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Start Testing GeoIP Applications

Testing geoIP applications is difficult: inserting workarounds or injections quickly leaves you testing your test framework, rather than critical localization code. However, testing your application to ensure it’s performing correctly can be started in minutes.

In an ideal world, everyone would automate all their testing. There are bunches of tools that support automating your testing: we even have some guides to help you get started! But sometimes, manual testing is really the right choice for a project. Manual testing allows you to start in minutes, rather than weeks and lets you leverage the skills of your QA team as your site iterates and improves. Sometimes, the best option is to get some humans to emulate your (presumably) human users and travel through your website as they would.

This guide provides a base procedure to help you start testing your geoIP-based, localized website. It's a solid starting point from which to develop your own testing plan.

Step 1.

Sign up with a geoIP proxy provider, and add key locations to your account. We’d suggest WonderProxy.

Step 2.

Develop test plan noting the differences you should see in each country or region. These are the things your QA testers should look for: currency, language, copy differences, credit card processors, localization - list anything that should be appearing differently in different locales.

Sample e-commerce test plan

Country Default Language Shipping Offer Currency Billing Partner Notes
USA English Free > $20 USD Stripe US flag should appear top right corner.
Canada English $3.99 > $20 USD PayPal Maple leaf added to logo. Note on USD pricing in page footer.
UK English £3.99 > £20 GBP PayPal Home page will always include at least one monarchy-related item (queen bobblehead, etc).
France French None Euro PayPal Link to /loilang on all shipping pages for note on lack of shipping offer.

Step 3.

Configure your browser of choice to use the proxy corresponding with the city you’d like to test through. Visit your site as you normally would, following your test plan.

Hopefully, you'll find that your code is operating as expected, and you can rejoice. Otherwise, fix the bugs and repeat the test.

Step 4.

Determine test execution frequency. Balance the cost of test execution against the impact on your business if incorrect localizations are presented. Common choices include weekly, on deployment, and daily.


When you're ready to automate your testing for faster execution or for integration with your continious integration tools, we have instructions for automated execution on the desktop and automated geoIP testing with Sauce Labs. The test plan you created here will help you choose which verifications your testing platform should perform.