According to Hosting Tribunal, there are about 2 billion websites in this world. But the active ones constitute less than 400 million. The primary reason behind so many inactive websites is compatibility issues. This is the main reason why cross-browser testing is a mandatory step before launching your site. It checks website compatibility across different devices, OS, and browsers.
Frequent browser updates are a must for the ease of users. Every other day there is a brand new mobile device out there in the market. With such a rapid pace of changes, there are so many operating systems, devices, and browsers to consider, it can quickly become overwhelming.
Since it’s clear how vital cross browser testing is, the QA team does everything in its power to avoid bottlenecks affecting a release. But if there isn’t a proper structure in place, cross-browser testing can become tedious repetitive, and fail to render the desired results. Standards have to be consistent since all browsers use their own rendering engine. This gives rise to the need for a customized strategy for cross-browser testing.
A simple evaluation of methods and tools can make the process a lot easier. The primary aim is to make it convenient, qualitative, faster, and simpler. In this post, we’re going to look at 6 key strategies that improve cross-browser testing and can prove to be a big time-saver for your testing team. Let’s dig in.
Prioritize Web Pages and Their Components
When your website loads on different devices and browsers, users should be able to see the most relevant content as quickly as possible. The best way to pace up cross browser testing is by prioritizing web pages and their components. Assess your website and see what the pages have in common. If there are some shared page templates, you don’t need to test those components again while testing another page. As you move through the testing process, this strategy lessens the elements for testing and saves time.
For instance, if your photo template displays correctly on the about us page, you don’t need to test it again for checking how it renders on the blog page. This puts a cap on backtracking. An ideal way to go is to start testing the homepage along with all the common elements including footer, navigation, and menus. As you move forward, this strategy will help you reduce the overall amount of work needed for covering the entire website.
Select The Correct Set of Browsers and Devices
The importance of the combination of devices and browsers for the process of cross-browser testing is underrated. Once you perform a detailed analysis of the browsers, browser versions, and devices your customers use, choosing the right combination will be a breeze. This is where the usage data of your product will come into the picture. It helps in determining user preferences, thus, providing a deeper insight into the target market.
Keep in mind that search preferences keep on changing with time. After all, devices that used to be a rage before are a part of the e-waste bin now! Don’t even get me started on comparing the popularity of Internet Explorer 10 years ago versus now. When new browsers, browser versions, and devices make their way through the market, user behavior quickly changes. It’s important to keep up with the pace and keep on updating the combinations.
Use The Best Cross Browser Testing Tool
While it can be a daunting task to select a cross browser testing tool from the massive pile of tools out there in the market, here are some mandatory features you must take into account. The tool should be able to easily test for responsiveness since a large number of users are browsing through their mobile devices. It should enable testers to test the website on different devices without any hassles.
Another major plus point the tool should offer testers is to create their own custom device resolution. There should be built and developer tools to quicken the pace of the entire debugging process. You should be able to share the bugs with the entire team so that the experts can put their heads together and find faster solutions to problems. The cherry on the icing would be the facility to record a video of an entire test session for better insights.
Now, a tool with so many ideal features might sound too good to be true. But if you have ever used LambdaTest, you must be aware of the LT Browser, a developer friendly tool that has proven to be a game-changer for testing and development cycles. It covers all the features mentioned above along with some added benefits. The fact that you can easily check the responsiveness of a site side-by-side eliminates the need to switch back and forth while testing. Not to mention, mirrored interactions further helps in easy comparison of the mobile view of a site.
Testers can easily generate a detailed performance report of a website with just one click using this tool. The relevant statistics help in the analysis of SEO, accessibility score, and key performance metrics to further improve website performance. The one-click bug logging feature is the highlight of LT Browser. All you need to do is assign the problem to the concerned team member. With the help of a precise summary, they will be able to fix bugs sooner. LT browser also comes with a network simulation feature. With its assistance, you can easily test your site on both high and low network profiles.
Use Parallel and Automation Testing
If you want to improve the test execution time, automate selenium tests for cross browser testing. If you further wish to improve productivity, simultaneously execute parallel testing. For instance, if you are testing a combination of 5 browsers as well as devices, the total execution time would be 50 minutes if the test case needs 5 minutes for execution. But if you perform parallel testing, the entire task would take 5 minutes.
Test automation Selenium grid enables running test cases in different environments at the same time. Simultaneously, you can perform cross browser testing in the shortest possible time, thanks to parallel testing. Therefore, the two aspects combined would help cross browser testing reach an optimum level.
While it’s true that automation can seem overwhelming at first, shutting your eyes to its benefits won’t take you anywhere. It’s the Holy Grail for eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks, thus, freeing up the testers’ and developers’ time for things that need mandatory manual intervention. For instance, when you automate image regression testing, your application looks flawless on varying screen resolutions!
Use Virtual Machines and Emulators
With a wide variety of devices available at the user’s disposal, it can become next to impossible to buy every single one of them and test on it. This is where virtual machines and emulators simplify cross browser testing to a great extent. We have already established the importance of tactful browser operating system, and device combination.
This method is especially beneficial for businesses that have a limited budget. Testing web applications on emulators requires less effort and helps to a great extent if you are on a time and budget crunch. Moreover, the framing of virtual machines is such that they use specific versions of browsers which makes them more authentic. In other words, they provide an accurate idea of how websites will render to users.
Ditch Unnecessary Components, Test, Develop and Test Again
Gone are the days when the IT sector was all about waiting till the end for cross browser testing. Earlier, IT teams thought that they can’t begin cross browser testing unless they are 100% satisfied with the functionalities of a website. But after realizing that this approach does nothing but delay releases and pile up extra work, most teams have adopted a simultaneous approach for testing and development.
To top off all your cross browser testing efforts, make sure that you ditch unnecessary components. They include pointless functionalities that only add to the complexity of a website and creates congestion on web pages. If a webpage is filled with extra components, more issues will arise and testers would require more time for fixing them. Therefore, only code the super necessary components, thus, reducing cross browser compatibility problems.
Without a doubt, cross-browser testing is necessary to develop high-performance websites and applications. But things can get really complicated since there are various combinations of devices, operating systems, and browsers we have to consider. While it can be daunting at times, cross-browser testing doesn’t have to make you pull your hair out in agony. As long as you have a strategic plan in place, not only can testers ease their nerves, users can enjoy a seamless browsing experience on various operating systems, devices, browsers, and their versions.