Popularity of the 4 web-app. testing tools

Trend on the NPM packages

The Node.js versions of those tools are available as NPM packages.

On npm Registry, and for each package, we can take the number of weekly downloads as an indicator of their popularity.

Tool npm Package name / URL cypress
Nightwatch.js nightwatch
Playwright Test (Playwright Test runner, JS version) @playwright/test
Selenium (JS version) selenium-webdriver
WebdriverIO (JS version) webdriverio

As for 02/07/2023, we have, for each package, on last 7 days:

package name/url number of weekly downloads
cypress 4865643
@playwright/test 2140160
selenium-webdriver 1864334
webdriverio 1141885
nightwatch 174739

Thats good, but we can have a better view of the popularity of each tool, by comparing them on the same graph. And see progression over time.

This was made with data from npm trends ( On this site, we can see the popularity of each tool, by number of weekly downloads from NPM, with different time ranges.

Before looking at graphs, let’s see the evolution of each tool, compared to last year.

Evolution compared to last year

package name 3 july 2022 1 july 2023 evolution
@playwright/test 629646 2140160 +240%
cypress 3673636 4865643 +32%
webdriverio 924956 1141885 +23%
nightwatch 171522 179653 +2%
selenium-webdriver 2395860 2013031 -22%

We can see in the graphs below:

NPM trend - graphs

Comparison between those 5 NPM packages:

Graphs copied from npm trends

period npm trend graph
over the past year 1 Year
over the past 2 years 2 Years
over the past 5 years 5 Years
since beginning All time

Trend on GitHub

Each of those tools have a GitHub repository, and we can take the number of stars as an indicator of their popularity.

Each of those tools has more than 10k stars on GitHub. Some more quickly than others…

Comparison of number of stars on Github:

Tool GitHub repository Number of stars on GitHub (june 2023) + 10k stars in…
Playwright microsoft/playwright 52127 4 months cypress-io/cypress 43596 4 years
Selenium 1 SeleniumHQ/selenium 26804 6 years
Nightwatch.js nightwatchjs/nightwatch 11383 8 years
Star History Chart Star History Chart

Interest2 over time, for each of this tools.


⚠️ to be completed

Notes :

  1. SeleniumHQ/selenium is the repo for the Selenium “umbrella project”, covering not only “test” automation. And this repository correspond not only JavaScript implementation. 

  2. Interest over time” number is defined by Google by: