The Importance Of Crossbrowser Compatibility In The Success Of A Website



How To Make A Cross Browser Compatible Website?

In the present world where the population is using a variety of platforms and devices to access a website or software. So it becomes very important for the enterprises to check for the cross-browser compatibility of the websites as much as possible.

It is a common experience that a website which works perfectly in one browser looks distorted in the other browser. Situations occur like the elements are not loading properly or it is hard to give input and some of its functionalities are not working the way they should.

All these things impact the user experience very adversely and it gets very frustrating to perform a simple task.

A cross-browser compatibility test is a process of checking the functionality of the software and applications on different common browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc and devices with different resolutions and operating systems like Android, iOS, etc and even on the combination of them.

Importance of Cross Browser Compatibility Test

1. It is the way to verify ‘if the software is working as per expectations on the top used browsers or not?’. The software which is not tested to work on these platforms might have some bugs which will result in losing potential users of your product.

2. It will provide freedom to the user for operating the application from any device, browser or OS and will enjoy equal user experience regardless of the platform or hardware used.

3. Even it is very embarrassing and bad for the reputation of an enterprise if a user reports that the software is not working properly on a top browser. So it is always better to identify and correct the incompatibility or the bugs in the website before a user encounters it.

crossbrowser compatibility

Image Source: Stanton Streets

And even if it is not corrected, but it can at least help in informing the user about the appropriate browser to have the best user experience.

Cross Browsers Test Coverage

Performing cross browsers testing on all combinations is a very time-consuming task and doesn’t offer enough profit in return. Only a top few combinations are chosen based on the number of users on certain platforms.

The developers ask for the data of users on different browsers, devices and OS and arrange them in decreasing order to find out ‘testing on which combinations will give enough test coverage?’.

To prevent the rejection of the software or website by the user it is necessary to verify it on the top used browsers, operating systems and devices.

Generally, a software Quality Assurance is responsible for Crossbrowser compatibility testing and should answer the question that ‘how to make a website compatible with all browsers?’.

Crossbrowser Compatibility Problems

1. the Disturbed arrangement of User interface

2. Inconsistency of fonts on different browsers

3. Alignments might also be different

4. Changes in CSS style sheet and colours

5. Content overlapping

6. Distorted tables and frames

Image Source: Software Testing Help

Ways to Avoid Crossbrowser Compatibility Problems?

1. Obsolete java scripts lead to cross-browser compatibility issues and can be prevented by using a Modernizer instead of Browser detection. Modernizer has a list of tests to perform as per the specifications of the browsers. 

2. The HTML and CSS browser compatibility can be validated as per browser requirements by using validation tools as different browsers read the code in different ways.

3. Since websites are rendered differently on different browsers, so to prevent this incompatibility CSS reset style sheets can be used to ‘reset’ website to its default mode.

4. Sometimes the layout of the websites are not supported by modern browsers. To prevent this, the float can be used which are supported by most browsers. 

Even CSS Grids and Flexbox can be used to design layouts dedicated to a specific browser.

5. A checklist of features should be prepared while testing the software on different browsers to prevent compatibility issues after release.

6. The website should use third-party libraries and frameworks, as they provide scalability, structure and security to the application and neglection of this may lead to compatibility issues.

7. Separate stylesheets should be prepared for each supporting browser.

Ways to Test Cross-Browser Compatibility

Cross-browser compatibility can be tested both manually and by using automation tools.

1. Manual Testing

To perform the test manually, the team would have to test the software on different devices with different operating systems and browsers installed on them.

But this process is very time-consuming and requires a lot of efforts. Along with that, it is not cost-effective to purchase all these machines to just test the compatibility of software on them. 

Image Source: Cross Browser Testing

Manual testing can also be done by using cloud services like Sauce Labs, Browser Stack, etc. These services provide an environment for testing the software on the desired browsers, platforms and devices virtually. 

Even these services allow previewing an application under development on different platforms. 

2. Automation Testing

For making the testing automatic, test frameworks like Selenium can be used to write test cases which can be executed on Sauce Labs and Browser Stack.

Crossbrowser Compatibility Testing Tools

1. Browserstack

It is a cross-browser testing platform for mobile and web applications. It claims to help clients in increasing their release rate and deploy software with comfortable user experience on all platforms.

It provides the exact representation of application on devices and allows quick troubleshooting.

2. Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs allows running parallel tests on different platforms. Even the video of the whole test can be recorded in it.

Its user interface is easy to understand and use. Along with that, it offers a wide choice of devices, operating system versions to test the software on.

With Sauce Labs, the applications can be easily tested on devices not available locally. But customers find it more expensive than the other alternatives.

Image Source: ToolsQA

There are also other tools available for cross-browser compatibility testing like

  • Browsershots
  • CrossBrowser Testing
  • Browserling
  • Lambda Test
  • Comparium
  • Multibrowser
  • Testingbot
  • Ghostlab

Crossbrowsers compatibility testing is necessary to increase the usability and the quality of the software. It increases the quality of the user experience. It is done after the integration and the system testing is completed.

The software is made compatible with the browsers that have more user traffic than the other.