How to test HTTPS Websites from Local Host
By Sanghita Ganguly, Community Contributor - June 14, 2023
Is your website protected with HTTPS? If not, get it protected today. With HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certification, your website is secure from threats and has better credibility. However, securing your website through HTTPS will mean that you cannot send requests to the server from any source which is not protected through HTTPS.
This becomes an issue for the developers who wish to test the website using the local environment. So, the developers having a local development environment get a problem as everything works on the http://localhost.
Now, the server will reject any development request sent through your local development environment. You might receive an error code of
sent by Chrome.
To solve this problem and test HTTPS website from local host, we have provided some solutions in this guide.
Local Testing HTTPS website with BrowserStack
Using Local testing with BrowserStack enables your devs to run automated tests on your internal dev environments, on localhost, staging setups, or from behind a corporate firewall.
It establishes a secure connection between your machine and the BrowserStack cloud. After you set up Local testing, all your private URLs are automatically resolved, including HTTPS URLs and other URLs hosted behind a proxy or firewall.
Now that you know which cloud infrastructure you should opt for to test HTTPS websites, start by signing in and then move on with the tutorial.
Providing SSL Certificates to Test HTTPS Website
We will be using OpenSSL to create certificates for your HTTPS websites, and then we will be testing your website from a local host. Follow the below steps to generate all the SSL certificates
Step 1: Rooting SSL Certificate
- You need to develop a Root Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, which will be used to sign certificates created for individual domains. Now create the RSA-2048 key and then save it to rootCA.key.
- We will now use this rootCA.key file to develop a Root SSL certificate. Now you will need a pass phrase to use every time you create a certificate.
openssl genrsa -des3 -out rootCA.key 2048
- Use the key you created to generate a new Root SSL certificate and save it to rootCA.pem.
- By default, the validity of this certificate will be for 1024 days. Change the number of days you want this certificate.
openssl req -x509 -new -nodes -key rootCA.key -sha256 -days 1024 -out rootCA.pem
Step 2: Trusting the Rooted SSL Certificate
Before you use the newly created root SSL certificate, use your system to trust the given certificate.
Step 3: Domain SSL Certificate
- Now you can use your root SSL certificate to issue a certificate for your local environment at localhost.
- Now develop an OpenSSL configuration file named server.csr.cnf to import settings when you are creating a certificate rather than entering them on the command line.
[req] default_bits = 2048 prompt = no default_md = sha256 distinguished_name = dn [dn] C=US ST=RandomState L=RandomCity O=RandomOrganization OU=RandomOrganizationUnit emailAddressfirstname.lastname@example.org CN = localhost
- Now generate a v3.ext file to generate X509 v3 certificate. We will now specify the subjectAltName.
authorityKeyIdentifier=keyid,issuer basicConstraints=CA:FALSE keyUsage = digitalSignature, nonRepudiation, keyEncipherment, dataEncipherment subjectAltName = @alt_names [alt_names] DNS.1 = localhost
- Now generate a key for the localhost using the configuration settings present in the server.csr.cnf with the key stored in the server.key.
openssl req -new -sha256 -nodes -out server.csr -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout server.key -config <( cat server.csr.cnf )
Now, a request for signing certificates will be issued via the Root SSL you created for generating the certificate for the local host. The output file will be a certificate called server.crt.
openssl x509 -req -in server.csr -CA rootCA.pem -CAkey rootCA.key -CAcreateserial -out server.crt -days 500 -sha256 -extfile v3.ext
Step 4: Using Your SSL Certificate
Place your server.crt and server.key files to a location that is accessible in your server and use them when starting your server. Use this only for your local environment and not for production.
Login to localhost
Starting Development in SSL Mode In Rails
Once you have your certificates with you, you can just start the Puma with the next command.
bin/rails s -b "ssl://127.0.0.1:3000?key=$HOME/certs/localhost.key&cert=$HOME/certs/localhost.crt
Now visit your desired browser with the address,
NOTE: Your browser might complain as this certificate is self-signed. But do not panic as we are using it for the development stage. Add an exception and then accept the provided certificate. You are all set to test HTTPS websites.
Testing HTTPS Websites On Local Machine
You can always test your HTTPS websites with a local connection option behind the firewall. You may also choose it to access web pages that are saved on your local machine. In a few moments, you can test your internal sites.
Website Functionality Testing
Functional testing checks whether the website is functioning as per the specification of the requirement.
Given below is a checklist for your website functionality testing –
While link testing, you should check for:
- Outbound links and inbound links
- Admin email links
- Presence of any broken links
Forms help to communicate with customers and capture important data for lead generation. They should be checked for:
- Validity of input data validity
- Allowed and invalid input values for all data fields
- Malfunctioning of forms
Cookies are small temporary files stored on the user’s computer after visiting a web page. They help in faster loading of web pages.
- Site testing with enabled and disabled cookies
- Verify the cookie encryption
- Security after cookie removal
It tests the code of the site for:
- HTML errors in syntax
- Site crawling enabled for search engines
- Accuracy of site map in both XML and HTML format
- Also ensure to the website site on all browsers – Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Google Chrome and many others.
- You should also check the website at resolutions like 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024.
- Additionally check the website when logged in by admin users or subscribers.
Now that you have a clear idea of how to test HTTPS website and also generating SSL certificates for your website for localhost, you can build a robust website with all the tests performed from the internal environment and deliver a better user experience.
With BrowserStack Local Testing, you can:
- Test websites and apps hosted on internal servers
- Create a secure tunnel between your local dev/staging environments and the BrowserStack Cloud
- Use language bindings to trigger build verification tests at every compile
- Use multiple binary instances to test different feature branches—at the same time