4 Ways to Improve Cross Browser Testing

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Browsers are not the same. Apparently, browsers we use to conduct testing are not always the ones your customers use to access your website. Client components like Javascript, AJAX requests, Applets, Flash, Flex may perform differently on various web browsers.

For example, Javascript works fine in Google Chrom but does not perform well in Internet Explorer. This is the reason why we need Cross Browser Testing. Cross Browser Testing is the process of checking the compatibility of your application or website across multiple web browsers to make sure that it works consistently on common browsers in the market.

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Popular web browsers. (Photo: barkweb.co.uk)

One of the most important things in Cross Browser Testing is that CSS styles produce different results across browser versions, particularly in terms of what is supported and what is not. Because not all the browsers support the same HTML tags, some formatting cannot be processed in an incompatible web browser.

For example, CSS elements and HTML tags are not always supported by an older version of Internet Explorer. Through conducting researches and practical experience, we have gathered some tips to help you achieve efficient Cross Browser Testing.

1) Deciding the Right Browsers To Test

Before conducting Cross Browser Testing, getting the right number of combinations is very important. The reason is that there are many browsers in use so it’s nearly impossible to perform testing on all of them. These browsers should be shortlisted to three or four, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and may be Safari.

Each browser has various versions, which results in the high frequency of updating new versions. The way to handle Java Scripts and render technologies may change accordingly. Therefore, even with a limited number of browsers, the number of combinations of version and operating system to test will remain comparatively huge.

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An example of browser combination. (Photo: Internet)

To narrow down the seemingly endless list of browser combinations, many companies only support the recent versions of browsers. This can substantially reduce the number of browsers we have to work on. To determine which browsers/OS combination to test, you can use Google Analytics or Splunks. These tools reveal helpful information like user browser data, version, the site that gets frequent hits to help us decide which browsers/operating systems/versions should be considered for Cross Browser Testing.

2) Utilizing Emulators and Virtual Machines

As a Tester, you need coverage across different browsers including their versions. What makes this process challenging is that browsers are constantly updated, new versions of browser are released on a regular basis and people don’t always use latest versions especially in case of IE. Emulator can be a solution to this problem. They can emulate how a website operates on older browser versions. A big bonus of using emulators is that they can be tailor-made for debugging purpose, yet they don’t always mimic accurately in terms of functionality, so it may be hard to tell if some problems lie under them.

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Android Emulator. (Photo: Internet)

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Bluestack – another Android Emulator. (Photo: Savvycom)

If you are using a Mac, then testing can be conducted on Safari only. In this case, virtual machine is a good choice. These virtual environments not only expand your testing coverage to more devices but also a quick and easy way to test small changes.

3) Including Mobile Testing

As mobiles are in all rage now, mobile testing cannot be undervalued. If you want your website to attract more viewers, you need support its mobile version as well. Cross Browser Testing with mobiles can be complicated due to some reasons. It’s not easy for your website to catch up with different screen resolution or color depth especially when mobile operating systems are updated regularly.

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Mobile Testing using Simulator. (Photo: Savvycom)

Therefore, you should go with the most widely used screen sizes and the operating systems that are aligned with your target audience. Another solution is the usage of tools that allow us to test a website on a wide variety of mobile devices by selecting different screen resolution, operating system and manufacturers.

4) Using Automation

 

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Automation testing tools. (Image: Internet)

Cross Browser Testing can be less time-consuming with Automation testing tools, particularly when repetitive tasks are required. To put it simply, automation testing makes sense when scripts written for one environment can be use repeatedly on others because many tools these days support a number of popular browsers.

Selecting the right tools for automation testing is determined by users’ requirements. Though automation can help save a lot of time and effort, it has some limitations; it is not preferred in usability or customer friendliness testing.

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4 Ways to Improve Cross Browser Testing at: September 11th, 2017 by admin