Visual regression testing might save your ass.


I recently came across a very powerful tool that allows us developers to leave behind the second-guessing nature of “I changed x, did it break in y?”

BackstopJS will save your ass. Let me show you how easy it is to use.

Get running in four steps:

  1. Install BackstopJS globally: npm install -g backstopjs or yarn global add backstopjs
  2. Change into a directory that will host the files and run: backstop init
  3. Initiate a test: backstop test
  4. All good? Approve the test so that it now becomes the reference: backstop approve

So what might a real config look like?

You might find that it is easier to abstract out an array of scenarios into its own JavaScript file, like scenarios.js. In which case, you should look into using a JS based config file as described in this example.

Now, your backstopConfig.js file might include:

const scenarios = require('./scenarios.js');

// Further down backstopConfig.js
scenarios: scenarios,


var scenarios = [
    "label": "US - AMR to AMI Quiz (amr-quiz.php)",
    "cookiePath": "backstop_data/engine_scripts/cookies.json",
    "url": "https://staging.laneparton.com/test/",
    "referenceUrl": "https://laneparton.com/test/"

 module.exports = scenarios

Have questions? Drop me a line on Twitter - @LaneParton