support

Even though Selenium offers a wide range of browser choices, the user still needs to install unique WebDrivers for each browser. However, Playwright already has a driver built-in, which makes implementation considerably simpler. It only supports WebKit, Chromium, and Firefox, though, so keep that in mind. Before picking between Selenium and Playwright, you should think about the web browsers your project will need.

To get around the WebDriver management issue, Selenium just released Selenium Manager, which is significant to notice. Nevertheless, using it can still interfere with your workflow because it is still in the beta testing stage.


Programming languages

The main programming languages supported by Selenium, which is an older tool, include Java, Python, Ruby, C#, and JavaScript. Furthermore, you may utilize Go, Haskell, PHP, Perl, and R, thanks to Selenium’s client language bindings.

Python,.NET, Java, TypeScript, and JavaScript are all supported by Playwright. Playwright may be a better option if you’re using one of the many programming languages it supports, even though it has fewer features than Selenium and is simpler to implement.



Selenium is thought to be slower than Playwright in terms of speed. The former is better suited for small to medium-sized scraping tasks because speed will be much slower with increased computing power. Check out some tests and comparisons of the two so that you can make an informed choice.


Community Support

Playwright lacks Selenium’s online resources because it is a more recent program. The latter has a huge, vibrant community and a wealth of in-depth information. Because of this, if you run into trouble, you’ll probably be able to obtain help online but find it challenging to do so with Playwright.



Playwright and Selenium are based on several architectures. As previously noted, you can install a client driver (binding) for Selenium that is language-specific to create scripts that can communicate with the Web Driver. Additionally, the HTTP protocol will be used for the JSON payload exchange. In essence, every line of Selenium code will necessitate sending JSON Wire Protocol, which could cause delays.

The event-driven architecture of Playwright, on the other hand, is based on disconnected systems that react to events (user- or system-generated actions). This indicates that each component is autonomous and communicates with the others via exchanging events. Because it permits asynchronous communication, the system is more scalable, adaptable, and quick.


Playwright vs. Selenium: Which one is better?

The tool with the greatest community support is selenium, which is the most popular utility. But it doesn’t have a lot of cutting-edge features. The Playwright has several contemporary characteristics but receives little community support. The decision between Selenium and Playwright is now in question. There isn’t a clear solution.

The company and project requirements have complete control over the test automation tool. It incorporates a number of variables, including qualified resources, different web application kinds, used development frameworks, necessary features, delivery time, etc.

The world’s best test automation tool does not exist, but the project’s best tool is available.”



Overall, choosing between Selenium and Playwright can be challenging. Both are top-notch test automation tools with broad web scraping applications. However, our suggestion would be along these lines:

When your project’s requirements can be covered by Playwright’s supported languages and browsers, Playwright is the ideal choice. For a headless browser that is quick, effective, and easy to build, pick Playwright.

Selenium is the ideal option when you need flexibility and want to use a very specific browser and programming language combo. Additionally, Selenium might be a very helpful tool for learning web scraping using a headless browser, considering the variety of resources readily available online. Since there isn’t a single answer that works in every circumstance, it’s crucial to carefully analyze the project’s requirements.

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