Best practices for cross-browser testing

The total revenue in the global app market is poised to grow at an annual rate of 8.58% to reach US $755.50 billion by 2027. With thousands of apps available in the market, all software developers must ensure that their applications are perfect in every sense to be accepted by the users. 

Visitors to a website have become choosy and leave if they find the layout, design, or functionality does not meet their expectations. They may quickly abandon a website that offers poor functionality and confusing navigation. 

Moreover, since you cannot guarantee on which browser your visitors will browse your website, you must ensure that your website performs equally well on all browsers, whether Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. The only way to ensure your website works well across all environments is to conduct cross-browser testing.

In this blog, we will see why cross-browser testing is important and what all best practices for cross-browser testing you should follow. 

Why is cross-browser testing significant?

Cross-browser testing ensures web-based applications built in one browser are compatible with others and identifies if there are issues while rendering content on different browsers. For example, a feature that renders well in Google Chrome may appear poorly in Safari or Mozilla Firefox, providing a bad user experience. 

Through cross-browser testing, you can verify your website’s functionality when visitors access it through different tools and combinations, such as:

  • Browser-OS combination: As different browsers run on different operating systems, you need to test how your app works across primary combinations like Chrome on Windows 11.
  • Different browser versions: If one website functions well in one browser, it doesn’t mean it will be the same for all versions. Using cross-browser testing, you can verify your website functions well on different browser versions like Edge 18. 
  • Different devices: People may access the internet through different devices like laptops, tablets, smartphones or desktop computers. 

Now that you have a fair idea of what cross-browser testing is, let us look at the best practices for cross-browser testing.

Best Practices for Cross-browser Testing

Here are the best practices to consider while performing cross-browser testing for your applications.

  1. Develop an initial plan

Before you begin cross-browser testing, you need to first create a plan regarding the content on the site. Next, you need to determine the functionality the site should have. 

You need to know the ideal features to be rendered on the site and determine the minimum acceptable functionality and display rendered by the site in case someone is using an outdated browser.

  1. Determine the browsers to test

There are several browsers on which you need to test the application, but practically, it is better to pick only the browsers and devices most of your users employ. Using tools like Google Analytics, you can determine the more popular browsers among your users.

In addition to testing on different browsers, you also need to test on multiple versions. The best practice would be to divide the browsers to test into three categories like this:

A grade: These are the most common and modern browsers that are fully capable. Mostly, everything will work perfectly on these devices.

B grade: These are older versions that are not as capable. They may have compatibility issues. But you must also test your apps on these since some people may still be using them.

C grade: These are browsers that are unfamiliar or rare. 

Testing your application on a few versions of A-grade browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari would be practical.

How to test the browsers:

  • Test the high-risk browsers first by changing the screen size, resolution, etc.
  • Test the low-risk browsers by changing the resolution and screen size and then test on different devices.
  • Test some of the medium-risk browsers.

Fix bugs whenever you identify them during these steps and repeat them until there are no more issues.

  1. Testing different devices

You also need to test on multiple devices since different browsers usually render differently based on the machine on which they are displayed. You can test on tablets, laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and even television browsers. 

  1. Test early

You need to start testing once the page is ready since it will enable the development team to identify defects early. Perform functional and visual testing once the application is ready.

  1. Future expansion

Your testing plan should also consider the expansion that may follow in the future. In the current testing, you should consider the possibility of an increase in the user base. Since mobile users are constantly increasing, you need to consider that also.

  1. Choose the right tool for cross-browser testing

To get the best results, you need to use the perfect automation tool with the right cross-browser testing capabilities.

Finally, consider these points while selecting a tool for cross-browser testing:

  • Does it support functional and visual testing?
  • Will it support parallel testing?
  • Does it offer third-party integrations?
  • How many operating systems and browsers does it support?
  • Does it offer excellent technical support for users?

Now that you are aware of the best practices for cross-browser testing, let us move ahead and see what areas you should test your website on.

What should you test?

While conducting cross-browser testing, these are the areas to focus on:

  1. End-to-end user experience: You need to test all the interconnected pieces of your website, including server-side functionality and client-side code that must run in the browser. You can also test external services like file downloads and email, and API calls.
  1. GUI: Ensure that the graphical components like icons, menus, and buttons render perfectly in all the browsers you test.
  1. Input response: You need to ensure that inputs respond the same in all browsers.
  2. Performance: Ensure that the site loads in a reasonable amount of time on every browser and device that are important to the users.

Summing Up

You cannot overlook cross-browser testing when testing applications since it guarantees that your websites will perform excellently on different browsers before releasing them to the public. By following the above-listed best practices, you can ensure success for your cross-browser testing efforts.

To do so, choose an automation testing tool that will speed up your testing efforts and enable you to deliver your software faster to the market. Most companies prefer TestGrid for cross-browser testing since it offers features other tools cannot match. 

The scriptless test automation tool allows testers to perform end-to-end testing on real devices and browsers hosted on the cloud or on-premise. In addition, the platform provides remote access to QA teams across the globe for performing manual and automated testing. 

TestGrid allows you to automate test cases using simple keywords and uses AI to access and auto-heal the code. It provides detailed test reports and rich analytics that offer priceless insights about your application.

Moreover, it even offers a free trial period during which you can test its services to determine if it is worth the investment. So, elevate your cross-browser testing with TestGrid. 

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