What is Cross Browser Testing for?
When the administrator of a web page refrains from doing compatibility tests with different browsers, it is very likely that his website is not optimized for all browsers, which can lead to unsightly display errors. Compatibility problems arise mainly from the fact that browsers interpret standardized code differently. If you focus too much on a single browser as a web designer, you will lose sight of features that will surely be important to others. Here it is important to put personal preferences in the background, since those that really count are those of the visitors. Remember that the efforts invested in designing a web page are not worth it if the content is not displayed correctly in the browsers used by users.
Optimizing a web page for different browsers also plays an important role within responsive web design. Here it is also necessary to consider the most popular browsers on mobile operating systems such as Android. Optimizing Cross Browser can be a tedious task, as the correct operation of the elements can often only be checked manually with a preview in the different browsers. In practice, the most common problems are usually:
- The difficult (through a virtual machine) or, in many cases impossible, installation of Internet Explorer on the computer;
- Verification in Safari not valid for Windows or Linux users;
As a consequence, and because it is not obvious that a web administrator has the different versions of the main browsers installed, there are numerous tools, also known as Cross Browser Testing Tools, that offer navigation packs. These include the hardware resources required to perform functional tests for a specified time.
How do Cross Browser Testing Tools work?
The different online services of Cross Browser Testing not only test the compatibility of the elements of a web page in the latest versions of browsers, but also in their older versions. Obsolete versions are often found on commercial computers that should also be considered. Therefore, the focus, capabilities, and price of the tools will vary significantly.
For example: if you want to optimize an Intranet application for a small company, it can be assumed that there will be very few differences between one version of a browser and another. Most tools help install some versions of the desired browser on the system. Subsequently, automatic screenshots will be taken to record the representation of the web in the different browsers.
If, on the other hand, the aim is to optimize a web page that will receive visits from a wide variety of users, the revision will imply too large a number for its own test system, in addition to the fact that it will be necessary to have different operating systems. At this point, online screen capture tools could be used that offer viewing in standard or selected browsers as needed. In most cases, this method will only show HTML and CSS errors, ignoring the revision of the correct operation of the integrated web applications. To prevent the review from overlooking important elements, there are the so-called Cross Browser Testing Tools, which allow remote access to the chosen browser. These allow you to view a web page in a browser without having to install it, which represents complete independence from some hardware resources, which would otherwise be essential.
The best Cross Browser Testing Tools
Checking if the elements of a web project work and are displayed correctly on different devices and with different browsers is more important than ever. The compatibility between browsers of a web page not only guarantees the satisfaction of your visitors, reducing the bounce rate, but it will also have a positive impact on the positioning of your web in the main search engines. Here are some of the best Cross Browser Testing Tools on the market:
The BrowserStack tool allows you to check the functionality of a web page in more than 700 browsers. The server offers physical devices for most tests, for verification on Android it also provides emulators in a similar way to the verification performed by the Selenium framework. The verification process includes instant access to all browsers and unlimited time to check your personal settings. BrowserStack uses powerful scripts that search and correct errors in real time, even for web pages that are still under development. Screenshots for design analysis must be generated manually and their resolution range will range from 800 x 600 to 2048 x 1536 pixels. Once the trial period has ended, it is possible to choose between three monthly packs, the most basic pack does not include automated testing.
Spoon Browser Sandbox
Spoon Browser Sandbox is another service that offers a virtual browser. However, the tool only runs through its own PC. To the extent that resources allow, the Sandbox browser tests different versions of the most popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari) without having to install them on your computer. Thanks to the browser emulators, the importance of the used operating system comes to the background, allowing you to test browsers that may not be compatible. The free version of the tool only allows the use of a single browser, while the monthly paid versions allow you to test an unlimited number of browsers simultaneously. In addition, you will have online access to the Sandbox Tools, which help you optimize your website through image captures or storable test records.