Stabilizing Selenium Scripts

What will you learn?

Explore effective strategies to enhance the stability of your Selenium scripts. Discover how to mitigate failures caused by dynamic web elements and unpredictable content loading times.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

Selenium serves as a powerful tool for automating web browsers, enabling us to simulate user interactions and test our applications thoroughly. However, its reliance on the Document Object Model (DOM) can lead to flaky tests, especially when dealing with dynamic content that loads inconsistently or changes frequently.

To address these challenges, we will delve into implementing explicit waits and leveraging the Page Object Model (POM). By incorporating explicit waits, our scripts can adapt dynamically to varying load times, while the POM enhances test structure maintainability. These approaches collectively contribute to more robust and reliable tests.


from selenium import webdriver
from import By
from import WebDriverWait
from import expected_conditions as EC

driver = webdriver.Chrome()

    element = WebDriverWait(driver, 10).until(
        EC.presence_of_element_located((By.ID, "dynamicElement"))

# Copyright PHD


In the provided code snippet:

  • WebDriverWait is utilized in conjunction with expected_conditions (abbreviated as EC) to enable the script to wait until a specific condition is met before proceeding.
  • The code snippet waits for up to 10 seconds for an element with the ID dynamicElement to appear in the DOM.
  • The tryfinally block ensures proper termination of the browser session using driver.quit(), irrespective of the success or failure of the waiting process.

This methodology significantly reduces test flakiness by accommodating variations in page loading times.

    1. What are explicit waits? Explicit waits instruct Selenium WebDriver to pause execution until a specific condition is satisfied, enhancing reliability when interacting with dynamic content.

    2. How do explicit waits differ from implicit waits? Implicit waits establish a global timeout period applied during element location. In contrast, explicit waits target precise conditions and scenarios, offering finer control over wait mechanisms.

    3. Can I combine explicit and implicit waits? Combining them is not recommended as it may result in unpredictable wait durations. It’s advisable to use explicit waits when precise control is necessary.

    4. What is Page Object Model (POM)? Page Object Model is a design pattern used in test automation that enhances test maintenance by abstracting webpage details from actual tests.

    5. Why use POM with Selenium? Employing POM aids in organizing code structures by segregating page behaviors from test scripts, simplifying management across extensive automated test suites within complex web applications.

    6. How do I handle AJAX calls in Selenium? Utilize WebDriverWait with suitable expected conditions like presence_of_element_located to effectively manage asynchronous JavaScript or AJAX-intensive pages.

    7. Can I run Selenium headlessly? Yes! Most modern browsers support headless operations, accelerating testing cycles significantly by eliminating GUI rendering requirements.


Implementing techniques such as explicit waiting periods and embracing design patterns like Page Object Model (POM) can substantially enhance the dependability of automated browser testing using Selenium WebDriver. Adhering to these principles will minimize errors stemming from dynamic web elements or unforeseen delays in content loading processes.

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