Selenium vs WebDriverIO

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Selenium and WebDriverIO are free and open-source tools that use the JSON Wire Protocol. Therefore, you will find many similarities, but they differ from each other in terms of architecture and features. Let's compare them based on a few factors:

Point of DifferenceSeleniumWebDriverIo
ArchitectureSelenium architecture consists of four layers: the Selenium Client Library, JSON Wire Protocol, Browser Drivers, and Browsers. While Selenium 4 provides direct access to the Chrome DevTools Protocol (CDP), they highly encourage that you use the WebDriver Bidi APIs instead of DevTools, but Bidi APIs are still in development. Chrome DevTools Protocol is not designed for testing nor to have a stable API, so functionality is highly dependent on the version of the browser.    WebDriverIO is a framework that follows the web standard protocol WebDriver and Chrome DevTools protocol. With the DevTools protocol, communication happens directly to the browser using WebSockets without any proxy.
API TestingSelenium is not a tool for API Testing. You can integrate REST Assured tool with Selenium in Java Framework.In WebDriverIO, API testing is possible using 3rd party libraries like wdio-intercept-service.
Auto WaitsSelenium supports implicit, Explicit, and Fluent Waits. There is no concept of auto waits.WebdriverIO provides a built-in wait mechanism that automatically explicitly waits on the element before interacting with it. It also supports implicit and explicit waits.
Browser SupportedSelenium supports many browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and HTML Units.WebdriverIO supports multiple browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
Community Support & DocumentationSelenium has excellent Official Documentation and community support.WebDriverIO has good community support and documentation.
Debugging & Network ControlIn Selenium, Debugging and Network Control are possible using DevTools or WebDriver Bidi APIs.In WebDriverIO, You can use the Dev Tools protocol for network interception, tracing, etc. You can use the browser debug command to pause your test and inspect the browser.
Mocks & SpiesNo Support for Mocks and SpiesWebDriverO has built-in support for mocks and spies limited to the chrome browser.
Desktop App TestingNo support for Desktop Automation in Selenium. Winium was created earlier for easy integration with Selenium, but that is outdated now. You can use WinAppDriver with Selenium in the same framework.Basic support for Desktop App Automation in WebDriverIO. You can integrate WebDriverIO with WinAppDriver for desktop app testing.
GitHub StarsAs of August 29, 2022, Selenium has 24.5K stars and 7.1K forks.As of August 29, 2022, WebDriverIO has 7.7K Stars and  2.2K Forks.
Installation & ConfigurationInstallation and Setup in Selenium require some manual configuration and dependency installation.In WebDriverIO, It is easier to set up a project than in Selenium, with flexible configuration in only one configuration file (wdio.conf).
LocatorsApart from its traditional locators, Selenium 4 introduced relative locators.WebDriverIO has built-in support for CSS, XPath, Android, iOS, React, and other selectors.
Manage Browser DriverIn Selenium, you have to manually download the browser driver. You can use WebDriverManager, an open-source Java library that manages the drivers required by Selenium WebDrive in a fully automated manner.WebDriverIO manages the browser instances on its own.
Mobile AutomationNo support for mobile automation in Selenium. You can integrate it with a tool like Appium in the same framework.WebDriverIO has good support for mobile automation.
OriginSelenium has been around for two decades and has proved its reliability. Selenium's history started in 2004.WebDriverIO is also a stable tool, with its first release in 2013.
Supported LanguagesSelenium released for many programming languages, including, Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, C#, Ruby, PHP, Perl, Objective C, R, Kotlin, etc.WebDriverIO supports JavaScript and TypeScript only.