Cross Browser Testing: A Complete Guide

Cross Browser testing

In today’s competitive online landscape, providing a seamless user experience is crucial for businesses looking to stand out and retain customers. A recent Salesforce study revealed that 73% of customers prioritize businesses that understand their needs and expectations.

As businesses increasingly move online, offering products and services through websites and applications, ensuring a smooth user experience across all devices and browsers becomes a key differentiator. This is where cross browser testing plays a pivotal role, allowing businesses to verify their Website’s optimal performance across various browser-device combinations.

Google Chrome leads the browser market with a dominant 63.45% share, followed closely by Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Samsung Internet. This diversity underscores the importance of thorough cross-browser testing to identify and address any issues, ensuring a consistent user experience.

This article delves into the significance of cross browser testing, highlighting key testing features and offering insights on selecting browsers for testing your web application. For a comprehensive cross-browser testing solution, we introduce TestGrid, an end to end testing platform designed to elevate your testing endeavors and ensure optimal performance across diverse browser environments.

Cross Browser Testing: Definitions and Implementation

In today’s diverse web browser landscape, each browser employs a unique rendering engine. When you view your website across different browsers, you may notice variations in appearance and functionality, potentially causing compatibility issues.

The purpose of cross browser testing is to identify and address these compatibility issues before making your website public. This ensures users enjoy a seamless experience, regardless of their chosen browser.

By ensuring a unified and optimized user experience, organizations can expand their reach, enhance their reputation, and establish a distinctive online presence.

automated cross browser testing

What is Cross Browser Testing?

The practice of testing websites on various browsers, known as cross browser testing, ensures compatibility across different web browsers for websites and web apps. It is crucial for ensuring all components, including text and multimedia, perform seamlessly, contributing to an excellent user experience.

Different browsers handle website components uniquely, such as content, images, CSS, and scripts. For instance, CSS may display differently in Mozilla Firefox compared to Google Chrome, impacting the visual presentation. Cross browser testing becomes essential to identify and address such discrepancies.

This testing form, categorized under non-functional testing, aims to verify the proper functionality of website elements across various browser versions. It encompasses checking HTML, JavaScript, plugins, and design elements to ensure consistent appearance and behavior across browsers.

Cross Browser testing is a form of non-functional testing that allows you to see if your website functions properly on:

  • Browser-OS combinations like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari on any operating system, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
  • Smart devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, and laptops.
  • Assistive tools like screen readers for people with disabilities.

Therefore, cross browser testing allows companies to provide uniform user experience across an ever-growing spectrum of browsers/devices.

Why It’s Essential To Test Website On Different Browsers?

Ensuring an optimal user experience requires understanding the diverse technologies browsers use to render websites. With Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and Chromium dominating the market, website browser testing becomes crucial.

Cross Browser testing serves two primary purposes::

1. Examining how a website’s code adapts to different browsers.

2. Identifying and resolving bugs promptly, enhancing the site’s functionality.

Common issues uncovered in cross browser testing include varied JavaScript implementations, missing CSS resets, font size-image orientation mismatches, lack of HTML5 support, inconsistent page alignment, layout incompatibility, and misalignment of frameworks or library versions. Performing online browser testing helps address these issues before launching your website or web app.

The Significance Of Cross Browser Testing:

Understanding the impact of cross-browser testing on your business from a customer perspective is crucial. Imagine being excited about exploring a new online shopping platform. You open it on your Dell laptop using Google Chrome, but your excitement turns to disappointment as images and text are misaligned.

As a customer, you might check your WiFi connection and reload the page, but the issues persist. Faced with this, you have two options: switch to another browser like Firefox or Edge or move to a competitor’s site. The latter scenario harms the online shopping platform in the long run.

The root cause? Failure to conduct online cross-browser testing. This testing helps identify browser-specific compatibility issues promptly. Without it, the platform remained unaware that Google Chrome displayed errors in the Windows operating system.

Why does the same link work on Mozilla Firefox but not on Google Chrome? Browser vendors, while following Open Web Standards, interpret them differently. Each browser renders HTML, CSS, and JavaScript uniquely. Web developers must verify compatibility across multiple browsers or versions of the same browser to prevent losing customers due to functionality issues on specific operating system-browser combinations.

5 Key Reasons: Why Website Cross Browser Testing Is a Must?

1. Ensuring Consistent User Experience (UX)
Cross browser testing is indispensable to guarantee a uniform experience for website visitors across various browsers, devices, and operating systems.

2. Diverse Browser Handling
Different browsers handle applications uniquely, leading to variations in client components. For instance, Apple Safari’s text-to-speech feature functions exclusively on macOS.

3. Evolving Web Technologies
The dynamic landscape of web technologies, from JavaScript to various frameworks like HTML, jQuery, JSON, XML, and ReactJS, underscores the significance of continuous cross browser testing.

