Cross Browser Testing: Tips and Best Practices

Cross Browser Testing

These days, staying updated with evolving features is essential to ensure that web applications work in the best way possible. Web developers must often know that their code will only run on some websites. They are unsure about their code working on all web browser online they don’t have in their system. This is where cross-browser testing comes into action. 

This article answers some of your questions about what cross-browser testing is and its benefits, and it provides some tips and best practices.

What is cross-browser testing?

Cross-browser testing is a type of software testing in which testers check the compatibility of their web application across different platforms, browsers, and versions. There are more than 63000 browsers that can be taken into consideration while performing tests. It ensures that the web application appears consistently and correctly across browsers. 

Sometimes, due to different rendering engines, the code leads to discrepancies in its look and behavior, creating problems for users who access the site using different browsers.

Importance of cross-browser testing

Cross-browsers are important in a way that, if not used, creates issues for the user.

As mentioned earlier, the code leads to discrepancies in look and behavior. Ultimately, if a user cannot avail of all your application’s latest and greatest versions, it’s not worth providing the product. 

Without cross-browser testing, your web application is unsuccessful, regardless of how good your application is. Some issues can arise even without your knowledge, such as:

  • In some browsers, dropdown menus need to appear correctly.
  • In specific browser versions, video or audio content does not play.
  • Sometimes, on mobile, a distorted website layout is seen.
  • In specific browsers, JavaScript animations or transitions do not work smoothly.
  • Sometimes, the page elements are misaligned.
  • Distorted background images or fallback fonts are seen in some browsers.
  • Responsive design features or media queries sometimes do not adapt properly.
  • Sometimes, drag-and-drop or file uploads do not work properly in specific browsers.

What to test in cross-browser testing?

 Here is a list of items to check while performing cross-browser compatibility testing.

  • Base Functionality: You need to verify the website’s core features are functioning well. You need to check if the website is functioning as expected across different browsers.
  • Design: You should confirm the consistent visual aspect of the website across browsers. 
  • Accessibility: Accessibility testing includes examining the web elements in cases like acceptable color contrast, fully available alt text, etc.
  • Responsiveness: You must pay attention and look if the screen resolution affects the layout.
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Who will perform cross-browser testing?

It is a very daunting task for the testers to select browsers. To make this decision, testers usually don’t have access to the right data. Companies must collect usage and traffic data to identify the most commonly used devices and browsers.

Usually, the QA teams execute test scenarios on multiple browsers to confirm the browser’s compatibility. UI teams are responsible for running the cross-browser tests. 

When to do cross-browser testing?

To ensure the proper functioning of new features, cross-browser testing should be performed continuously along the development roadmap. Delaying cross-browser testing until the project’s completion leads to an increase in complexity.  

Many teams are shifting to shift-left testing to facilitate more comprehensive quality management.

How to do cross-browser testing?

The following phases can be applied to perform cross-browser testing:

  • Requirement Analysis
  • Test Planning
  • Environment Setup
  • Test Case Development
  • Test Execution
  • Test Cycle Closure

Steps involved in cross-browser testing

Mentioned below are the steps involved in cross-browser testing:

  • The first step is identifying which feature to test and specifying the scenarios.
  • Select the browsers and platforms you will test.
  • Choose the way of executing the test scenarios, whether automatically or manually.
  • Set up browsers or connect with a cloud-based provider.
  • Execute the test scenarios on the device and then proceed to outliers.
  • Share the test results with teams who can fix your issues.
  • To ensure that no bugs were missed, continuously run cross-browser compatibility.

Tips and best practices for better cross-browser testing

  • Target browser-OS configurations

The first thing to do before starting your web app testing is to find a browser you want to use. Some browsers frequently release their new versions. But the old versions that are still being used must be addressed. This will lead you to test various versions of different browsers. 

  • Sortout browsers as per user taste
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To achieve the best cross-browser testing experience, you need to monitor your user browser usage. Before starting cross-browser testing of your web app, try to list browser-OS configurations with different frameworks like availability, priority, usage, etc.

  • Emulators and Virtual machines

Using emulators or virtual machines for testing is very useful as both have their benefits. Testing websites across old and new browse-OS combinations is essential for checking cross-browser compatibility.

Using emulators, you can test your web apps with minimum effort and negligible budget. At the same time, virtual machines are used for specific browser versions. With this, we get an idea of how the site will look to niche users.

  • Automate the testing

Automation web app testing helps eliminate manual testing. It is very easy and time-saving. With this, you can easily test your testing script and website across different browsers. There are many online automation testing tools available these days, such as LambdaTest, Selenium, etc.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that facilitates the seamless and efficient running of manual and automated tests on a large scale. With a mindset of providing a versatile testing environment, LambdaTest allows users to conduct real-time and automation testing across an extensive array of environments, encircling over 3000 configurations, including browsers and real mobile devices.

  • Test before going live

For a good user experience on your website, performing cross-browser testing before going live is very important. This prevents you from unexpected blunders before going live. 

  • Take care of accessibility

Accessibility testing is necessary these days. Accessibility testing refers to the process of ensuring that the website is accessible to every user. It is essential to make your website accessible to everyone. 

  • Use appropriate tools for testing

Finding the best testing tool is one of the tough decisions to make. You must select the tool that fulfills your requirements and suits your business. For a great user experience and satisfaction, you must choose tools correctly.

Tools for cross-browser testing

Various tools can help you to test your web project efficiently. Given below are some popular ones:

LambdaTest

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform. It is for running manual and automated tests at scale. The platform allows users to perform both real-time and automation testing across more than 3000 environments and real mobile devices.

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It supports cross-browser testing across many browsers, ensuring that web applications are compatible and function seamlessly on different browser versions. This is critical for delivering a consistent user experience to a diverse user base.

Its testing potential is extended to real mobile devices and provides a practical environment for testing mobile applications. This comprises testing various devices, operating systems, and screen sizes, and addressing the complexities of mobile application development.

In summary, LambdaTest combines AI-driven orchestration and stands out as a powerful and versatile testing platform. It supports manual as well as automated testing and a vast array of testing environments. This makes it extremely useful for teams and organizations looking to enhance their testing processes and ensure the robustness and reliability of their applications across different scenarios.

CrossBrowserTesting

It is a cloud-based testing platform that offers a wide range of browsers and devices for cross-browser testing. It provides automated testing, various frameworks, and live interactive testing.

Ghostlab

Ghostlab is a paid tool that provides synchronized testing and debugging across multiple browsers. It helps you to inspect real-time issues.

Blisk

Blisk is a specifically designed browser for web development and testing. By using Blisk, it is easier to spot compatibility during development as it provides a side-by-side view of your website on multiple browsers and devices.

Browsershots

Browsershot is a tool very useful for visual comparisons. It is an open-source tool that provides screenshots as they appear in different browsers and versions. 

Browserling

Browserling is a web-based tool and it offers real-time browser access. It is suitable for quick checks and debugging. Without any downloads or installation, you can quickly test your website on a variety of browsers.

Browse DevTools

Some of the modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge come with built-in developer tools. Inspecting, debugging, and testing websites are some essential aspects of this tool. Emulating different browsers and network conditions are some features offered by this.

Conclusion

Sometimes cross-browser testing is considered an end process. Web development is considered as the first step and then testing is considered as the second. It might look logical but creates a lot of problems.

One can be more productive and effective by remembering the above tips. Hope this article provides you with enough ideas about cross-browser testing and best tips and practices for cross-browser testing.

In the end, the web development field is constantly evolving and so should we. To achieve success in this continually changing field, the only key is to have continuous learning and adaptation.