The testing phase plays a vital role in ensuring the quality of the application. Companies invest millions of dollars to maintain the quality of their testing environment. In this competitive software development industry, companies must ensure that they deliver high-quality web applications to their end-users in a short period. They should also ensure that the browser or browser version should not affect the quality of the end-user experience. This is the reason why companies use cross-browser testing in their testing environments. In this article, we discuss the best way to increase the efficiency of cross-browser testing. Before that, let us familiarize ourselves with the basics of cross browser testing.

The Basics of Cross Browser Testing

Cross-browser testing is also commonly known as browser compatibility testing. This form of testing comes under the category of non-functional testing methods. Using this test, the developers can ensure that the web application retains its looks and performance irrespective of the browser or browser version. This test also verifies that the elements of the user interface do not react to any browser and operating system combination. In the present Software Development Industry, cross-browser testing is considered to be one of the pillars of creating a high-quality web application.

In the early days of web browsing, internet explorer was the dominant browser all around the world. However, with time more and more competitors have arrived in the market. Every browser has its unique set of features and a codebase.  Thus, it is no longer enough to test the functionality of the web application on a single Browser. This is the same purpose that cross-browser testing serves,

The Importance of Cross-Browser Testing

The visual layout of the web application plays a vital role in ensuring end-user satisfaction.  For instance, your company will receive a massive backlash when the web application fails to retain its layout on different browsers. The cross-browser testing team helps to solve these issues and remove all these hurdles from the web development life cycle. During the troubleshooting process, the team will analyze the website on the following factors:

  • The issues on the website.
  • All the browsers that are facing this issue.
  • The team that is responsible to solve this issue.

Thus, the cross-browser team plays a vital role in polishing the end-user experience. Cross-browser testing also plays a vital role in improving the conversion rates for the website. This is because a properly designed web application can retain customers and attract new users. Cross-browser testing can detect all the plugins and ensure that your website is compatible with these unique features of a browser.

The Best Strategies to Perform Cross-Browser Testing

  1. Create a List of all Test Scenarios and the Browsers for Testing

There are thousands of browsers all around the world.  It is impractical to test the functioning of your web application on all of these browsers. To solve this issue, you have to perform research for the most popular browsers in the world. Currently, the most popular browser is Google Chrome with a user base of about 55 % internet traffic. It is followed by Safari in the second place and Microsoft edge in the third place. Mozilla Firefox and Samsung browsers also are in the top 5 browsers list. After this, you have to focus on the platforms that users are currently using. This means that you have to divide your attention equally between mobile and desktop users. The geolocation of the users also plays a vital role in determining this ratio.

To create the most efficient test cases, you must complete all the tests on a single browser and then proceed to the next browser. You also have the option to shortlist the testing processes based on their priorities.  This means that you can initially test the cross-browser compatibility of the core features. Then, move on to other segments with low priorities. For instance, certain features like database, navigation, functions and elements are one of the core areas to perform cross-browser compatibility testing.

  1. Proper Utilization of Virtual Machines and Emulators

While performing cross-browser compatibility testing, you might come across certain areas known as cross-browser testing scenarios. This is the process of testing the performance of the web application across a combination of different Browsers and operating systems. The developers also check the dependency of the web application on various browser versions. This test is very important and all developers must pay proper attention to the test results. For instance, if a web application performs properly on Safari in Mac OS, doesn’t mean that it will retain its functionality on Safari on Windows operating system. Moreover, the developers should not completely rely on emulators for the testing process. This is because emulators fail to show the accurate performance of the browser on real devices.

The best way to solve this issue is to set up different virtual machines on the tester’s computer. You have to install different operating systems on each of these virtual machines. A cost-effective way is to use cross-browser testing platforms that run on cloud-based platforms.  Platforms such as Lambdatest allow the developers to run parallel testing of the web application on multiple OS and browser combinations at the same time.