4. CSS Style Disparities
CSS styles may display differently in various browsers. Cross browser testing identifies and addresses such discrepancies, ensuring consistent visual presentation.

5. Stay Ahead or Lose to Competitors
Neglecting cross browser testing opens the door for competitors to gain an edge. To avoid disappointing customers, prioritize cross-browser compatibility seriously.

Now, let’s delve into the correct approach for effective cross browser testing.

How To Perform Cross Browser Testing?

Understanding the criticality of cross browser testing in web development, it’s essential to grasp its execution for your business requirements. Two key considerations must guide your cross browser testing process:

1. The Features You Are Testing

  • Verify essential visible elements such as text alignment, images, and videos for intended functionality.
  • Ensure timely loading of web pages, identifying and addressing delays before the final launch.
  • Confirm all application activities operate seamlessly, delivering the expected results to users.

2. The Browsers You Are Selecting

  • Simplify browser selection by focusing on popular choices that align with your target audience.
  • Tailor your testing to user preferences; for example, prioritize Safari compatibility for Apple users and Microsoft Edge for corporate audiences.
  • Prioritize browsers, devices, and operating systems based on their market popularity, targeting the top 20% accounting for over 80% of global internet traffic.

While manual testing across various browser-OS combinations is challenging, automated cross-browser testing emerges as a time-saving solution. Automated tools like TestGrid allow the creation and execution of test scripts effortlessly, enabling multiple test executions across different browsers. TestGrid, in particular, stands out as a leading platform for cross browser testing, ensuring compatibility across diverse browser-OS-device combinations.

Craft a cross browser testing plan aligned with your business objectives, considering the insights provided, to enhance the quality and efficiency of your web development processes.

Which Aspects Are Evaluated During Cross Browser Testing?

Cross browser testing evaluates multiple aspects of your website, including changes in the user interface, fonts, colors, alignment, broken frames, overlapping content, input issues, and more. Given the impossibility of testing all aspects, the QA team strategically analyzes crucial parameters aligned with delivery timelines, budgets, and testing scenarios.

Key Features to Include in Cross-Browser Testing Documentation:

  1. Design
    In this feature, the testing teams check that the font size, font style, colours, and layout align with the specifications shared by the design team. It helps maintain a consistent experience among all browsers and devices and ensures that your website aligns with brand colours and vision. 
  1. Responsiveness
    This feature lets you check your device for different devices and screen sizes and resolutions. So, whether your customer is accessing the content through a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, it should be readable and navigable to provide a seamless user experience.
  1. Accessibility
    In this feature, the testers must ensure the website is accessible to all users, even people with disabilities. It tests that your website is compatible with assistive tools like screen readers, keyboard navigation, and other devices. All the websites must comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  1. Basic Functionality
    Finally, you must check the basic functionality of your website so that it works as intended by the organization. In this case, you check that all menus and dialogue boxes are working fine, input boxes are taking the correct values, first-party cookies are handled accurately, and touch input is seamless for mobiles.

How Do You Determine Which Browsers To Select For Cross Browser Testing?

To strategically determine the browsers for cross-browser testing, a practical and cost-effective approach is essential. Testing on every available browser is exhaustive. Prioritizing testing efforts on browsers most used by the target audience is key. Consider the following factors when selecting browsers and versions for testing:

  1. Based On Popularity

Ensure to include all operating systems and browsers relevant to your target audience after a thorough analysis. Then, pick 10-20 Automated testing tools that are most used in the market. 

Start by considering the most popular browsers- Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Samsung Internet- as discussed earlier. It is because they have the most significant number of users. Next, consider the operating systems-Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. 

  1. Based on User Traffic

Utilize analytics tools like Google Analytics to examine your website’s user traffic. Categorize the traffic according to different browsers and devices. This breakdown provides insights into the preferred browser-OS combinations and devices among your target audience. Prioritize testing on these configurations to ensure optimal compatibility and identify and resolve issues before the website’s release.

4 Step Workflows For Cross Browser Testing:

Cross browser testing, though perceived as time-consuming, can be navigated effectively with careful planning. This four-step workflow ensures a comprehensive approach to testing, preventing unexpected issues:

1. Initial Planning
  • Define the website’s content, functionality, and appearance through meetings with stakeholders.
  • Consider the development timeline and budget.
  • Investigate the target audience, their browsers, and devices.
2. Development
  • Identify potential issues during implementation.
  • Test new functionality in stable browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer/Edge.
3. Testing/Discovery
  • Perform low-tech accessibility testing, ensuring navigation with a keyboard or screen reader.
  • Expand testing to include target audience browsers, focusing on eliminating cross-browser issues.
  • Test on various desktop browsers, mobile platforms, and real physical devices or use emulators and virtual machines.
  • Consider user groups or automated tools for more extensive testing.
4. Fixes/Iteration
  • When bugs are found, narrow down their location and gather details from the reporter.
  • Test on similar configurations to assess the bug’s extent.
  • Develop workarounds specific to the problematic browser, avoiding changes that may affect other browsers.
  • Repeatedly test the fix to ensure it works without causing issues elsewhere.

