It is important that your web app works well with all browsers due to the diversity and variety of web browsers and devices in use. If your product is tailored to only one platform, it will be tied to just that version and you will thus lose out on opportunities and the potential audience members from other browsers.
Do you think anyone will install and use a particular browser just for the sake of using your product?
Because there are so many alternatives and options for users available out there it is too risky for you to follow a monopoly in your app development.
You need to make your web apps as flexible as you can and make them compatible with at least all the major browsers.
To make sure you have indeed done this task properly, you need efficient cross-browser testing. Even though exhaustive cross-browser testing on various combinations is near impossible, you can conduct the optimum amount of testing within the allotted time.
Here are some tips to help you do that.
Choose the Right Number of Combinations
There are numerous browsers on the market; however, the number of browsers that actually matter can be rounded down to just three (namely, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox) or four if you want to include Safari.
Yet, even with such a shortlisted number of browsers, the number of versions and operating system combinations that you have to test with will be huge.
So, instead of going for an exhaustive combinational testing, just select the latest versions of the browsers for testing. By doing this you can considerably reduce the number of browsers you will be testing.
You can also use tools like Google analytics and Splunk to find out the type and browser versions your target audience is using and concentrate your testing on these browsers alone.
Choose the Right Strategy
Many testers choose to test all the primary functionalities of their product on a particular browser, for example Chrome, and then move on to other browsers for doing basic testing. This strategy is not the best way to carry out efficient cross-browser testing.
So, you should try to employ a more comprehensive and complete testing strategy that takes all of the browsers into account when you test each primary function of the app.
You should also include cross-platform testing in your strategy. Try to make use of emulators and virtual environments to tackle the cross-platform problems.
Include Mobile Testing
You should already be aware of the importance of mobile testing; owing to the fact the mobile devices are used by the majority of people to access the internet. And cross-platform and cross-browser testing with respect to mobiles comes with newer and more complicated issues.
Responsive designs and compatibility across various hardware and software specs, including screen sizes and operating system versions, are the major concerns that you need to look out for.
A brute force approach to mobile cross-browser testing is very difficult, especially for Android devices which come in a variety of sizes and versions.
Hence, you need to pick the most commonly used screen sizes and operating systems that are more relevant to your target audience.
Filtering from the huge range of mobile devices can be difficult. So, start by selecting outliers, such as very new, very old, big screens and small screens, and then add a few others from the middle to ensure your product is sufficiently tested in the different ranges of environments.
Automate your testing wherever it makes sense. Whenever there is a repetitive task involved, which can be automated, make sure you automate it. There are various tools available to ease your testing burdens and you should thus study these tools and use them to your advantage.
Automation can be very helpful in cross-browser testing as scripts written for one environment can be repeated for discovering related issues in other environments. You can also run testing loops with various input data sets to check your app’s correctness.
You can start by exploring the developer tools from Google Chrome which will help you with responsive testing for various screen sizes. There are several more emulators and automated testing tools that will give you an idea of how your product will work on different platforms, browsers and hardware.
So, how do you perform cross-browser testing? Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!