Selenium Python – Getting Started

It’s 2024, and yes, the world of web development is moving quickly! And applications need to function across a variety of platforms and browsers. Automation is the only essential you should look for since manual testing may be time-consuming and prone to mistakes. An open-source web automation tool that is reliable and adaptable is Selenium Python, among others. 

Selenium automates browser interactions to test web apps. It may be adapted for different project types since it supports many programming languages. Python’s readability, simplicity, and comprehensive library set it apart. It is ideal for all-level developers who require automated testing.

This article explains how to use Python with Selenium. We’ll cover setup, automated test script generation, and execution. This article will help you master Selenium Python to write dependable and efficient web application automation tests. Developers and testers wishing to enhance their testing process should read this Selenium Python introduction.

Overview of Selenium and Its Purpose

Selenium, as popularly known,  is a potent open-source web browser automation tool. Our goal is to automate web application testing so that it functions across many browsers and operating systems. With support for Python, Java, C#, Ruby, and JavaScript, Selenium offers development teams flexibility.

Key Features of Selenium

Here are some of the key features of Selenium – 

  • Selenium can automate app testing on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Chrome.
  • Selenium testing can ensure your product works on Windows, macOS, Linux, and others.
  • Selenium’s WebDriver API makes creating tests in popular programming languages easy.
  • Selenium interacts with TestNG, JUnit, and PyTest to simplify test suite management.
  • Selenium automates data extraction, form submissions, and other repeated web activities, saving time and reducing human error. 

Setting Up the Environment for Selenium Python: Getting Started

You need to set up your development environment before you can write and run Python Selenium scripts. This entails installing the Selenium library, installing Python, and configuring a virtual environment. Here’s a how-to manual to get you going:

  • Make sure Python is installed on your computer first. You may get the Python installer from the official website if it still needs to be installed. Windows users should run the installer and tick the “Add Python to PATH” box. Mac users: open Terminal, execute /bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL,” install Homebrew. Brew install python installs Python if needed. 

For Linux users, do sudo apt update && sudo apt install python3 on Ubuntu or equivalent instructions using your package management in the Terminal. Open a terminal or command prompt and type python –version or python3 –version to confirm the installation.

  • Next, create a virtual environment where you may handle project dependencies apart from system-wide packages. Python or Python3 -m venv selenium_env starts a virtual environment. To activate the virtual environment, run selenium_env\Scripts\activate on Windows or source selenium_env/bin/activate on macOS/Linux. The virtual environment name should now appear at your command prompt or terminal, indicating that it is active.
  • Now that the virtual environment is enabled, pip can be used to install the Selenium library. Run pip install selenium to install the necessary Selenium packages.

Web drivers are necessary for Selenium to interact with different browsers. Visit the official website, download ChromeDriver, unpack it, and place it in your system’s PATH to install Chrome. 

GeckoDriver for Firefox may be downloaded from the official website, unpacked, and put in a PATH directory. In Windows, look for “Environment Variables” in the Start menu, pick it, find the PATH variable under System Variables, click Edit, then New, and input the path to the web driver directory. After adding export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/web driver to your shell’s ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file, source the file to make changes.

  • A simple script that starts a browser and loads a web page may verify the configuration. 
  • To execute the script, use either python or python3  You have completed and configured Selenium if the browser opens and opens to Google. You will have a fully working environment ready for Python-based Selenium automation if you follow these instructions. Now that your web testing chores are automated, you can start creating more intricate scripts.

Basic Selenium Commands

Understanding and using fundamental commands to communicate with web pages is necessary to get started with Selenium. You can discover components on websites, traverse them, and carry out operations like typing text or clicking buttons using these instructions. This is a reference for the key Python Selenium commands.

  • Initializing WebDriver

To start using Selenium, you need to initialize the WebDriver. This allows Selenium to control the browser.

  • Opening a Web Page

Once the WebDriver is initialized, you can open a web page using the get method.

  • Navigating Through Web Pages

You can navigate through web pages using the back, forward, and refresh methods.

  • Locating Elements

Selenium has numerous website component search methods. Locating elements by class name, id, name, XPath, CSS selector, and tag name are the most common techniques.

  • Interacting with Web Elements

After locating elements, you can interact with them. Common interactions include clicking buttons, entering text in input fields, and submitting forms.

  • Waiting for Elements

Selenium provides mechanisms to wait for elements to appear or become intractable. These include implicit and explicit waits.

  • Implicit Wait: When WebDriver is searching for an element, an implicit wait instructs it to query the DOM for a predetermined period.
  • Explicit Wait: With explicit waits, you may hold off on acting until a certain condition is satisfied.
  • Closing the Browser

Lastly, after finishing your testing, remember to quit the browser. You may use the close technique to end the current window or the quit method to end the browser session altogether.

You may start building robust automated tests to interact with and verify the functioning of your online apps by becoming proficient with these fundamental Selenium commands. These commands provide a solid foundation for more advanced Selenium operations.

