Cross Browser Compatibility Testing – what browsers you should test?

January 9, 2024Dhivya Krishna
Cross Browser Compatibility Testing what browsers you should test

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In recent years, cross browser compatibility testing has gained much traction as it helps ensure no customers are left behind after updates. Technological advancement has increased exponentially, leading to faster upgrades and changes.

However, not all people evolve as rapidly as they resist change, leading to outdated technology consisting of minor options, specifications, and less compatible ones. Such applications might slow down the entire system and cause customers to feel dissatisfied with their experience.

Cross browser compatibility testing helps ensure that no customer suffers the consequences of a forgotten update. Let us take a closer look at the benefits of cross-browser compatibility testing and how the process works.

cross browser compatibility testing

What is Cross Browser Compatibility Testing?

Cross browser compatibility testing is a non-functional method that ensures your website enjoys proper functionality on different devices, tools, and browser-OS combinations. Since not all browsers work on the same settings and configuration, a difference in the versions can cause several problems. This is one of the biggest reasons consumers face adaptivity problems when using various OSs and devices.

However, as a service provider, you would never want a part of your target audience not to have access to certain features. This is where cross browser compatibility testing comes into the picture. By testing and debugging the website across several browsers and platforms, developers can ensure that such issues do not impact your business severely.

Read all about Compatibility Testing.

How does Browser Compatibility Testing Impact your Application?

Browser compatibility testing ensures that a website or web app works correctly on different browsers. This is important because even though the same code might be used, different browsers can read it differently and cause problems or errors. Browser compatibility testing helps developers ensure their application works as expected on all the browsers they support, so users have the same experience regardless of device.

Browser compatibility testing is essential to ensure an application works correctly on different browsers and devices. This helps ensure that users have a smooth experience when using the app, no matter their device. If there are compatibility issues, it can be annoying and lead to people not wanting to use the app anymore. Not doing this kind of testing can mean that the user experience isn’t great and could cause technical problems. If an app doesn’t work correctly on a particular browser or platform, it might not even be usable – which will put people off from using it. This could damage the application’s reputation and business, meaning you miss out on potential customers and money!

Why is Cross Browser Compatibility Testing Necessary?

This testing essentially helps ensure that a particular website or application works efficiently across several browsers and devices. Slightly older versions of a browser or a different or less popular browser might throw up errors while running software. As a developer, you ensure that your website or application works for as many people as possible.

Automated cross browser testing helps you ensure this by testing devices with different capabilities and limitations. The various circumstances where Cross Browser Compatibility Testing comes in handy are as follows;

1. Compatibility of older browsers that users have not updated

2. Browsers that do not support the latest JavaScript or CSS features

3. Less popular browsers that do not offer much support or features

4. Different devices, including tablets and older smartphones

5. Devices with different capabilities and uses, such as assistive technology-enabled devices for people with disabilities.

Which Browsers to Carry Out Cross Browser Testing on?

There are countless combinations of browsers and devices, and testing them is impossible. Hence, companies must shortlist the most vital combinations and ensure they are tested for compatibility issues. Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers, holding over 65% of the market share.

Firefox comes second with an estimated market share of around 10%, followed by Explorer, Safari, and Edge. As the volumes make clear, Chrome and Firefox are critical for businesses, requiring ardent testing. However, that does not mean that other browsers, such as Safari, Explorer, and Edge, must be avoided.

How to Decide Which Browsers to Test on?

Deciding what browsers to test based on search volume alone is not viable. Hence, all businesses have to make sure they consider their target market before making such a decision. For instance, many people still swear by older versions of the Windows OS. Such people still rely on Internet Explorer, and if your target audience involves Windows users, you need to ensure that you test for IE compatibility.

Other important factors that businesses need to consider before deciding which browsers to test on are as follows:

1. Business indicators

2. Value addition

3. Nature of the web application

For instance, most people who use the Safari browser do it through an Apple product. Since these products are more expensive, such users typically represent those with higher spending or purchase power. Hence, Safari is essential for cross-browser compatibility testing despite the lower volume of users.

browser ratio

Despite lower user volumes, these browsers are still significant in cross-browser compatibility testing, and here’s why.

1. As mentioned, users who browse through Safari tend to have higher purchasing power and a penchant for luxury products. As a result, luxury brands and marketers of expensive products will have to ensure that their website runs smoothly on Safari.

2. Both Internet Explorer and Edge run as stock browsers for Microsoft, which still enjoys high user density. Therefore, businesses that want to sell items related to this OS will have to ensure IE and Edge compatibility.

3. While the Edge is a newer and better browser, many users still use the previous versions rather than the new ones. Hence, such people still rely on Internet Explorer, so businesses must ensure they remain Explorer-compatible.

4. Another essential factor that businesses need to consider is the influence of such browsers on specific markets, such as the EU, US, and Asia-Pacific. For instance, Chrome is the most popular browser in Germany, followed closely by Safari rather than Firebox. Another interesting fact is that Samsung IB holds fifth place, having a higher user volume than Edge. Hence, businesses that have a presence in Germany will have to tailor their cross-browser compatibility tests as per these trends.

