Over the years, cross browser testing has been an important area for businesses to stay ahead of their competition by ensuring that their web applications and websites function equally across all recent browser types and versions. Whether you’re creating a brand new website/web app or you’re running a live one, you can’t really afford to ignore cross browser testing.
What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross browser testing is the process of testing web apps and websites across different combinations of browsers, operating systems/platforms and devices to ensure that they are working as intended across all such combinations. Since each web browser has its own way of rendering websites, cross browser testing has long been a very crucial aspect of how websites and web apps are designed, developed and tested.
However, if you are confused between manual testing vs. automation testing for cross browser tests, then this should really be a no-brainer. Considering the fact that here we are talking about executing a large number of tests across a combination of different platforms repeatedly, automation is often the preferred choice. This is quite evident in the way how many leading software testing companies have actually gone ahead and invested in creating robust cross browser test automation accelerator frameworks and how some of the popular community-driven test automation platforms such as TestProject support a wide variety of environments where you can create and run automated tests for web and mobile apps on a variety of browsers and mobile devices (they have built-in integrations with Sauce Labs and BrowserStack!), and on any operating system (Windows, Linux or macOS). Thus using one of the popular cross browser cloud testing solutions appears to be your best bet, if you want to seriously get some compatibility testing done.
Why Choose Automation for Cross Browser Testing?
Being someone who has spent over 15 years in the software testing industry, I know the pain of running cross browser tests using a manual approach. It can quickly become a very tedious and time-consuming exercise if you attempt to test every browser, OS/platform and device on your own. Fortunately, today test automation has evolved beyond just the tools and is now better equipped to provide faster and more efficient ways of performing cross browser tests without sacrificing reliability.
Like it or not, if you sincerely want to achieve near-100% test coverage as far as cross browser testing is concerned, then automating your cross compatibility tests is the only viable way to do it.
Top 5 Benefits of Automated Cross Browser Testing
Irrespective of the size of a website, all public-facing websites and web applications would derive clear and measurable benefits from an automated cross browser testing approach. Let’s look at some of the benefits of automated cross browser tests.
1. Simultaneous Test Execution Results in Faster Testing
The biggest challenge that automation testing poses is scalability. It’s the need to execute each and every test across all the possible combinations of different browsers, their different versions, operating systems, their different versions, devices, platforms is what makes it a tedious and time-consuming task. What makes it even worse is that every time there is a new build or a hotfix that requires testing, your testing team would need to re-run all those tests across all those combinations of browsers all over again.
By leveraging automation, you can easily mitigate this challenge. Automated cross browser tests thus helps you to quickly and simultaneously run parallel tests across the combinations and this results in much faster delivery.
2. Save Time and Money
Cross browser tests often requires mundane and repetitive tests that can be a boring and time-consuming task if done manually. By identifying and automating all the common tests that need to be repeated across all combinations of browsers, you can not only save time but also improve return on investment (ROI).
3. Higher Test Coverage
As discussed previously, one of the major challenges with cross browser testing is the need to execute and re-execute tests across many different combinations of browsers, platforms and devices. Often, testing teams are short on time and are forced to skip some of these combinations for lack of time.
But, by leveraging automation testing you can quickly eliminate this bottleneck. For example, if you need to run a 30-minute long test across 15 different browser combinations but have only 4 hours to finish testing everything, then automation is your best bet because by simultaneous parallel test execution you can do it much faster and more efficiently.
4. More Accurate Test Results
Let’s admit it! Even the most experienced testers can let a defect out due to momentary lack of focus or oversight. With automation, any such human errors can be completely avoided. This can result in improved test accuracy because your test automation tool is free from human emotions that often result in oversight — such as boredom, fatigue or stress.
5. Get More Testing Done With Fewer Resources
This one may be a general benefit with any type of test automation, but it also applies to cross browser tests. By using test automation for running your cross compatibility tests, you will need far less number of testers than you’d have needed if it was run manually. This in turn helps with faster test execution that not only scales but also saves time and money.
Running cross browser testing isn’t only about ensuring that your websites/web apps are responsive but to take the guesswork out of your web development process. There can be dozens of possible browsers and an insane number of browser/platform/device combinations, but with automated cross browser testing you can make testing all of these possibilities much easier.