QAs spend most of their time testing web applications, which is time-consuming, costly, and hectic. Besides, with millions of sites being developed every year, it becomes even more challenging to test websites continuously. The major problem is that most of these sites fail due to browser compatibility issues like unresponsiveness, sudden crashes, etc.
Most businesses have already realized the value of cross browser testing in this digital-driven world where people use multiple devices to access a site. There are even various ways to perform cross-browser testing, but how can you enhance it to scale the testing process?
Cross-browser testing is a unique process of testing web applications across browsers, operating systems, and devices to ensure their compatibility. But, to execute cross-browser testing across the given number of browsers available in the market, you need a comprehensive testing plan that can be performed with minimal effort.
So, what could be done to enhance the browser compatibility testing while putting in the minimal effort? This article highlights the best practices to enhance cross-browser testing for your web app.
1. Research in Early Stages
Before you even begin with cross-browser testing or create a strategy for it, you should do your research to understand your end objectives. Research helps you prioritize your tasks for testing accordingly. For instance, if you’re creating the web app for a specific audience, then identify what browsers and operating systems are used by your audience.
In the initial stages, the testing process should focus on specific areas and then gradually increase. As you grow your testing, you’ll start finding the toughest bugs in the app, which can be resolved with a strategic and reliable testing approach. Most of the time, bugs are found in areas not tested in the development phase or from the group of unpopular browsers.
The ideal approach to cross-browser testing is to identify those areas and then test them accordingly. Once you test your web app for those specific areas, you can narrow down your web app functionalities to test for the target market.
2. Select and Test the Most Popular Browser for your Customers
Although the ideal approach is to test all the browsers for cross-browser compatibility, if you’re relying on manual testing, you should focus on the primary browser that is widely used by your target audience. Then, based on the visitor’s survey, you can analyze which browser is widely used by your customers to access your site.
For example, if your customers use Google Chrome to browse your site, your primary focus should be testing the Chrome browser. After covering the popular browser, you can move ahead with testing other browsers and operating systems. Make the necessary changes based on the testing and ensure that it doesn’t affect the primary browser compatibility.
3. Test Responsiveness across Mobile Devices
More than 5 billion individuals worldwide use smartphones to access the internet and browse through sites, which clearly shows the importance of mobile responsiveness for a site. Thus, you need to ensure that your site is compatible with mobile browsers and operating systems. To check mobile compatibility, you can test your site across mobile devices for performance, UX issues, and speed.
Besides, you also need to test your site for broken HTML and CSS elements, as it can affect the responsiveness to a large extent. Having a mobile-friendly site can improve the user experience while ensuring their engagement.
4. Prioritize Web Pages and their Components
Most websites often have multiple rich features on their platform to provide a great user experience, but this often makes the site cluttered and incompatible. To avoid such issues and expand your testing process, you can prioritize the web pages and their components while avoiding similar page testing repeatedly.
This means that your testing efforts will be reduced while enabling you to save time to test other areas. For example, if your home page has common features like navigation, footers, menus, you can avoid testing it every time. Following this strategy will prevent unnecessary delays in releases while reducing cross-browser compatibility issues.
5. Use Emulators and Virtual Environments
Emulators and virtual environments allow you to test your web app across multiple versions of browsers without accessing the real devices. Browsers get continuous updates with new security patches and features, affecting your site’s compatibility. Besides, it’s not necessary that every user might update their browser with new updates. Thus, it’s crucial to test your web app across newer and older versions of the browser.
Emulators and virtual environments provide you with all the browsers and their versions to test your web app in real-time. If you’re working with a big project that demands more browsers and OS, emulators can help you meet the requirements. In addition, it gives you enough time to execute test cases quickly while enabling you to focus on other areas of web applications.
6. Select the Best Cross-Browser Testing Tool
You can pick and begin with any open-source tool for cross-browser testing for the initial phase. But, as you move ahead towards big projects, you need a reliable, secure, cost-efficient, and scalable tool to test your web apps. There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to picking a cross-browser testing tool, such as scalability, browser support, cost efficiency, cloud support, technical support, etc.
First of all, the tool you select must be capable of testing all the components and features of your web app. In addition, it should provide easy integration with open-source frameworks like Selenium, Jenkins, etc. Another essential aspect to consider is the functionality and usability of the tool, which allows every user to understand and use it quickly. Finally, the tool must be flexible to build a custom device resolution for cross-browser testing.
For example, LambdaTest CBT is a great platform to fulfill all your cross-browser testing requirements. It is website responsive, integrated with smart algorithms, supports 3000+ browsers, OS, and devices, and provides a bug tracking facility. The tool offers an interactive platform for team collaboration, screenshots, and further analysis.
7. Combine Automation with Parallel Testing
Executing repetitive tests is an initial requirement of cross-browser testing because new features get added, and browsers keep updating every few weeks. Thus, using automation in web app testing can be very helpful for you. However, even with automation, you need to execute one test repeatedly to validate multiple platforms, which is also time-consuming.
Automation testing is valuable if you can quickly create scripts and record scenarios while eliminating repetitive tasks. But, in cross-browser testing, you still need to execute regression testing. So, the ideal way to utilize automation is to combine it with parallel testing.
Parallel testing allows you to run tests in parallel while enabling you to test multiple browsers at once. For instance, if you need to test 5 browsers on five different devices, you can test them in parallel within a few minutes rather than testing them individually. Combining automation with parallel testing can quickly help you achieve high test optimization levels.
8. Decide What to Automate
Just because you have access to automation, this doesn’t mean you need to automate everything in cross-browser testing. Although there are multiple aspects of a web app that need to be tested for cross-browser compatibility, not all of them require automation testing. For example, problems around basic functionality, drop-down lists, selecting tabs are a few aspects that can be tested easily with human intervention.
So, it is crucial to decide what you need to automate in your cross-browser testing rather than automating the entire process. You can make a list of the factors that require manual testing or automated testing and then plan accordingly. The list should include both these factors separately with a priority level. Make sure you take notes before beginning your cross-browser testing because it can make things complicated and congested later.
9. Utilize Cloud-based Platforms
Cloud-based testing platforms are leading the cross-browser testing area, as it allows you to perform both manual and automated testing. It even helps you save time, money, and effort by providing multiple device options to test. A cloud-based solution can help you simplify your operations by not limiting the workstations geographically and providing all-time access to interactive platforms.
For instance, LambdaTest is a cloud-based cross-browser testing platform that allows you to perform manual and automated testing of web apps quickly. It even allows you to test locally hosted websites on your system while giving you the functionality to record and playback your testing process.
Cross-browser testing is one of the best ways to develop effective and high-performing sites, but it also needs proper planning and evaluation to produce quick results. To execute cross-browser testing quickly and get better results, you need proper planning and strategy to save time and effort.
Having effective cross-browser testing provides you with a seamless browsing experience across all platforms. This article highlights the best practices to enhance cross-browser testing with minimal effort.