Web applications are fickle beasts, and what works perfectly on one Web browser may look like a jumbled mess on another. In order to make sure that your website has a common look, feel, and functionality for all users, you must carry out cross-browser testing. But what exactly is cross-browser testing, and how is it carried out?
Web browser market share is currently divided among several different browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple's Safari, Opera, and Microsoft Edge (previously known as Microsoft Internet Explorer). In addition, each of these browsers comes in many different versions, with each updated version providing bug fixes, user interface updates, and new features. All this means that there are literally dozens of options for users to surf the Web at any given time.
As a result, if you want to be assured that your website works correctly across different browsers, operating systems, and devices, you need to perform cross-browser testing.
With so many variations to check, manual cross-browser testing can be a long and difficult process. Here are a few tips to make it more pleasant:
There are a number of quality assurance testing tools and software available for cross-browser testing. Some of the most popular are:
Testing all of the dozens and dozens of browser versions is probably unfeasible for you, especially when you multiply this number by the number of devices and operating systems that each version can be used on. As a result, you need to prioritize certain browser versions during your testing.
You likely already have a browser support policy outlining which browser versions your website officially supports. Use that policy to determine which browsers should be emphasized during testing. To supplement that policy, examine your website's analytics to see which browsers, devices, and operating systems people are using on your site. If you're targeting a particular country or region, use a website like StatCounter Global Stats to find out which browser versions the locals most often use there.
Although cross-browser testing can seem like a pain, following the advice above will put you on the right track.