6 Tips To Enhance Cross Browser Device Testing

September 14, 2021
 by 
Sharon Chu

Years ago, when mobile devices were not as prevalent and multiple browsers with different operating systems dominated the internet, developers spent considerable time building and testing their products on every platform. Today, websites need to be compatible with various browsers and operating systems to succeed in the digital world. 

The How is simple: Ensuring a customer who visits a site on Google Chrome does not have a vastly different experience than a customer who visits the site on Safari or any other browser. 

Cross-browser device testing is imperative for any online business and website, but given the numerous browsers available online, developers need a comprehensive cross-browser device testing plan and the appropriate tools to build a website or mobile application their users will revisit.

An effective cross-browser device testing strategy ensures a consistent and quality experience on each and every browser. Here are six tips for enhancing cross-browser testing.

1. Test on all browsers

First and foremost, run your development or live website on all available browsers. 

Manually testing sites on several browsers can be time-consuming and not always accurate, but we suggest at least starting the process with prominent and popular browsers. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera are user favorites.

As you move forward with your testing, you can employ HeadSpin’s end-to-end automated testing to remotely examine and debug your website on several devices as well as browsers. This solution allows developers and testers to check the website or app on real devices at scheduled times for both manual and automatic testing.

2. Choose a browser that is most popular with your customers as the primary browser for testing

While it is best practice to check your site’s compatibility with several browsers, pay special attention to the one that is most popular with your customers. A visitor survey will show you which browser is the most regularly used to explore your website. 

If your customers majorly employ Chrome to browse your site, then that should be your primary benchmark for all cross-browser device testing. Once you pinpoint the most popular browser, use it as a basis for testing other browsers to save significant time.

After running several tests on your primary browser, move onto other platforms and continue your tests to see how the website behavior differs or stays similar to your primary browser. Make necessary changes to your site based on your observations and recheck using the primary browser to ensure the UX works as expected after the modifications.

3. Use HeadSpin to test on different versions of browsers and operating systems

HeadSpin is a global testing, performance monitoring, and QoE management platform that offers developers the ability to test the websites and mobile applications across several on-demand browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices (iOS and Android). 

It allows developers to test the site and apps during the build phase, giving them the power to change and modify the product before sending the final output to the tester.

The best feature of HeadSpin is the ability to remotely test and debug web, audio, and video applications across thousands of real devices connected to carrier networks across the globe. HeadSpin’s holistic approach helps developers pre-release the applications to real device users, run and schedule tasks parallelly, and automate the entire process. 

4. Test responsive layouts across mobile devices

Nearly 5 billion people use smartphones currently and this figure will increase multifold in the coming years. So, it is important to ensure your website renders perfectly on mobile devices.

To ensure that your website is compatible with smartphones with various screen dimensions and configurations, developers and QAs must run tests on such mobile devices to check for performance and UX issues. Additionally, you need to test for CSS and HTML broken elements.

Carry out cross-browser device testing in responsive layouts on different iOS and Android devices, including testing with updated or older versions of several browsers. A responsive layout will improve the experience for smartphone users, a group that will only grow in the future.

5. Check for cross-browser rendering issues using Chrome’s Inspect Element tool

Did you know that it is possible to temporarily edit your website’s CSS and HTML elements without pushing out any change to the live site? With Chrome’s Inspect Element Tool, you can check for cross-browser rendering issues without making any permanent changes to the site. 

Simply right-click and select the ‘Inspect’ option to throw up the CSS and HTML elements of the page. Now you can perform cross-browser device tests to check for any rendering issues.

Using the ‘Inspect Element’ feature is a simple way to perform cross-browser device testing for any possible UI and UX problems before pushing the final code live.

6. Run various tests, including JavaScript, CSS, and HTML validation tools, to ensure everything works properly across all browsers

JavaScript, CSS, and HTML codes run every action or feature on your website from behind the scenes. These actions or features can involve a click, scroll, or automated carousel. 

Therefore, a key element of cross-browser device testing is to check the authenticity and reliability of these codes on the website. These tests include using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML validation tools to test how well the codes work across various browsers and devices. These automated tools provide reliable and accurate results along with any syntax or format errors.

You can use paid and free HTML and CSS validators while writing the code. Several reliable tools are available for JavaScript validation that show the syntax, internal, and URL that is useful in easily fixing issues to make your website and applications cross-browser compatible. You would need to run and compile the code for runtime and logical errors and see highlighted errors.

Final Thoughts

With so many browsers available today, you need a concrete cross-browser device testing strategy to build a website that runs consistently across browsers and ensures happy users and business success. These six tips are a great place to start.