Back in the days when people browsed the web mainly for information, it wasn’t that big of a deal if a website didn’t look perfect on every browser. Today, though, things are different. Many companies sell products and offer their services over the internet. Therefore, their websites and apps should work on any browser and device at any time. The competition is tough, and nobody wants to lose customers due to a faulty website. Therefore, performing cross browser tests is essential. Let’s take a look at the 4 most common cross browser testing challenges and learn how to tackle them!
#1 Testing on All Browsers and Platforms
How can you ensure your app works for the majority of your users? All you have to do is to make sure your web apps work on every browser, operating system, and device out there, right? Easier said than done!
You don’t only have to test on, let’s say 4 different browsers. Instead, you have to check various versions of these browsers, operating systems, platforms, and so on. As you well know, the days of the desktop-first approach are gone, and a mobile variant of your product is no longer optional. In fact, in August 2019, the share of mobile internet traffic in total global online traffic was 51.65 percent!
Consequently, you need to include different mobile devices and mobile browsers in the test pool. Hence, the list of platforms, systems, and browsers on which you want to test your app has become quite long! Keep in mind that due to browser updates, you need to retest your app every few weeks, which makes things even more complicated. Most times, your users’ browsers update automatically, and these newer versions sometimes come with their own quirks and bugs. Thus, retesting your app is necessary.
So how do you go about testing? Do you have the capacity to host and maintain all device and browser versions in-house? The straightforward and resource-saving alternative to this is a cloud-based test service like CrossBrowserTesting.
By using such a service, you can achieve higher test coverage across the various devices. Test on thousands of desktop and mobile browsers on all major operating systems without having to maintain a thing. Cloud-based services provide you with a reliable infrastructure that serves as the perfect foundation to handle all of your cross browser testing challenges.
#2 Testing Efficiently
Let’s face it. Every team has neglected to test its app at one point. And only because it can take so much time. In particular, manual testing can be a bottleneck in your development cycle that slows down your web application’s time-to-market. You need to test your app’s backend, and frontend code, layout, UX, performance, cross browser functionality – the list goes on.
If time is getting short, which tests will you neglect? This is a tough decision since each test is essential to ensure your product meets your company’s and your customers’ expectations. If you choose to run all planned tests, your product development cycle may get lengthened, and your app’s release slows down.
You may say, with proper time management and planning, your team has plenty of time to perform the needed tests and still maintain short release cycles. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be nice to shorten the test time? And then, invest the time you have saved elsewhere, for example, to develop more of your users’ feature requests? You can’t say no to that!
If you know us, you probably can already guess our proposed solution to the testing bottleneck. Of course, it’s automation! First, you need to determine which tests you can and want to automate. Next, you need a framework that lets you create these tests. For example, pick Selenium, an automation testing suite that enables you to automate tests for desktop and mobile web browsers. If you’ve never dipped your toes into Selenium, we encourage you to read our article “What Is And Why Do We Need Selenium Framework?” and learn more about it.
Finally, to get the most out of your automated tests, choose a cloud-based service that lets you run these tests on multiple real-world devices and browsers in parallel. As a result, you can reduce your test time to a fraction of your current one and have more time for innovation and creation.
#3 Automating Test Cases
As discussed in the previous section, automation can help you speed up your web app’s release cycles drastically. However, test automation doesn’t come cheap. Developers or testers need to write and maintain these tests, which isn’t a trivial task and must be done correctly. So, if you don’t have enough people to write tests, you may not save as much time through automation as you expect. Besides, tests that are not designed correctly will produce inaccurate results, you won’t be able to work with.
Because of these challenges, you need to evaluate your needs before you start creating an automation strategy. Also, check what you can achieve with your existing resources before planning too far ahead. You may not need to automate all tests, or you may find other tools to help you with your efforts.
You can find various services and tools for cross browser testing that serve different purposes. For example, we’re a fan of codeless solutions like Record and Replay from CrossbrowserTesting. This convenient service captures clicks and actions you perform on your website. You can then replay these records on multiple browsers and configurations at once. Instead of manually performing the same operations and clicks a thousand times, you can view the recordings created by the tool and find visual errors faster and more efficiently.
#4 Testing All Screen Resolutions for Visual Bugs
At this point, we no longer need to discuss why manually checking your web apps for visual errors costs a lot of time. So let’s cut to the chase: Long live test automation! But can you detect a broken website layout with it? Of course, but it may be tricky.
Visualize our list of test environments discussed in #1 above. Let’s add the different screen resolutions that we need to test our web app to this list. Now we really have to deal with a long list that makes our heads spin. If you still think that manual testing is efficient, then this is the moment to think it over. So, what’s the solution?
You could use Selenium or other tools based on it, such as Hermione, that can be used to automate UI testing. Let your tests perform certain actions, such as clicking a button, and then take screenshots of it. Of course, everything is automated by code! After running the tests, you can review the captured images to see if the user interface remains consistent.
Another solution is to choose a cloud-based testing service for your rescue. Use a service that automatically takes screenshots in different browsers, devices, etc. while various actions are performed in your web app. As with the above solution, you can take these pictures to check your responsive layout.
Which of these two solutions to go for depends on your preferences and available resources. You may already be using a cloud-based testing service that also provides this functionality. So don’t forget to see if you can use an existing solution before opting for a new one.
Regardless of your choice, your customers can enjoy a consistent user journey on every screen resolution.
Tackle the Most Common Cross Browser Testing Challenges with the Right Tools
If you’re having the same cross browser testing challenges, you can be sure that cloud-based services can help you out. You can find many different tools to meet your specific testing needs, and most of them offer many different features around the topic. Our friends at crossbrowsertesting.com offer you various services for cross browser testing your web apps – you can give them a shot for free!
Are you also interested in learning about the challenges in continuous mobile testing and how to tackle them? We’ve got you covered in this article from our blog.
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