I'm just beginner in this field. I have already created simple tests using Selenium in .NET environment together with NUnit. I also hard coded the same or similar tests for my framework.

My question is, behind the curtains, what are the differences between recording tests with Selenium IDE and manual-code them with .Net and NUnit?

Is test recording using Firefox and Selenium IDE everything what I need? Or are there any disadvantages with this approach?

  • It is hard to answer this without knowing more about your framework.
    – user246
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 0:44
  • I re-wrote the question a bit, but kept it partially in your own wording. I hope you can confirm this is what you are trying to ask. I did this because the original wording was a bit vague and it was unclear what it was comparing. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 18:29

2 Answers 2


I would always vote for hand-coding automated test over the use of Record and Playback. With programming test-cases its much easier to keep the tests DRY and if you think about maintainability of the tests up-front this will safe you a lot of time in the end. Some record and playback tools do support cutting up recordings in pieces and or replacing frequently used parts. But its hard (or maybe even impossible) to implement a Selenium best practise like the Page Object Model with a recording tool like Selenium IDE or Selenium Builder. Overal test recordings are harder to maintain.

Unless you have a very small set of test-cases and very limited time avoid using a Record and Playback tool like Selenium IDE. (This is true for any Record and Playback testing tool, not just web-based or Selenium testing)

Still these tools have some value and can be handy sometimes:

  • Get started quick with a new test
  • See how the test recorder finds the control elements

    This might be needed for example when you automate an menu and it disappears before you can use an element inspector on them and you don't have access to the code, because this element is part of a commercial library.

If you already started creating a lot of test-cases in the IDE, no worries. The IDE has an export feature under the file menu, which exports the steps to C# code and already wrapped in NUnit test methods. You should be able to refactor this to the Page Object Model and be on the right track in no time.


There is another tool to record page object model. below is the link: http://seleniumrecorder.blogspot.com/

  • 2
    Could you please provide some more information about the link and how it provides an answer to this question?
    – Paul Muir
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 12:23
  • 1
    The question is not about alternative tools, but rather the differences between certain tools. differences between recording tests with Selenium IDE and manual-code them with .Net and NUnit? Please edit to address this fairly significant difference.
    – corsiKa
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 15:04

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