What Does Cross Browser Testing Involve?

Visual verification is no longer sufficient for modern browser testing. It also includes testing the code’s unseen functionality and browser-related business logic. The engineer conducting the testing must ensure the following:

  • Examine the user interface. Ensure that all user interface aspects are strictly according to the specifications and requirements.
  • Check the code for accuracy. Ensure that the CSS and JavaScript are fully validated across all target browsers.
  • Run the operation. Check to see if the site behaves consistently. Tabs, panels, links, popups, and navigation menus are all examples of this.
  • Examine performance. Keep an eye out for performance issues, such as elements that load slowly or infrequently.
  • Assess responsiveness. Is the site responsive to different screen sizes? You’ll need to consult with the product team to understand things here.

Also Read: Testing on iPhone 15 Devices: What You Need to Know?

Most Essentials Features a Cross-Browser Testing Tool Must have?

A reliable cross-browser compatibility testing tool is essential to ensure a seamless user experience across various devices and browsers. Here are some key features that you should look for in such a tool:

  • Test Multiple Configurations in Parallel: The tool should support testing on commonly used browser-OS configurations and allow testing with multiple combinations simultaneously, enhancing efficiency.
  • Feature-Specific Test Cases: The ability to create test cases or steps tailored to specific features is crucial. For example, testing only the signup and login UI elements for compatibility.
  • Integration with Development Workflow: The tool should seamlessly integrate with Continuous Integration (CI) and Monitoring tools like Jenkins, Puppet, or Chef to align with your development process and ensure consistency.
  • Scalability: As your website gains popularity, the tool should support expanding test coverage. This includes testing positive and negative workflows, conducting simultaneous cross-browser tests, and handling different test environments.
  • Minimal Manual Intervention: The tool should require minimal manual intervention, starting from the setup phase to understanding its features. This ensures efficiency and ease of use.
  • Time Efficiency: A time-efficient tool enables users to test multiple scenarios without the need for repetitive definitions, speeding up the testing process.
  • Comprehensive Test Coverage: The tool should provide maximum test coverage across various browser-OS configurations. This includes testing on different devices, browsers, and environments to ensure thorough validation.
  • Detailed Test Reports: The tool should generate detailed and environment-specific test reports. These reports should include individual test results for all browser-OS configurations, along with images or videos of the entire testing process.
  • 24/7 Support Availability: Often overlooked, support is crucial. The tool should offer multiple communication channels for issue resolution, and support availability should ideally be 24/7 to address any problems promptly.

Consider these features when selecting a cross-browser compatibility testing tool to enhance your testing process and deliver an optimal user experience across various platforms.

Top Cross Browser Testing Challenges:

Developers frequently encounter cross-browser issues, as numerous browsers have varying levels of support for HTML and CSS features. While major browsers are generally compatible, the challenge arises when considering the diverse landscape of approximately 500 browsers, many of which lack native support for certain features. Testing becomes crucial to ensure a consistent user experience across different platforms and browsers.

Testing each combination of platform and browser manually is impractical, leading to the use of online tools that facilitate testing on-demand in the cloud. These tools offer advantages such as selecting from diverse browser and OS combinations, identifying issues, generating comprehensive reports, and integrating with CI/CD tools. For high-traffic websites aiming for scalability, tools enabling in-sprint tests of feature-specific components are recommended. Before choosing a tool, it’s essential to understand its functions to ensure alignment with specific testing needs.

These are some of the Top Cross Browser Testing challenges

Cross Browser Testing challenges

Why Do You Need to Automate Cross Browser Testing and How to Do it Right?

Automated cross browser testing is a crucial practice for the testing community, offering numerous benefits. It not only saves time but also enhances bug detection, enabling continuous delivery. The shortened turnaround time for browser testing positively impacts the delivery pipeline. To automate cross-browser testing efficiently, follow these five steps:

1. Prepare Test Cases With Defined Steps

Design effective test cases by identifying the factors to be tested and determining the browsers for compatibility testing.

2. Create An Execution Strategy And Add Individual Test Environments

Develop an execution strategy with different test scenarios for each browser. Run parallel tests to cover thousands of browser and OS platform combinations, ensuring robustness.

3. Consolidate The Pipeline For Continuous Integration

Integrate CI/CD tools into agile and DevOps teams to maintain application quality throughout continuous delivery methods.

4. Analyze The Results In A Different Test Environments

Receive comprehensive test results and bug details, analyzing them individually for each test environment. Generate dynamic reports with text logs, video recordings, screenshots, and other information.

