A web browser, often known simply as the browser, is an application that any internet user needs in order to access and retrieve information from the World Wide Web. In essence, it’s the path you take to get to the required facts & figures stored in the virtual world of knowledge. And as we humans come in all shapes and sizes, obviously anything crafted for us to use has got a lot of variety to choose from. This applies to web browsers too. There are over a hundred browsers that can be used to access any website.
Some browsers are used more than the others, but every browser has users. Which means websites need to be tailored to fit this vast diversity. Websites need to look & work alike on every browser. Else this issue of browser incompatibility can hurt your business brutally as your website is your business’s mirror. The status of every browser’s needs can be explored with the help of cross browser testing.
Getting to know Cross Browser Testing
What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing is analyzing how a web-page is presenting itself on different types of browsers and their subsequent versions. It is unacceptable that your website is agreeable with one browser but performs funny on another. That’s why CBT becomes the necessary reality check. This kind of testing points out conflicting features. Polish these anomalies and your website become picture-perfect. CBT guarantees that your website fits all browsers thus ensuring ideal user experience.
Over the years a plethora of new browsers, their successive versions, and so many fresh online mediums have emerged. We’ve seen how the Netscape navigator became obsolete, the rise and fall of Internet Explorer, the emergence of Yahoo and Google & its products, the birth of Firefox, Safari etc. The world of technology has evolved so much. Hence, the dimensions of browser compatibility have expanded too. No matter how many browsers your website interacts with, be it tens, hundreds, or thousands, its fundamental nature must not change.
And the best way to do it? Get your website acquainted with the big world of browsers out there so that no one feels like a stranger. Achieve this using cross-browser testing.
- Cross-browser testing highlights any potential breach
Suppose your website has the full package on Google. But on Firefox, some of the features lose their usual charm or disappear altogether. A web page looks ok on Windows 7, but not on its other versions or on the Android platform. The result? People would click off your website and choose another welcoming alternative.
Avoid this from happening by actively seeking out the loopholes of your website’s performance. Run your website on as many browsers as possible, find and immediately fix any breaks in the code and your website becomes spotless. Now it is easy for your visitors to become your customers.
- Cross-browser testing increases your website’s reach
According to StatStatcounter’s Global Stats, as of January 2021, Google Chrome has 63.63% of the overall audience followed by Safari with 19.37% of the market share. Though the number of visitors of Samsung Internet, Edge, Firefox, Opera and IE are quite low as compared to Chrome and Safari they’re preferred. When your website becomes agreeable with most of the popular browsers more people get to know you and your business. Not limiting to only a few browsers makes gaining clients easier.
- CBT helps to make a good impression
When your website performs great on all browsers, it gives the impression that you know your stuff. People judge your skills based on your own website’s management. That’s why a good website makes you reliable.
How to perform CBT?
Done with the why of CBT. Now let’s learn how part. Let us go through all the necessary steps:
- Run the website on your primary browser first. This will give the final outlook of the design.
- Make a checklist of the features you want to test. Then pick your browsers. You need to select browsers for the testing based on their market share and also take into account the geographical area you’re intending to reach.
- Answer the query of automated vs manual. You’ve to decide beforehand, what test case would use manual testing and which scenario is more suited for automation.
- Decide on the infrastructure. Whether you could afford to have your own device lab consisting of all popular platforms handy or you need cloud-based browsers has to be decided before you even start the project.
- Collaborate to fix issues. Have your team know everything about the outcome of the test cases? This way you’ll have a talent pool and multiple ideas to solve any error.
Now let us discuss the toolkit to perform all the above-mentioned steps.
The nomination of the primary browser
Google Chrome market share
NetMarketShare: 68.14%(as per Nov 2020)
StatCounter: 63.54% (as per Nov 2020)
Wikipedia: 48.7% (as per Nov 2019)
As you can see Chrome has the spotlight. This makes it the obvious choice for being the primary browser. If the final showdown looks and works smoothly on Chrome, you’ve already captured the attention of more than half of the online crowd. That’s why it is crucial to have this kind of popular browser as your primary browser which you use to have the exact idea of what your website is intending to be.
Features to be tested
It gets easier when your essentials are well listed & documented. Thus you need to write down major areas that have to be checked before the release of your product. A better step would categorise them as
Core functionalities: The basis must work on every browser-OS combo. The basics include:
- Dialog boxes and menus.
