Cross-browser testing is defined as the concept that makes sure that a specific website is supported in different types of Internet browsers. It ensures that all the features and functionalities of the website are working in all browsers and there should not be any kind of inconsistency while working on the browser. And performing these cross-browser compatibility tests using cloud resources is in trend these days. There are various benefits of performing these tests using the cloud.
In the current scenario of digitalization, a website is the front card of any organization. When the user goes to a company’s website, if they do not get a good user experience, it may lead to shifting the user from another website. According to a report by Zendesk, almost 50% of users shift to a different product due to their bad user experience. So, a website should be hassle-free, user-friendly, and properly working. In this article, we will discuss what is cross-browser testing? some best practices for cross-browser testing, and various aspects of it.
What is Cross Browser Testing
There are many web development languages and frameworks that can be used to develop a website for the company. And also the users may use different web browsers to surf these websites. It may be possible that some functionality that works in a browser may not work with all the features in another web browser. This happens due to the incompatibility of the website with the browser. Cross-browser compatibility makes sure that the website’s functionality will support the different web browsers and does not degrade the website working.
Need for Cross-Browser Testing using Cloud
There are various reasons why we need to perform cross-browser testing using the cloud. Give below are some of the common reasons discussed:
Setting physical infrastructure requires physical devices and systems that will cost a good amount of money. Using cloud resources and infrastructure to perform cross-browser testing does not require any physical devices. All you need to do is pay for the resources that you want to use on the cloud. And you can use them according to your needs.
As we know, any cloud service is highly scalable. If we use the physical devices and resources for cross-browser testing, we need to buy all the devices for testing whether they are used in the future. But if we use cloud resources, they can be scaled as per the user’s need and use. Scalability of the cloud resources also saves the cost as we have to pay for only resources that we use. And the remaining is saved.
3. Stable environment
Sometimes the physical device may get damaged due to several reasons. And at this time, they are not of use unless the damage gets recovered. But when you are using cloud resources for cross-browser testing there is not any chance of any kind of wear and tear of the device. Apart from this, the cloud sources are always working whether it is a situation of any natural disaster, any power cut-off, etc. A cloud-based testing lab is a perfect solution for this since the environment is resistant to any disaster and accidents.
Physical devices need maintenance after a fixed period of time. This maintenance is both hardware maintenance and software maintenance. Software updates are necessary for the good working of the device. But when you use cloud resources, you do not have to worry about any kind of maintenance. All the updates and issues are solved by the backend team of the cloud provider company.
5. Team Collaboration and Support
While working on a project, it is not possible that every team member is from the same place. So. using the cloud resources helps the team members to access the testing process from any place. The team members that are in the testing team, can see all the details like testing reports, test cases, and test updates from their respective places. So, collaborating on the cloud to test cross-browser compatibility becomes easy and reliable.
Top 6 Practices for Cross-Browser Testing on Cloud Platforms
1. Making a Browser Matrix
Making a browser matrix is defined as the process of making a list that consists of various web browsers and their versions for which we will test our project. Because it is not possible that all your applications will be compatible with all web browsers and their versions. There are many reasons behind it and one of them is that many functions and CSS properties are not supported in all the older browser versions. But we try to make our website and web application more compatible as we can through performing regression browser testing. So, for doing this, we need to build a matrix list in which we will decide which browser is important for that particular web application or website.
This will help us to target more and more users in the future. Develop, for instance, in accordance with your target demographic of Chrome-using marketers. Because the general public upgrades their browsers frequently, your browser matrix should be updated as well. You can organize the elements you can utilize on your website using a browser matrix.
2. Emulators and Virtual Machines
There are many cloud-based software testing tools that provide different emulators and virtual machines that help the developer to test their website exactly like real web browsers. These virtual machines provide an environment just like a different system on your existing system. As we know, testing a web browser across older versions and newer versions as well o increases the efficiency of the website. Using emulators and virtual machines provides these features to test the website at a low cost and with much efficiency. Also, using the virtual machine have more advantages over a traditional testing setup like it provides us environment where we can test our website or web application for a range of web browsers and their versions.
3. Automation and Parallel Testing
Automating Selenium tests is essential for cross-browser testing to reduce test execution time. Executing parallel testing is what makes cross-browser testing full and effective, though, along with those other factors. For instance, if you were to run a test case that takes 10 minutes to complete in parallel, it would only take 10 minutes to complete the task of testing a combination of 10 distinct browsers and devices.
So, using the concept of parallel testing by using the selenium grid helps to test the browser on a large number of web browsers. Also, it helps to run multiple test cases parallelly on different browsers in very less time.
4. Using UI Test Frameworks
You should always be attentive while choosing the UI test frameworks for cross-browser testing. It is one of the most fundamental practices to increase the efficiency of your website or web application. Choosing a good test framework helps to make your testing process easy and seamless. And it also increases the performance of your website. So, it is advised to always choose your UI testing framework wisely and according to your web application or website. There are separate UI test frameworks for both website and web applications.
- UI Test Framework for Web Applications
When we talk about a testing tool for web applications, Selenium is the first choice that comes to the mind of a developer. It is because Selenium provides a very easy interface for software testing. Apart from this, Selenium is also used by the QA and development teams. It helps to prevent any kind of future loopholes in the testing period of the software. Selenium Webdriver is used to automate the testing process. It accepts the commands and then sends them to the browser. Then the browser executes these received commands. Using Selenium to perform cross-browser testing for your web applications saves a lot of time so that the testing team can utilize their time on other things and ultimately this increases the efficiency of the team. Before starting the testing process, always remember to collect all the possible test cases and the different browser matrices that will be used to test the web applications.
- UI Test Framework for Mobile Applications
There are many UI test frameworks available for testing mobile applications. But two of them are very popular and useful for performing cross-browser testing for mobile applications. One is Appium and the second one is Expresso. Appium is an open-source test automation framework that can test hybrid, web, and native mobile applications. Testing can be done for both iOS and Android mobile applications.
Espresso is another free and open-source test automation solution for Android apps. It makes it possible for testers and developers to create trustworthy tests for Android UI. As a result, Espresso performs better than Appium since its tests run more quickly and consistently. Espresso test automation makes advantage of cutting-edge technical techniques including agile development, DevOps, and continuous testing.
5. Test Before Going Live
Always remember to thoroughly check your web application and website before making them live for the public. It is the best practice to check your website at the local level. You can use the local server to host your website and test your application. This helps to gain the user experience at the local level. From the feedback, you can make changes to your website accordingly. this will help you to get a good understanding of your web application or web application.
6. Using Appropriate Tools for Testing
There are many testing tools available in the market for software testing. But one needs to select the appropriate testing tool to test your website efficiently. Choosing your testing tool depends on various factors such as business requirements, the functionality of the website, etc.
Cross-browser compatibility makes sure that the website’s functionality will support the different web browsers and does not degrade the website working. Cross-browser testing can be done using both physical resources as well as cloud resources. Various reasons why we need to perform cross-browser testing using the cloud are low-cost infrastructure, scalability, a stable environment, less maintenance, great teamwork, collaboration, etc. But performing cross-browser testing can be time taking and less productive if not done with the best practices.
There are many practices that we must take care of during cross-browser testing. Some of them are making a browser matrix, using virtual machines and emulators, using the concepts of parallel testing and automation, etc., and using some good UI testing frameworks for the websites like Appium and Expresso. You can subscribe to our youtube channel LambdaTest to learn more about cross-browser compatibility tests and related stuff.