5. When it comes to the UK, Chrome leads the race, followed by Safari and Explorer, leaving Firefox behind. Moving to the US, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all have a significant presence, and in the Asian region, UC Browser has been gaining a lot of market share. As a result, following a global trend of testing and popularity will hurt businesses that have a presence in specific markets.

web browser market share

Indulging only the Chrome and Firefox browser in cross-compatibility tests is no longer viable. There are several other factors that businesses must consider. When looking at things from a region-specific angle, even less popular browsers such as Safari, Edge, and Explorer become vital.

Also, only private organizations have the liberty to pick out the most suitable browsers. Government authorities must ensure compatibility so that the public can access all their services, no matter their browser.

How to Find the Right Balance While Choosing Browsers

Picking the right combination of browsers, devices, and operating systems to test on is vital to businesses. Hence, finding the right balance depends heavily on the financial resources the business can spare and its specific needs. Finding the right balance of testing minimum combinations is essential to ensure maximum usage and a positive user experience.

After deciding which browsers to test, selecting an appropriate automation tool is the next step. Testsigma can assist in this regard. To learn more, sign up for a free trial of Testsigma now.

Best Practices To Consider While Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

Cross browser compatibility testing ensures your app works on different browsers and devices. It’s a good idea to stick to the best practices and use a thorough testing approach for the smoothest experience. Here are tips you should think about:

  1. Identify the target audience for the application and determine which browsers they are likely to use. This information should be used to prioritize which browsers should be tested to ensure compatibility with the most commonly used browsers.
  2. Test your application on different operating systems and browsers using virtual machines and emulators. This will make it easier for you to check how your application works on different platforms, so you don’t have to test everything and save time and energy manually.
  3. Start testing how your website works on different web browsers as soon as you start making it, and keep checking throughout the process. This will help you figure out any problems early on so you don’t run into any technical issues later down the line.
  4. Consider setting up automated tests to help save time and resources when checking how compatible your website is with different web browsers. Automated tests run quickly and accurately, so there’s less chance of making mistakes.
  5. Check out browser compatibility testing tools and frameworks to make your process more efficient. These tools can help you identify any issues quickly and resolve them, giving your audience the best experience possible.
  6. Make sure your app looks good on all devices! Responsive design can adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions, so no matter what device someone uses, they’ll have a great experience.

How Testsigma Can Help

Testsigma allows businesses to run Cross Browser Compatibility Testing on thousands of browsers through a single portal. Hence, it helps simplify and fast-track the testing process by managing different environments efficiently. Testsigma also features the required cloud infrastructure that enables businesses to run parallel sessions on different platforms and devices.

Businesses also get to automate their test flows across different versions, devices, browsers, and operating systems offering the most comprehensive environment for Cross Browser Compatibility Testing. So, what are you waiting for? Go beyond merely testing on Chrome and Firefox with the help of Testsigma. Sign up for a free trial today and improve your website’s or application’s overall effectiveness and reach!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure browser compatibility?

Browser compatibility is the ability of a website or web application to function correctly in various web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. To ensure browser compatibility, developers should test their code across multiple browsers and versions to ensure it works properly for all users. Additionally, developers should use HTML and CSS coding standards supported by all major browsers.

How do you check for compatibility testing?

Compatibility testing is software testing to ensure that an application works correctly on different hardware, operating systems, and software versions. It can be done manually or with automated tools. To check for compatibility testing, testers should run tests on all combinations of the targeted hardware, operating systems, and software versions to ensure the application functions appropriately in each environment.

How do you write test cases for browser compatibility?

Test cases for browser compatibility involve testing a website or web application across different browsers to ensure that the functionality and design of the site are consistent. This involves testing different versions of popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer.

To write test cases for browser compatibility:

1. Identify the critical features of the website or web application that must be tested.

2. List out all possible browsers and versions that need to be tested.

3. Create test scenarios based on the features identified in step 1 and map them with each browser version listed in step 2.

4. Create detailed test cases for each scenario by outlining what needs to be tested, the expected results, and any special instructions required for each browser version.

5. Execute the tests and document any discrepancies between browsers during testing.

What is a Key Reason for Cross-Browser Compatibility?

The key reason for cross-browser compatibility is to ensure that your web page looks and behaves consistently across browsers and that your users get the most out of your product. This includes responsiveness, functionality, UX and UI etc.

How Does Selenium Handle Cross-Browser Compatibility Issues?

Selenium handles cross-browser compatibility issues by ensuring that web programs look and perform the same regardless of the browser through which they are visited by employing test scripts written in various programming languages such as PHP, Python, Java, and others.

How Do I Improve Browser Compatibility?

You can improve browser compatibility by following the cross-browser compatibility checklist, which ensures the compatibility of your website

How Do I Know if My Website is Compatible with all Browsers?

You can use a cross-browser compatibility testing tool like Testsigma to check if your website/browser is compatible with all browsers.

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