How to test cross-browser compatibility
'How to' guides Automation Best practices Management
14 mins read
June 5, 2024

How to Test Cross Browser Compatibility

Are you lost in the labyrinth of testing your website on different browsers, feeling overwhelmed by all the updates, changes, and fixes all the time? We understand it: the struggle is real. Ensuring your website works seamlessly across different browsers is daunting, with each browser presenting unique challenges. That is where cross-browser compatibility testing comes to your help. But how complicated is this testing method? In this guide, we give you the weapon you will need to rock cross-browser compatibility tests.

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Robert Weingartz
Nurlan Suleymanov

Definition of cross-browser compatibility testing

Cross-browser compatibility testing is the process of checking whether a website or web application works correctly and fits the requirements across different web browsers and their versions. This means making sure that when users access your website using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge or any other browser (and its different builds/versions), they have the same seamless experience. 

You often conduct this testing to ensure the website functions properly and provides a consistent user experience regardless of the browser used. Or it could be the case where you identify specific behaviour in a version of some browser and carry out the testing on that specific version. It involves testing various aspects such as layout, functionality, performance, and responsiveness to ensure the website behaves as expected. 

So cross-browser compatibility testing definition in a nutshell: ensure your website doesn’t have unexpected behaviors on different browsers and their versions.

Why do you need cross-browser compatibility testing?

What’s the purpose of cross-browser compatibility? Can you ignore it? If you do, what will happen? 

Here are some key purposes of cross-browser compatibility testing (and also the reasons why you should not ignore it): 

  1. User Experience: Different browsers may interpret website code differently, leading to variations in layout, functionality, and performance. Cross-browser compatibility testing ensures that users have a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the browser. This includes consistent design elements, navigation, and functionality across all browsers. 
  2. Market Reach: Users have their preferences when it comes to web browsers. By ensuring compatibility across different browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, your website can reach a broader audience. This is essential for maximising the website’s potential reach and attracting users from diverse demographics. 
  3. Credibility: Inconsistencies or errors in websites on different browsers can harm the credibility and professionalism of the website. Cross-browser compatibility testing helps maintain a polished appearance and ensures that the website functions correctly, reinforcing users’ trust in the brand or organisation behind the website. 
  4. Customer Satisfaction: Users expect websites to work seamlessly, regardless of the browser they use. Issues like layout distortion, broken functionality, or slow performance will frustrate users and lead to a negative perception of your website. We assume you don’t want this, and cross-browser compatibility testing helps you identify and resolve such issues. 
  5. Conversion Rates: A website that works well across all browsers is more likely to facilitate user interactions such as completing purchases, filling out forms, or signing up for services. By eliminating barriers to user engagement caused by browser compatibility issues, you can improve conversion rates and drive business goals. 
  6. Compliance: Cross-browser compatibility testing ensures compliance with accessibility standards and legal requirements related to web accessibility. Many jurisdictions have regulations to ensure that websites are accessible to users with disabilities, and cross-browser compatibility testing helps identify and address accessibility barriers across different browsers. 

Knowing the importance of cross-browser compatibility testing is important, but knowing how to do it perfectly is even more crucial. How will you do this? 

This is where we bring you the ultimate solution that will redefine your approach.

How do frontend developers ensure cross-browser compatibility?

Testing, testing, testing.

deathpie Posted in Frontend Reddit thread, 5 years ago

How to perform cross-browser compatibility testing with aqua cloud

When you conduct cross-browser compatibility (or any other) testing, what do you want the most? Probably the answer consists of 2 points: 

  • Speed
  • Efficiency

So how do you achieve these? Here is where aqua cloud comes into play. At the end of this section, we have also considered visual proof lovers and long text haters, so you can also skip to the video to avoid all textual explanations of the video.

As mentioned, cross-browser compatibility testing includes executing the same test case across various browsers to ensure consistent behaviour across all platforms. 

One of the primary challenges of the process is not just the execution of tests across various browsers, but the organisation and management of it. Ensuring consistent behaviour of applications across different browsers is crucial, yet managing the tests can be complex and time-consuming. This involves planning which tests to run in which browsers, assigning these tests to various team members, tracking the execution results, viewing the results of previous runs, and rerunning test cycles as needed. 

These tasks are often complicated as you need strong coordination and meticulous record-keeping. Without the right tools, you might resort to using traceability matrices, spreadsheets, or other workarounds that can quickly become cumbersome and inefficient.

Here is where aqua cloud comes into play. Our customer success manager, Robert Weingartz, suggests two approaches to streamline this process using aqua cloud. Let’s delve into each:

Option 1: Using custom fields 

This approach involves creating a custom field in aqua called “browser” to designate the intended browser for each test case. You then duplicate the test case for each browser, adjusting the browser value accordingly. 

aqua simplifies this method by offering placeholders that automatically substitute browser values during test execution, eliminating the need to modify test case descriptions manually. 

