What Is Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing? What Are Its Best Practices?


Cross-browser compatibility testing is integral to quality testing in software and web development. Ensuring cross-browser compatibility refers to the ability of a website or application to perform flawlessly across different web browsers and platforms. 

With the rise of cross-platform mobile apps, cross-browser compatibility testing has become even more crucial. This post will look at the significance of cross-browser compatibility testing, best practices for doing such tests, and the special issues of testing cross-platform mobile apps.

What is Cross-Browser Compatibility?

Cross-browser compatibility is a critical aspect of modern web development that ensures that a website or web application functions correctly and appears consistently across different browsers. When a website or online application is cross-browser compatible, it functions and displays appropriately in several browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.

Websites and web application developers must meet the internet’s changing needs by making their work accessible across several platforms and devices. Nevertheless, ensuring cross-browser compatibility can be difficult due to the wide variety of web browsers available, each with its own rendering engine and proprietary features.

Having a consistent user experience across browsers is what “cross-browser compatibility” is all about. This guarantees that as many people as possible, using a wide variety of browsers and devices can utilize the website or online application.

Importance of Cross-Browser Compatibility

These days, users can pick and choose from various browsers to access the Internet. Since every browser uses a different rendering engine, how a website appears and functions in one browser may be utterly different from that in another. A webpage may display correctly in one browser but incorrectly in another. Cross-browser support is essential in this case. Web developers may ensure their content is available to as many people as possible regardless of the browser they use by testing it in as many browsers as possible. Cross-browser compatibility is critical for both user experience and your company’s reputation. When visitors to your website or web app face bugs or other troubles, they may quickly lose faith in your business and look elsewhere for their online needs. Having support for several browsers is also crucial for search engine optimization. Websites’ positions in search engine results are determined by sophisticated algorithms used by search engines such as Google and Bing.  The accessibility of a website is a consideration for these algorithms. Your site’s search engine rankings could suffer if visitors using particular browsers cannot view it. This could lead to fewer people visiting your site and fewer sales.

How to Ensure Cross-Browser Compatibility?

Maintaining browser compatibility calls for a blend of solid development practices and thorough testing procedures. If you want your website or web app to look and function the same in all browsers, follow these guidelines.

Use Standards-Compliant Code: If you want your site to look the same in different browsers, writing code that adheres to web standards is crucial. Standards-compliant coding has been tested to run without error in all major browsers.

Test on Multiple Browsers: One of the most important things you can do to ensure your website or web app works across browsers is to test it in as many browsers as possible. Any browser-specific problems can be found and fixed ahead of time if you conduct thorough testing across multiple browsers.

Use Browser-Specific CSS: While standards-compliant coding is essential, there are times when you’ll need to use browser-specific CSS to get the look you want. After implementing browser-specific CSS on your website or web application, you should perform extensive browser compatibility testing.

Avoid Proprietary Features: Avoid the browser’s proprietary features that might be tempting to use to get the desired effect or layout. However, compatibility issues between browsers may exist if you rely on proprietary features that not all browsers support.

Use a Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing Tool: You may find and fix problems with your website or web app using one of the various cross-browser compatibility testing tools available.

You may use these tools to ensure your website or web app works properly across all major browsers and operating systems. Some popular cross-browser compatibility testing tools include BrowserStack, Sauce Labs, CrossBrowserTesting, and many others.

Best Practices for Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

Cross-browser compatibility testing is a crucial aspect of web development. It guarantees that online pages and applications display correctly across various platforms and browsers. The complexity and difficulty of cross-browser compatibility testing have grown alongside the proliferation of online browsers, devices, and operating systems.

Adhering to standards for cross-browser compatibility testing is crucial for ensuring that your website or web application displays appropriately in all major browsers. This article will review some of the top guidelines for performing browser-agnostic tests.

Importance of planning and preparation: Preparation and planning are critical to the success of any project, and testing for cross-browser compatibility is no different. Understanding the project’s needs and goals, the intended audience, and the browsers and devices to be tested is crucial before beginning the testing process.

A testing plan, timetable, resources, and team member responsibilities should be established. This will guarantee a smooth and effective testing procedure and prompt detection and resolution of any problems that may arise.

Choosing the right testing tools: The success of cross-browser compatibility testing relies heavily on using appropriate testing tools. There are many testing tools to select from, so it’s crucial to find the right one for your requirements and budget.

BrowserStack, Sauce Labs, CrossBrowserTesting, and LambdaTest are just a few popular testing tools. You can use one of these tools to ensure that your website or web application works properly across all platforms and browsers.

Identifying key functionalities and features to test: Key features and functions of your site or app should be the primary focus of your cross-browser testing. This can help you focus your testing efforts, where needed most, on the most critical parts of your system.

Navigation, forms, images, videos, audio, animations, and interactive elements like buttons and links are all common functionalities and features to test. Also, test the website or web app in various browsers and operating systems and with a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions.

