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What is Cross Browser Testing?

By Himanshu on 1/17/2023

What is Cross Browser Testing?

We've all probably noticed that some websites do not display correctly in some browsers, leading us to believe that the website is malfunctioning. However, as soon as you visit the website in a different browser, it loads without any issues. Therefore, this behaviour explains why a website is compatible with many browsers.
Cross browser testing is the process of ensuring that web applications work as expected across a wide range of web browsers, operating systems, and devices. Despite the fact that all web browsers support the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) common web standards (including HTML and CSS), browsers can still render code in a variety of ways.
In Simple words, cross-browser testing involves evaluating your website or application across many browsers to ensure that it functions consistently and as intended without any dependencies or quality compromises. Both web and mobile applications can use this.

Working of Cross Browser Testing?

Cross browser testing can be implemented for simple websites and applications by manually noting differences in functionality on different web clients or manually running test scripts on different clients. However, many organisations require some form of automated cross-browser testing to meet their scale and replicability requirements. However, regardless of how organisations perform cross browser testing, the goal is the same: to identify errors in frontend functionality on specific web clients before real users encounter them.

What characteristics are examined in a cross-browser test?

Everything is covered in compatibility testing, but you may not always have the time for it. To do it right, product teams limit their testing with a test specification document (test specifications) that outlines broad necessities list of features to test, which browsers/versions/platforms to test on to meet the compatibility reference point, test scripts, timeframes, and cost estimate.

The following categories can be used to group the functionalities that will be tested:

Base Functionality: To guarantee that the most common browser-OS combinations may use the basic functionality. As an illustration, you might conduct tests to confirm that:

• Every dialogue box and menu operate as expected.
• All form fields accept entries after properly validating them.
• Website's first-party cookie policy (and features like personalization that are dependent on them) correctly for mobile devices or tablets, seamless touch input

Design: This makes sure that the typefaces, pictures, and overall layout of the website adhere to the guidelines provided by the Design team.
Accessibility: Takes into consideration WCAG compliance to allow users with varying abilities to access the website.
Responsiveness: Refers to a design's ability to adapt to various screen sizes and orientations.

How Can I Choose Browsers to Test?

It is hard to develop for and test on every possible combination of browser and operating system due to the large number of devices, operating systems, and browsers available today. Focusing your testing efforts on increasing the reach of your website inside your target market is a more practical goal. Lock down the most important browsers and versions to achieve this:

• According to popularity: Choose the 10–20 most widely used or popular browsers. Select the top two systems, such as iOS and Android. This will increase your visibility in any target market. B2C (consumer-facing) websites are frequently optimised for this.

• Considering analysis: Analyse and segment the traffic statistics for your website as recorded by analytics 
programmes (such as Google Analytics or Kissmetrics).

The objective is to learn:
o    Which browser-OS combinations do your target customers most frequently use?
o    What devices people often use to access your website?
How are cross-browser tests carried out?

You can finally conduct a test now that you've taken care of the necessities. Here is a brief explanation of each step:

• Create a baseline: Perform all design and functionality tests on your main browser, which is typically Chrome, before you start cross-browser testing. This will help you understand how the website was meant to appear and function in the beginning.

• Make a testing strategy and select the browsers to test on: Outline exactly what you'll test in the test specification document. Then, as described above, choose browser-OS combinations to test on based on popularity and site traffic analysis.

• Execution-Automated vs. Manual: Manual testing requires human testers to act out test scenarios sequentially. Human interactions are 'automated' through code in automated testing. A single test script written by professional QAs using automation tools such as Selenium can run a test scenario on multiple browsers as many times as needed. Bugs are easier to find and debug when errors are reported precisely. There is room for (human) error in manual testing. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks to complete, depending on the website and scenarios that need to be tested. Manual testers are now assigned to exploratory testing, which involves identifying UX pain points that a user may encounter while interacting with a touchpoint. For example, consider a properly coded checkout form that does not save form input on reload. The remaining tests can be automated to provide quick, repetitive execution and close feedback.

• Infrastructure: Different devices will be required to account for website behaviour when browsers are running different operating systems. There are several approaches to establishing your testing infrastructure: For testing, you can useemulators/simulators/virtual machines and instal browsers on them. This approach is inexpensive, but keep in mind that a.) it is not easily scalable b.) test results on virtual mobile platforms are unreliable (Android and iOS). Alternatively, if you have the resources to acquire real devices and keep their integrity over time, you can set up your own device lab. Another option is to use a cloud-based testing infrastructure to run your tests on a remote lab of secure devices and browsers, which will cost a fraction of the cost of setting up your own device.

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