Interacting With Web Elements

Automating web tests using Selenium requires interacting with web components. After finding web page items, you may click buttons, input text, pick dropdowns, and more. How to use Selenium in Python to interact with web components is covered here.

  • Clicking Buttons: In order to utilize the click technique on a web page, you must first find the button.
  • Text Entry in Input Fields: After identifying the input element, use the send_keys function to enter text into the input field.
  • Clearing Text from Input Fields: You should remove any previous text from an input field before adding any new content. For this, use the straightforward approach.
  • Handling Dropdowns: You may use the Select class from to deal with dropdowns.
  • Managing Checkboxes and Radio Buttons: Use the click technique to select or deselect checkboxes and radio buttons.
  • Form Submission: You may use the submit method on any form element to submit a form.
  • Managing Pop-Ups and alarms: Use the switch_to.alert function to manage pop-ups and alarms.
  • Working with Iframes: Switch to the iframe to interact with its components.
  • Screenshots: Use get_screenshot_as_file or get_screenshot_as_png to take screenshots of the whole page or specific areas.
  • Running JavaScript: Running JavaScript directly may be necessary for more complex interactions.

Mastering these web element interaction approaches lets you automate many operations and write thorough test scripts to guarantee your online applications perform properly. These interactions form the core of web automation with Selenium.

Best Practices For Selenium Python

Best practices are necessary for effective, maintainable, and trustworthy Selenium testing. Here are some tips for developing good Python Selenium tests:

  1. Use a Testing Framework

Integrate Selenium with a testing framework like unit test, pytest, or nose. This provides structure, setup, and teardown capabilities, and better reporting.

  1. Use Explicit Waits Instead of Implicit Waits

Waiting for particular criteria makes explicit waits more dependable than implicit waits. Use WebDriverWait and expected_conditions.

  1. Organize Your Code with a Page Object Model (POM)

The Page Object Model (POM) design pattern creates a web UI element object-store. This enhances code readability and maintainability.

  1. Keep Tests Independent

Each test should be independent and not rely on the outcome of another test. This allows tests to be conducted in any sequence and generate consistent results.

  1. Use Setup and Teardown Methods

Before and after each test, initialize and clean up resources using setup and teardown procedures. This includes starting and quitting the WebDriver.

  1. Handle Test Data Properly

Manage test data separately from test scripts. Use fixtures, external files (CSV, JSON, XML), or a database to handle test data. This makes tests more flexible and maintainable.

  1. Take Screenshots of Failure

Capture screenshots of test failures to help with debugging. You can integrate this into your test framework’s teardown method.

  1. Optimize Test Execution Time

Parallel testing reduces test execution time. Use pytest-xdist to run tests simultaneously.

  1. Clean Up Test Environment

Make certain that every test concludes by tidying up and preserving the test environment for the subsequent test. This includes deleting any test data created during the test.

  1. Use Logging

Incorporate logging into your test scripts to capture detailed information about test execution. This helps in diagnosing issues when tests fail.

  1. Avoid Hard-Coding Values

Avoid hard-coding URLs, credentials, or other configuration values in your test scripts. Use configuration files or environment variables instead.

You can write reliable, effective, and maintainable Python Selenium test scripts by leveraging cloud-based platforms. Such platforms will keep your tests scalable, manageable, and dependable as your application expands.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test execution platform that allows you to test web apps across browsers, OSs, and devices online. It lets you conduct automated Selenium testing in a reliable, secure, and scalable environment to verify your apps perform as intended in various circumstances without a cumbersome infrastructure setup.

With support for more than 3000 actual operating systems and browsers, LambdaTest guarantees thorough test coverage. You can run many tests in parallel to easily extend your testing efforts and cut down on the time it takes to run your test suite. 

In fact, with LambdaTest you can incorporate testing into your continuous integration pipelines with ease by integrating with well-known CI/CD solutions like Travis CI, CircleCI, Jenkins, and more.

Real-time interactive testing of LambdaTest that is live on distant browsers lets you troubleshoot and adjust problems as they arise. You may verify a consistent user experience around the globe by testing your web apps in various geographic regions.


How to begin using Selenium Python provides a robust toolbox for online application testing and web interface automation. Comprehensive web automation may be built upon a solid foundation of environment setup, command proficiency, and effective web element interaction. 

Following best practices guarantees that automation scripts are reliable, manageable, and scalable. Some of these best practices include adopting a testing framework, putting the Page Object Model into effect, and keeping clean and independent tests.

From configuring Selenium to crafting sophisticated test scripts, the process requires ongoing education and adjustment to novel obstacles. But the advantages of automated testing—like improved precision, effectiveness, and the capacity to identify flaws at an early stage—make the work valuable. 

Your web apps will function better and provide a better user experience if you include Selenium Python in your development process.

Whether you are an experienced developer trying to improve your automation abilities or a newcomer just starting, the concepts and methods described in this tutorial will help you reach your objectives. Raise the bar for your web testing skills by using Selenium Python’s strength.

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