Creating a comprehensive testing checklist: One of the most critical aspects of testing for browser compatibility is making a thorough testing checklist. The checklist should include key features and functions, browsers and devices, and operating systems.

Instructions on how to run the tests, down to the individual settings and configurations needed for each browser and device, should be included in the checklist as well. This guarantees no stone is left unturned in the testing process and that any faults are found and fixed.

Testing on multiple platforms and devices: For cross-browser compatibility testing, tests must be run on several different operating systems and devices. Testing your website or web application on as many browsers and devices as possible are crucial to ensure it displays and functions correctly anywhere viewed.

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chromebook, are only some of the most well-liked platforms and gadgets for testing. Testing on many browser and OS versions is vital, as older versions may lack or have different capabilities than more recent ones.

Incorporating manual and automated testing: Test for browser compatibility should be done manually and automatically. Manual testing lets you check the website or web app in a real-world setting, where you can spot problems that automated testing might miss.

In contrast, automated testing facilitates rapid and thorough testing across various browsers and devices. This can ensure the testing procedure is uniform and complete while saving time and money.

Regularly monitoring and updating the testing process: Cross-browser compatibility testing must be continuously monitored and updated to maintain its efficacy and efficiency. To ensure your website or web application works properly on all modern browsers, devices, and operating systems, you should regularly update your testing plan and checklist.

You may quickly fix any recurring problems by regularly monitoring and upgrading the testing procedure. Doing so can protect your users from potential problems and enhance their experience with your website or online application.

Collaborating with developers and designers: Cross-browser compatibility testing can only be done well with the help of the development, design, and testing teams. Developers and designers can assist testers in finding and fixing flaws by shedding light on the site’s or app’s underlying architecture and user experience.

Collaborating on the development and design of a website or web application that is cross-browser compatible can also assist in speeding up and improving the quality of the testing process.

Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing for Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

Cross-platform mobile apps can be developed once and run natively on several platforms, such as Android and iOS. Cross-platform mobile app development has the potential to greatly cut down on the time and money spent on app creation. Still, it also comes with its own obstacles, such as the necessity for extensive cross-browser compatibility testing.

If you want your mobile app to work reliably and consistently across operating systems, browsers, and devices, you must conduct thorough cross-browser compatibility testing. This testing guarantees that the app’s UI is uniform and that all its features and functions work as they should.

It’s impossible to stress the value of checking a mobile app’s compatibility with different browsers. Because of the wide variety of mobile devices and operating systems now on the market, apps must be cross-platform. 

A special set of difficulties is associated with testing mobile apps that work across several platforms and browsers. The first step in app development is to test it across numerous devices and browsers, including iOS and Android. 

Second, it is essential to test the app on smartphones and tablets due to the wide range of screen sizes and resolutions available to users. Last, cross-platform mobile apps require testing on many OS versions, each of which may have unique browser capabilities and behaviors.

There are various best practices that developers and QA teams should adhere to while testing cross-platform mobile apps for cross-browser compatibility. 

Planning and preparation are the first steps in any successful testing procedure. Finding out who you’re making this for can help you decide what browser/device combinations to test and how to measure success.

Using appropriate testing tools is another must-do best practice. BrowserStack, Sauce Labs, and CrossBrowserTesting.com are just a few examples of the many accessible cross-browser compatibility testing tools. Tools like this make it easy for QA teams and developers to test mobile apps across several browsers and devices.

Another essential best practice is to list the most important features and functions to test. The login, registration, and payment processes are just a few cores features developers, and QA teams must ensure work appropriately across all devices. This ensures the app’s functionality is consistent across browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Another best practice that can assist in guaranteeing that all essential features and functionalities are tested is creating a thorough testing checklist. User interface and layout, features, and speed are only a few of the things that belong on a comprehensive checklist. 

Developers and QA teams can rest easy knowing that all of the app’s most essential features have been tested using the checklist.

Another important recommendation for cross-platform mobile app testing is to test the app on as many different devices and operating systems as possible. This ensures a great user experience across various devices and operating systems by making the app compatible with most.

The use of both manual and automated testing is recommended for ensuring browser compatibility. Automated testing can decrease the time and effort required, especially when testing across many devices and platforms. Manual testing is still necessary to ensure the app’s operation.

Another essential best practice is maintaining a system for regular testing process monitoring and updates. Testing procedures must be regularly revised to keep up with the rapid changes in mobile hardware and software.

To Sum Up

Cross-browser compatibility testing is critical for web development and software testing. It guarantees that websites and applications work properly across all browsers and platforms, resulting in a consistent user experience. 

Businesses can achieve high-quality testing results and improve their digital products’ overall performance and success by following the best practices outlined in this outline, such as thorough planning and preparation, comprehensive testing checklists, and collaboration with developers and designers.

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