- January 8, 2016
- Posted by: Mahesh Kulkarni
- Category: Blogs
Many a times, it happened that we have encountered an situation that there is an issue with a website while performing some action or the user interface is distorted and when we call the technical support, they tell us to try it on another browser? And guess what? It works!!
Why does it happen? Answer is simple. The website has not been test thoroughly on different browsers, and on production it found a potential bug.
I always end up thinking-‘why didn’t I think of that?’ But trust me, over the time I have realized it’s not my fault; it’s just that the website has not been tested extensively with respect to cross browser compatibility testing and as an end user I just found a bug.
That being the background story, I bet you all have figured out the topic. Yeah, that’s right – Cross Browser Testing.
Before getting into tools for Cross browser testing, lets see “What, Why, How” of the Cross Browser Testing.
What is Cross Browser Testing?
To define, cross browser testing simply means to test application extensively on all web browsers, be it on computers or mobiles, so that it behaves consistent across all browsers.
Customer facing applications are best suited to perform cross browser testing
Why Cross Browser Testing is necessary?
- There is no universal browser which everyone uses. End users have their choice to use browser which they are comfortable with
- To enhance the user experience and thereby, business
- To know if there is any bug
How is Browser Compatibility Testing Performed?
It can be done manually- multiple machines, multiple OS’s and Multiple browsers but clearly, this leads to multiple investments and multiple challenges and increased test time.
So, lots of tools are available in the market to make this easier.
Here’s a handy cross browser testing checklist you can refer while testing your web project on different browsers and operating systems:
- CSS validation
- HTML or XHTML validation
- Font size validation
- Page layout in different resolutions
- All images and alignment
- Header and footer sections
- Page content alignment to center, LHS or RHS
- Page styles
- Date formats
- Special characters with HTML character encoding
- Page zoom-in and zoom-out functionality
And obviously you will have to repeat these tests on:
1. Different Operating Systems like Windows, Linux and Mac
2. Different browsers (with different versions) like Internet explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera etc.
There are many free and paid cross browser testing tools available in the market. You need to select the browser compatibility tool depending on your needs.
Check out below list of all cross browser testing tools.
The Spoonium Browser Sandbox makes cross-browser and backwards compatibility testing easy.Simply launch the browser from Spoon.net or the Spoon Console and enter your test URL in the navigation bar.
Browsers run within an isolated virtual environment, eliminating the need for installs. Virtualized browsers behave exactly like installed browsers. And because they run locally, you can test web applications hosted on your own development machine or on internal servers.
Spoon supports widely used browsers with updated versions. Below is the sample list.
Chrome, Firefox, Internet explorer, Chromium Canary, Firefox Mobile, Safari, Opera, Firefox Nightly, Opera mobile etc.
Testing your website on Browsershots is very simple. Go to http://browsershots.org/ URL, specify the URL of the website to be tested. Select the different browsers with different versions. The by default checked browsers are the widely used browsers and the ones which are not checked, are the older browsers which Browser shots thinks they are not used on this planet anymore.
Also, Browsershot supports Different OS’s like Windows, Linux, Mac , BSD etc
You need to repeat the steps for every test. This free browser compatibility test service can be used for taking website screen-shots almost in 61 browsers and various operating systems.
Main drawback of this service is the time taken to display the result when you select many browsers multiple times, it shows timeout error.
IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Minefield, Netscape and many more browsers with all versions.
IE NetRenderer allows you to check how your website performs in different versions of Internet explorer. Just select the IE version, vertical offset field pixel value which is used for scrolling the image and see how your website appears. The output will be that, and you’re presented with the processing time of the request and the dimensions of your website design.
IE NetRenderer is able to process a large number of requests in parallel and in real time, so it’s an incredibly fast service, with no waiting time.
Sauce Labs offers a rather unique cross-browser testing experience. Not only does it allows you to take screen-shots of website on different, it allows you to record live session. This is addition because if you want to view an error that you had in a browser again, all you need to do is replay a video as opposed to opening up the live test interface again. As a free user, you are given 200 minutes of testing each month, which is plenty.
Browsera helps you to discover cross browser layout problems automatically.Browsera is like a tester, looking for visual discrepancies between different browsers. Browsera will also help you find problems caused by scripting errors on your site. Also, it helps to test multiple links of a website simultaneously. Since everything runs from our server cluster, there’s no need for you to install anything. Browsera works with websites that use technologies like AJAX and DHTML. So, even if your pages load dynamic content or change the layout of the page, browsera can handle it comfortably
Over to you!
As of now you should have a clear idea of these cross-browser testing tools available online. Obviously selection of a good cross browser testing tool depends on your requirements as each browser compatibility checking tool comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.