  1. The Use of test Automation

During the initial years of software development, the developers had to rely on manual testing to perform all the testing segments. It was a time and resource-consuming process, especially for performing the redundant testing cycles. With the advancement of Technology, test automation began to replace manual testing in various segments.  Test automation is the technology to run various tests automatically with the help of automated test scripts. With this wonderful Technology, the developers can also reuse a message segment of the test script. There are various tools and frameworks that companies can use to introduce automated testing in their testing environment. Selenium WebDriver is one of the most preferred ways to introduce automated testing.  Using this WebDriver, the developers can test the functionality of the web application on multiple browsers at the same time.

Automation Testing also allows the companies to increase the collaboration between different teams of a web application development process. The collaboration between the developments, testing and production teams ensure the quick release of high-quality web applications. Without Automation Testing, it will become very difficult to perform prompt testing of web applications. Automated regression testing also helps to ensure the proper functionality and stability of test cases.

  1. Importance of Testing on Mobile Devices

Mobile devices form an integral part of the testing framework. In the current software industry, mobile devices are gaining more and more popularity. A recent survey suggests that more than 50 per cent of the user base is dominated by mobile users. Thus, the companies need to pay proper attention to the performance of the web application on mobile devices. The commuters use mobile devices to access the internet on the go. You must optimize your web apps for daily use to meet this trend.

Companies have switched to developing responsive web applications to meet this new trend. Responsive web apps retain their performance and layout across different platforms. This means that you do not have to develop separate web applications for mobile and desktop.  However, testing these web applications is a different story. For iOS devices, there is only a single hardware and software combination. On the other hand, there are thousands of such combinations for the Android platform. Thus, you must test the sustainability of your web app on all of these combinations. Currently, thousands of tools and platforms can help you in this process. Now, let us discuss the role of tools in the cross-browser testing process.

  1. Using the Correct Tools for Cross-browser Testing

Tools are very important to improve the efficiency of your testing process. However, every tool is different as they have their features and specialities. So, you must carefully choose the tool to utilise the full potential of your testing environment. During the selection process, you must consider the project requirements and your preferences. In the modern generation, various tools use cloud platforms to perform functional and non-functional tests. These platforms eliminate the hassle of maintaining an expensive physical device testing lab. With these platforms, you can test your app on any device from anywhere in the world. Let us consider the example of LambdaTest.com to understand the role of tools in the testing process:

LambdaTest is a platform to perform automated cross-browser testing on a cloud-based Selenium environment. All the testing purposes are conducted in a safe and Secure Selenium grid. LambdaTest also allows you to create and store the automated test cases for the testing cycle. It provides various unique features to increase the efficiency of your test environment. For instance, LambdaTest maintains an activity log to store all the final test reports. Using the cloud platform, you can perform various tests on your web application from anywhere in the world. The parallel testing feature allows you to run cross-browser compatibility testing on thousands of browsers and operating systems at the same time. Currently, millions of companies all around the world use LambdaTest to perform automated cross-browser testing on their web applications.

To understand more about the capabilities of a cross-browser testing tool, you can check its reviews on various user forums. Here, you can find the honest reviews of all customers who are currently using this tool. LambdaTest has millions of positive reviews all over the internet. There are also other tools and platforms for this purpose.

The Final Verdict

In the present generation, no one doubts the crucial role of automation testing. We can safely conclude automation testing is the backbone of the collaboration between DevOps and CI/CD tools. It is also crucial for quickly delivering high-quality software to your end-users. Cross-Browser testing also plays a crucial role to improve the standards of modern web development. As a developer, you always want to ensure that your users get a uniform experience irrespective of the platform or browser. It is almost illogical to alienate any segment of the users based on compatibility issues. You must also remember that tools play a vital role in increasing the efficiency of your cross-browser testing environment.

 

Tools help to ease the burden of the testers by conducting certain repetitive tests automatically. Thus, they can focus this time on other key areas of the project. For instance, they can introduce new features to improve the user experience or the interface of the web app. These are some of the small changes that go a long way in ensuring the success of the company.

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