Check Browser Compatibility For A Website – A How-To Blog

Check Browser Compatibility For A Website – A How-To Blog

| January 12, 2021

How do you feel when an application on your device starts breaking but it works just fine on your friend’s smartphone?

You reload the browser and wait for the website to load. When it does, it does not feel right. All the features are not visible or you cannot click them.

Eventually, you will find yourself in the middle of two roads:

1. Consider that the site is facing an issue and maybe come back later. OR

2. Look for another site as this one is broken.

Such incidents are probably the first encounters of compatibility challenges. Even though most of the web browsers adhere to the Open Web Standards and render HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it does not guarantee constant performance throughout browsers.

Enters Cross Browser Testing, a comprehensive way of finding and fixing compatibility bottlenecks. Checking the website for browser compatibility ensures that your audience is not alienated from the amazing features of your web app–simply because it didn’t work on their device.

The Need For Responsiveness

Responsiveness is the ability of an application to adapt according to any screen resolution or size. The need for responsiveness has become of utmost importance ever since the rise in mobile web use. 

A report by Statista has revealed that there would be around 4 billion smartphone users by 2021. This has urged the application developers to ensure that their website serves equally well on all kinds of web browsers and OS versions.

Along with the browser, the “Viewport” is also a key aspect of cross browser compatibility testing as it plays a critical role in how the application will display. If an app ill-performs due to browser or viewport – the user experience is severely hampered.

What Is Covered Under Cross Browser Compatibility Testing?

If you’re targeting compatibility testing, you would have to check the website for literally everything. 

However, you might not always have the right amount of time for that.

To maximize test coverage and get it done the first time, a specification list comes in handy. This list guides you on the areas to test, the browsers, versions, operating systems to consider, the benchmarks to meet, as well as time and budget allocation.

Here is your comprehensive roadmap to cross browser testing:

Begin With Chrome

A recent report by W3Counter revealed that 65.3% of the global web browser market share belonged to Chrome. So, Chrome is your go-to browser when you flag off compatibility testing. Perform all the design and functionality tests on Chrome first in order to have a better picture of how the application is intended to behave in front of the end-user.

Shortlist Your Browsers

Rather than merely going with your instincts, it is recommended to choose the browsers on some logical grounds. Prioritize testing the browser-OS combinations that are most popular among your target audience. Check out this post for comprehensive details on choosing the right web browsers.

Test The Primary Feature

Ensure that the key functionality of the application performs well on all the possible browser-OS combinations. The main areas you should consider for testing are:

  • Menu bars and dialog boxes function as desired
  • Form fields are populated correctly
  • Application syncs well with cookies
  • Ensure inputs are seamless for all device types

Utilize Automation Testing

It is a no brainer that there’s a lot to test when checking cross browser compatibility for websites. If you intend to manually test across all the possible environments, you will end up draining a lot of resources. Eventually, automated cross browser testing is a practical approach in order to implement continuous testing along with continuous delivery. You may read this post to get started with automated cross browser testing.

Infrastructure

You need a variety of devices to track and audit the application behavior when browsers are running on different operating systems. You would be choosing either of the following ways when setting up your cross browser testing infrastructure: 

  • Use emulators or simulators and test browsers on these. Although you will heavily slice down the costs, these virtual machines are not scalable, and unreliable.
  • If you do not have any budget constraints and can procure real devices and keep them updated & running over time, you may set up your dedicated device lab. 
  • The final and highly recommended way is to utilize a cloud-based testing infrastructure that can enable you to run tests on a remote lab of devices and browsers.

Testsigma is a renowned automated cross browser testing tool that helps you to easily create and run tests for your applications. The cloud-based tool offers a wide range of 1000+ desktop browsers as well as real iOS and Android device browsers.

Accessibility

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that 15% of the global population have a disability, making accessibility testing a critical aspect of app testing. Aim for compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in order to cater to the custom needs of the differently-abled users. 

Responsiveness

When auditing the responsiveness of the application, consider how your end-users would access the application – this information, along with the data from the Test on the Right Devices report will help you shortlist the target web browsers.

Conclusion: 

Cross browser testing can be quite daunting for a QA engineer. The biggest pain is accessing all possible devices and browser versions on which the app might run. If you need a comprehensive tool which can cater to all your testing requisites and ensure compatibility across devices and browsers, Testsigma, an automated cross browser testing tool is the best bang for your buck. With the ease of writing automated tests and ability to test over 2000+ browsers, Testsigma stands out as a one-stop tool for cross browser testing.

Checkout the tool for free