5. Report and Debug Errors:

Report, catalog, and troubleshoot discovered bugs using automated programs for faster resolution. This approach streamlines the testing process and contributes to a more efficient development cycle.

What is Cloud-Based Cross Browser Testing?

Cloud-based cross browser testing is a method of testing websites on remote devices, whether virtual or physical, that are hosted in the cloud. This approach allows users to control and run tests on various browsers and devices without having to set up and maintain a comprehensive in-house testing infrastructure.

Given the frequent release of new browser versions and the emergence of privacy-focused browsers, it becomes challenging to keep an on-premise testing environment up-to-date. Cloud-based cross-browser testing addresses this challenge by providing access to a variety of browsers and devices on-demand, allowing for efficient and comprehensive testing.

This method is particularly beneficial for testing websites on the latest browsers, including privacy browsers like Duck-Duck-Go and Brave, as well as browsers integrated into mobile devices. Cloud-based testing services offer a quick, scalable, and cost-effective solution to ensure that websites are optimized for a diverse range of browsers and devices.

Why Go For Cloud-Based Cross Browser Testing?

Opting for cloud-based cross browser testing offers several advantages:

1. Quick and Efficient

Cloud-based testing is rapid, allowing users to switch between browsers and operating systems swiftly. Testing can be performed seamlessly, with results available in seconds.

2. No Setup Fees

There are no upfront costs for physical devices or infrastructure setup. Users can access the testing platform without the need for complex installations.

3. Code Sharing Simplicity

Cloud-based testing ensures compatibility with various automation frameworks like Selenium. It simplifies the process of sharing code and running automation tests on remote systems.

4. Scalable

Cross-browser testing in the cloud is easily scalable. It adapts to the website’s requirements and project scope, allowing for flexibility in testing across different devices.

5. Easy to Communicate

Cloud-based tools facilitate efficient communication among project teams. Sharing screenshots, comments, and project assets becomes straightforward, fostering collaboration among development, DevOps, and testing teams.

Best Cross Browser Testing Tools:

For comprehensive browser testing, consider one of the popular cross browser testing tools like TestGrid, TestComplete, LambdaTest, SeleniumBox, and Browser Shots.

Each tool offers unique features, ranging from- TestGrid covering all testing-related needs with its unique End-to-End Cloud and On-Prem Testing Solutions, user-friendly automation in TestComplete to cloud-based testing in LambdaTest. SeleniumBox focuses on enterprise-grade solutions with on-premises or private cloud options, while Browser Shots provides a free and open-source approach to capturing screenshots across various browsers.

For an in-depth comparison of these tools and to find the right fit for your needs, explore our detailed blog on cross browser testing tools.

Why should you use TestGrid as Your Cross-Browser Testing Tool?

TestGrid Dashboard-browser testing

TestGrid: Elevating Cross-Browser Testing to the Next Level

TestGrid offers a robust solution for cross-browser compatibility testing, addressing the challenges faced by web developers in ensuring their code works seamlessly across different browsers. Here are some key features and reasons to consider TestGrid:

TestGrid Features

Parallel Testing: TestGrid allows users to add multiple environments to their testing suite and run parallel testing, saving time and effort.

Continuous Integration Support: TestGrid integrates seamlessly with popular CI/CD tools, facilitating continuous integration in the development process.

Robust Reporting Capabilities: The platform provides powerful test analytics and customizable reporting, allowing users to gain insights into test results.

Scalability: TestGrid eliminates concerns about scaling testing infrastructure based on requirements, ensuring compatibility with new browser or operating system versions.

Simple Coding: Users can write automation scripts in a simple English keyword-driven manner, making automation accessible even for those without extensive coding expertise.

How to Enable Cross Browser Testing With TestGrid:

Sign In: Log in to your TestGrid account with your credentials.

Access Test Cases: Navigate to Test Cases under Smoke Test.

Select Test Case: Choose the specific test case you want to run.

Run Test: Click on the Run button to initiate a new test run.

Enter Website URL: Provide the URL of your website in the “New Test Run” dialog.

Choose Devices: Select the browsers on which you want to run the test. You can choose to run tests serially or in parallel.

Initiate Test: Click on the Run Test button to start the testing process.

Check Results: After the test is completed, review the test case execution summary in Build Summary.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, thorough cross browser testing is crucial for successful website and web app development, preventing user experience issues and potential business losses. Choosing the right testing tool is essential, and TestGrid stands out with its scriptless automation, user-friendly design, robust reporting, and tailored integrations. By streamlining testing processes, TestGrid ensures cost-efficient, timely releases, and enhanced user satisfaction. For businesses entering the software testing journey, TestGrid is a reliable choice for optimal performance in the competitive digital landscape.

Sign up for free and check TestGrid today or book a demo to get an in-depth walkthrough of   100+ features.