This approach provides visual clarity, allowing you to view all test cases at a glance and easily filter or search as needed. It also offers flexibility in modifying test scenarios based on browser specifics. aqua’s support for custom fields and placeholders streamlines the process of cross-browser testing, making it more manageable and efficient for QA teams. 

By using aqua’s intuitive interface and automation capabilities, you can execute test cases seamlessly across multiple browsers, ensuring comprehensive coverage and consistent performance. 

Option 2: Using value sets for test executions 

Alternatively, aqua offers the option to define browser values within value sets stored in a single test case. This eliminates the need to duplicate test cases for each browser, streamlining the testing process. While it might be visually complicated at first (you’ll get used to it with practice), this method is more compact and efficient, requiring only one test case to cover all browser variations. 

aqua facilitates this approach by automatically repeating the test case for each pair of values in the value sets during test execution. You can also incorporate additional variables into your value set, which will be substituted into placeholders during the required step of test execution, thereby introducing the necessary variability.

Additionally, aqua enables you to generate a full set of test cases for each pair of value sets with a single click, saving time and effort in test case creation and management. 

With aqua’s support for value sets and streamlined test case execution, you can execute cross-browser tests more efficiently and effectively. By using aqua’s advanced features and automation capabilities, you can ensure thorough coverage and reliable performance across all browsers. 

So which approach to use? Let’s break them down to make it easier for you to decide:

When executing test cases as part of a test scenario, both options provided by aqua cloud are convenient but have their differences. 

Option 1: Executing test cases within a test scenario enables easy transfer of browser data to defect reports due to direct mapping of custom fields. For instance, if a bug is found while testing in Chrome, the “browser” field in the bug report will automatically inherit the value “Google Chrome.” 

Option 2: aqua cloud allows the creation of a full set of test cases for each pair of value sets in just one click. This feature saves time by generating all test cases for each case, eliminating the need for manual copying, even when dealing with a large number of test cases. 

As a result:

  • Option 1 excels in seamless data transfer, ensuring accurate defect reporting.
  • Option 2 shines in efficiency, particularly for generating multiple test cases with different value sets. Choose the option that aligns best with your specific testing needs and workflows.

And here is the full explanation of the process with all the necessary points you need:

Impressed by all these? This is just one of the hundreds of ways you can streamline your testing process with aqua cloud! Apart from seamless cross-browser compatibility testing, aqua also allows you to generate test cases from requirements in just a few seconds. As an ultimate solution for AI-powered agile testing, aqua’s integration with Capture allows you to generate visual bug reports seamlessly, while its AI Copilot is your ultimate buddy in all your test management efforts. Ready to give your testing process the boost it needs?

Automate 200% of your testing efforts with aqua cloud

Try aqua for free

Types of cross-browser compatibility testing

Now that we’ve showcased how seamlessly you can manage these tests without any hassle with aqua, you might be curious about where else this approach can be applied. Let’s explore the various types of testing to which this methodology can be applied: 

  1. Functional Testing: Ensures that all functionalities of the website or web application work as expected across different browsers. This includes testing features such as form submissions, navigation, and interactive elements. 
  2. Layout Testing: Focuses on verifying that the layout and design of the website remain consistent across different browsers and screen sizes. This includes checking for alignment, spacing, and visual elements’ positioning. 
  3. Performance Testing: Evaluates the website’s performance metrics, such as loading time, responsiveness, and resource utilization, across various browsers. This ensures that the website performs well regardless of the browser being used. 
  4. Cross-Device Testing: Extends compatibility testing to different devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This ensures that the website is optimized for various screen sizes, resolutions, and input methods. 
  5. Cross-Platform Testing: Tests the website across different operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This ensures compatibility with the various browsers available on each platform and identifies any platform-specific issues. 
  6. Browser Version Testing: Validates compatibility with different versions of the same browser, ensuring that the website functions correctly across both current and older browser versions. 
  7. Accessibility Testing: Ensures that the website is accessible to users with disabilities and complies with accessibility standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) across different browsers. 
  8. Localisation Testing: Verifies that the website’s content and functionality are accurately displayed and functional in different languages and locales across various browsers. 
  9. User Experience Testing: Assesses the overall user experience of the website, including ease of use, intuitiveness, and engagement, across different browsers to ensure a positive user experience for all visitors. 

Each type of browser compatibility testing plays a crucial role in ensuring that the website or web application functions reliably and provides a consistent experience across diverse browser environments.

Conclusion

Now that you are ready to try a complete test management tool like aqua cloud, you are ready to rock cross-browser compatibility testing. Gone are the days of tedious manual processes and scattered test cases. With aqua’s intuitive interface, customisable fields, and automation capabilities, you can streamline your testing workflows and ensure consistent performance across all browsers. Say goodbye to the headaches of managing multiple test cases and hello to efficient, reliable testing practices. With aqua cloud by your side, you’re ready to rock cross-browser compatibility testing like never before.

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