Whenever, any web application or software is released it is expected that it will be executed well in almost every browser but it’s not the case as all web browsers are not created equally. Few browsers are designed to work with specific operating system while few claim to have boasting features. Even some features are restricted for certain browsers like text-to-speech feature which works exclusively with Mac Operating systems. Some web browsers who were once praised as the torch bearers in web exploration are now vanished like the younger generation never heard of them. Keeping in mind, the several variables that are available on the surface and the subtle differences that decide the way a website behaves and display the web application across various browsers. It is a good habit to conduct Cross Browser Testing once the process of web application is being completed.
Cross Browser Testing
Cross Browser Testing is a technique of testing web applications across multiple browsers. In this testing, websites, web applications, HTML file or client side scripting are tested in order to support all the web browsers. Through cross browser testing it is ensured that all the websites or web applications run successfully on different browsers. This process of checking comprises testing on both the client-side vis-à-vis server-side applications.
Various benefits of testing involves the following:
- — Makes the website management and its update easier
- — Provides functionality across all the web pages
- — Customers get good accessibility with ease of viewing
- — Improves the customer conversion ratio
Testing of Browser Compatibility
In order to test the compatibility of browser and to ensure that it works the way it is expected to work in all the browsers, one should take a sneak peak in the following components of a web application:
- CSS STYLES & CSS VALIDATIONS: As the CSS has been moved to CSS3, it becomes imperative to check styles of CSS & CSS Validation.
- HTML : It is the vital ingredient that must be checked for compatibility. HTML is like the engine of website pages.
- JAVA SCRIPT: Java script varies from browser to browser, hence it becomes pertinent to give it the utmost importance while checking the compatibility.
- SESSIONS & COOKIES: It is very important to check sessions and cookies on the pages of websites.
- TEXT ALIGNMENT & PAGE LAYOUTS: Features of web browsers like dropdown, checklists, radio buttons must be checked while testing the cross browser compatibility as they are not similarly aligned across all the browsers.
For different sort of reasons, cross browser issues crop up and behave differently across different browsers and devices.
Top 5 features of Automated Cross-Browser Testing Tools:
- Tool which supports Testing Under Varying Environments
- Tool that integrates with Famous Browser Platforms
- Tool that supports Internal and External Record and Playback Features
- Tool which is extensively Automates UI Testing
- Tools that offers Re-Usable Test Methods
Below is the description of the common cross browser issues:
Sometimes browsers face some defects/bugs, or implement features differently. This situation is a lot less bad than it used to be;
Few years back, when IE4 and Netscape 4 were competing to be the dominant browser in the 1990s, browser companies deliberately implemented things differently to each other to gain competitive advantage, which made life complicated for developers. Browsers are much better at following standards these days, but differences and bugs still creep through sometimes.
- In various browsers, bugs manage to creep through which browser companies deliberately put and make the work of developers more cumbersome.
- With the advancements in technology, some old browsers are in declined state now and not being developed in the present era. These browsers may have completely different levels of support for technology which is just opposite to what they used to support.
- There are other critical issues like there may be some bottlenecks which may cause a website to work slowly and display bad pictures. For instance, there are cases like a site is designed keeping the view of functionality on the PC but when it comes to its functionality on cell phones or smart phones, it seems very small and illegible which we have experienced many times. Same is the case with the site with big animations which work absolutely fine on desktops but may work inefficiently on low end PCs.
It’s not always practically possible to test an application on your system manually as there are multiple browsers present in the market today. Moreover, the system may not support different versions of the same browser. For instance, you may have IE7 which can be upgraded to IE8 but both the versions cannot be worked simultaneously on a particular system. A good way to test and rectify the above mentioned issues is to use cross browser automation tools. With the use of these cross browser automation tools one can easily identify the defects and can take necessary actions accordingly.
List of Top 10 cross browser testing tools to ease your Browser Compatibility Testing.
- Cross Browser Testing
- IE NetRenderer
- IE Tester
- Microsoft SuperPreview
- Spoon Browser Sandbox
- Sauce Labs