- Form fields for input.
- Touch input for mobiles & tablets.
All dialog boxes & menus need to open when clicked, form fields must validate the inputs accordingly, cookies personalize the experience perfectly and the touch feature must be flawless.
Design: Your website must look well and good on every browser it interacts with.
Access to all: Your website must follow the protocols of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). All people irrespective of their abilities should get to use your website with ease.
Flexibility: The website’s structure should be able to match the varying screen resolution and browser needs.
Automated vs Manual
Manual testing is crucial for handling complex test cases. Furthermore, manual testing has low scope for false negatives. There’s no validation required to know if a reported error is true or false.
But when the project is big, one human ain’tgonna manage it alone. A troupe of testers would have to sit around and keep trying-out distinct test cases on different parts of the program before the befitting farewell of it. And based on the number of individuals involved, this whole affair can take anywhere between days to weeks for an entire end-to-end system test course. That’s when automation comes into play. Automated testing is used when the test cases need to be repeated. It is not possible to do that.
Automation can’t take the position of manual testing, it just adds more value to it and saves time.
Attentive selection of the right devices done in advance helps to cut the time short & saves from creating a mess. Testing on real devices, browsers, and operating systems gives the exact idea of the real perspective on the user end.
As of 2021, the number of global smartphone users has been estimated to exceed 3.8 billion. Mobiles and tablets have long since taken over desktops and are leading in the race of popularity among the crowd. As of now, almost everyone has a smartphone in hand.
If you’re planning on having your own device lab, get your hands on all the popular devices.
Mostly all mobiles from a particular company have the same operating principles. So you don’t need to have all the smartphones in the world, just a representative of each company. Same goes with the desktops. Also, be updated with the latest Android and iOS versions and Windows versions. In conclusion, you need a lot of devices.
The above-written planning is ok if you’ve access to plenty of monetary benefits. But what to do if you fall short of capital?
That’s when you take help on the Internet. You can find an abundance of so many latest browsers and platforms on the online platforms. Moreover, there are so many brilliant tools out there that bring these browser-OS combos to your doorstep.
One of them is LambdaTest. The platform offers you a world of over 2000 latest web browsers to explore. With so many real-time browsers that can be used to perform live interactive and automated testing, LambdaTest can be your best friend in the field of testing. You get to select from a wide variety of windows, Mac and mobile browsers along with the provision of an online Selenium grid of desktop, Android and iOS browsers.
Before the ultimate launch, you also got to have one final & complete manual testing session for double-checking. LambdaTest is helpful in facilitating manual testing too. Because you get such a wide variety of browsers, you can select any and run your website personally on them to unravel your website’s final look.
For a better outcome, you need to have the best ideas. When you have a brainy team with diverse perspectives, your project is handled more efficiently. Any successful tester will swear by the immense benefits of having a well-qualified team. With so many talented people brainstorming over a project, it becomes easier to detect & correct errors which ultimately boosts production & accuracy.
Communicate with your team members about the result of the test cases. Their collective opinions would solve the faults quicker. Also, any task has to be divided among all the people involved be developing parts of the product or creating test case scenarios. Without smooth communication, it is impossible to connect all the parts of the product together.
We all must have come across many sites that have non-working buttons, wrong alignment or simply display a blank page. We immediately leave that site and try out another. So when it comes to your own business site, beware of these incidents. For your business to bloom, you cannot risk losing any client at all. Your goal should be to grab every visitor’s undivided attention and turn them into potential clients. And for this, your website has to be squeaky clean of any anomalies. Every feature should be perfectly working, page alignment should remain more or less similar on all screens and last but not least, the page loading should be quick. Your audience must get the best result at the fastest possible speed. Optimize your website with all facilities and see your business reach new horizons of success.
Luckily, you got a lot many browser testing tools out there to lend a helping hand. One of them, as mentioned earlier too, is the LambdaTest. It houses 2000+ real-time browsers. This is the only tool that offers an opportunity of 60 minutes free trial every month for a lifetime. The sign up is free and doesn’t need you to give your credit card details for it. You are free to cancel any time too. So what are you waiting for? Give LambdaTest a test drive today. Keep testing with methodical tools and cross newer milestones of success every day.