What is cross browser testing?

Please anyone explain me the meaning of cross browser testing.

The latest reports show that Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser with 76.8% users, followed by Mozilla Firefox 12.5%, and internet explorer with 4.3%. Different people view your business websites on different web browsers. And you won’t disagree with me that your website/web app is the first thing that the user comes around and it is representing your business face to him. So that has to provide him the best experience. Now say, you have optimized your website for top web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla and Safari. But the question that arises now is have you even tested for all the versions on all these top browsers? Have you tested for the other web browsers than the top browsers that are listed? What about the rest 6.4% people who use other than these browsers? Don’t you want that these people should also see your way the same way the 94.6% people are seeing it? Of course you do!

So what is to be done to test if your website/web app is performing the same for every user who uses the top browsers or the user from the 6.4% people who uses some other browser?

The answer to this question is: You need to perform Cross Browser Compatibility Testing.

Cross-Browser Compatibility is the term which is used to define ‘How your website/web app performs across different browsers and operating systems?’.

Wikipedia explains cross-browser by the definition:

“Cross-browser refers to the ability of a website, web application, HTML construct or client-side script to function in environments that provide its required features and to bow out or degrade gracefully when features are absent or lacking. Ability to test a web application across different browsers to check how the application functionality behaves across all the tested browsers.”

So, you have to be flexible to provide the best user experience as users love flexibility and you can’t know on what platform is he going to experience your website/web app. One way to do this is to set up hundreds and thousands of desktops with all the possible combinations of browsers, operating systems and browser versions. The other way is to use an ecosystem that provides you the platform to access all the combinations on your desktop to perform cross-browser testing.

When and why do you need to take care of Cross-Browser Testing ?

  1. There are some companies, which are limited to any one web browser or OS and they don’t permit their users to use any other combination out of the box. Say if the company allows the user to limit to Windows XP only. So you need to take care of all the browsers and browser versions’ performance on Windows XP. Better to test your website once on all the combinations for XP rather than degrading your performance for them!

  2. If the case is the other way round and the company allows to use only internet explorer, then? Yes, test for all the possible combinations of OSes with IE and its versions to give them the best experience.

  3. If your customer loves the advancements and keenly waits for the latest updates in OSes, Browsers and other configurations then you would love it if he checks out your website on them. In this case, choose your testing platform such that it provides you with the latest release updates at speed. And then test your website for this too!

  4. According to TechCrunch, an average US consumer spends 5 hours a day on mobile phone so you also need to make sure that your user also has the smooth experience on mobile phones too. So making your website mobile compatible must be your utmost priority. You need to test for your website/web app for mobiles also.

You can test for these on different platforms. One such platform is LambdaTest. LambdaTest allows you test your website/ web apps on 2000+ different browser, browser versions and OSes. And it is very easy to use.

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