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A Guide To Cross Browser Testing

Cross Browser Testing

In this fiercely competitive digital world, having a website and an online presence is a must for both personal and business purposes. Realizing the significance of websites for establishing credibility and building trust, most organizations are prioritizing the development of a website for their business. As per Forbes, 71% of businesses globally have a website in 2023, and the numbers are poised to increase in the coming years.

Creating a good first impression of your business in the minds of the audience using your website is vital to ensure success. So, in addition to being attractive and responsive, you need to ensure that your website provides an optimal user experience on multiple devices and platforms. You must remember that users are no longer confined to a single browser or platform. They can navigate through a website using different devices and browsers of their choice. So, naturally, they expect a consistent experience regardless of the platform or device they use for accessing a website. 

If your website works well on only one platform or device and shows a lackluster performance on others, it can create a poor impression in your customers’ minds and ultimately impact your business. Imagine a situation where you have created a website that functions well and looks exceptional in Chrome. However, the same website doesn’t work well on another browser while showcasing it to a customer, causing embarrassment. 

To avoid such scenarios and ensure an optimized experience, the surest way is to conduct cross-browser testing on your web application. This blog explores all that you need to know about cross-browser testing, including its importance and best practices.

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Understanding Cross-browser Testing

In simple terms, cross-browser testing is the technique by which you assess the functionality and compatibility of a web application or website across various devices, browsers, platforms, and their different versions. 

Despite the fact that most web browsers support common web standards like CSS or HTML, browsers can render websites in different ways, causing disparities in appearance and function due to factors including:

  • Differences in screen resolution and other such user-defined settings
  • Variations in the engines employed to process web instructions
  • Disparities in hardware functionality, causing differences in colour balancing or screen resolution 
  • Variations in an operating system or browser’s default settings
  • The use of assistive techniques, such as screen readers 
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Significance Of Cross-browser Testing

Recently, web browsing has become a personalized and diverse experience due to the availability of thousands of browser-device-OS combinations. Hence, if you are testing your website on only specific browsers or devices, your website may perform inconsistently on others. 

Potential Issues That May Occur If Cross-Browser Testing Is Overlooked

Here are some problems that could result as a consequence of not conducting cross-browser testing:

  • Audio or video content may not play in certain browser versions
  • Website layout may appear broken or distorted on mobile devices
  • Dropdown menus may not appear properly in specific browsers
  • Overlapping or misalignment of page elements may be seen in certain browser resolutions
  • Background images could appear distorted in certain browsers
  • Shadows or CSS gradients render differently, impacting the visual appearance
  • Some web fonts do not render correctly

It is, therefore, evident how cross-browser testing plays a significant role in a web application’s success.

Things To Include In Cross-Browser Testing 

Here is a checklist with the items you need to verify while performing cross-browser testing

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1. Basic functionality

Add these important features to your test plan:

  • Search functionality: Check if the search feature gives the results expected
  • Navigation: Verify the links, menus, and buttons to ensure they take the user to the website’s right sections and pages 
  • Forms and inputs: Evaluate if the input fields, forms, or submissions are functioning correctly
  • User registration and login: Verify the account registration process to ensure there are no issues and check if the account verification emails are sent to the proper place
  • Third-party integrations: Check the data exchange and functionality between the website and third-party services 

2. Accessibility

Evaluate if the website’s assistive technology is friendly for differently-abled users. Check if the user can access the web elements using only the keyboard.

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3. Responsiveness

The need for a responsive design is more significant than ever in these competitive times and can impact your Google rankings. So, you need to verify whether the screen resolution has any effect on the layout.

4. Design

Evaluate if the website’s visual aspect renders consistently across different browsers. By using visual testing tools, you can identify inconsistencies in fonts, layouts, and other visual elements on various browsers.

Steps in the Cross-browser testing process

Your cross-browser testing process should ideally consist of these steps:

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1. Planning phase

This step will involve discussing and identifying the various aspects that need to be tested. Identify the browsers and their different versions and operating systems to be included in your testing scope. Prioritize browsers based on the target audience and their preferences.

2. Determine the test cases

Create a set of test cases spanning different scenarios and user interactions. Assess your website or web application and determine the key features and functionalities you need to test across browsers. 

3. Choose the right testing tools

The cross-browser testing tools you pick should match your requirements. You need to evaluate the tools on factors like ease of use, test automation capabilities and supported browsers and operating systems. 

4. Set up testing environments

Next, you need to configure physical devices, cloud-based platforms, or virtual machines to replicate different browser and operating system combinations. You need to install different browser versions and see that they are up to date.

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5. Run test cases

The next step is to execute your test cases across the selected browsers and operating systems. Check if the application performs correctly, renders properly, and displays consistently on each browser.

6. Debug and rectify issues

While testing, document the issues or inconsistencies you identify. Analyze and debug the root cause of these problems and provide feedback to developers Moreover, to ensure the fixed issues are resolved across all browsers, you need to retest them. 

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7. Monitor and maintain

Even if you have completed cross-browser testing, you need to constantly monitor the usage trends and updates to identify potential compatibility issues. Another good practice to be followed is to frequently repeat cross-browser testing to address any new browser versions or updates.

To streamline your cross-browser testing process, leverage the power of automation testing platforms that let you automate repetitive test cases, saving your time and effort and enabling consistent testing across browsers.

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Conclusion

If you want to ensure your web applications provide a seamless user experience across different platforms and browsers, you cannot ignore cross-browser testing. By conducting cross-browser testing on your web apps, you can guarantee that your customers are satisfied and uphold your reputation in the market.

Now, what you need next is a powerful automation testing platform like TestGrid with incredible cross-browser testing features to test your web applications. TestGrid, the most reliable cloud-based codeless automation testing platform, enables easy access to thousands of browsers and real devices, letting you comprehensively test your web application or website’s functionalities.

The platform lets you run hundreds of tests in parallel, saving testers precious time and enabling them to focus on other critical testing responsibilities like analyzing test results.   

Supercharge your cross-browser testing with TestGrid and launch your websites and web applications with confidence, knowing they are free from glitches and perfect in user experience.

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