Cross-browser compatibility testing is gaining a lot of attention recently for a good reason. While technology is evolving quickly, people aren’t. A significant number of people are immune to changes, or more specifically, have an objection towards upgrading that technology. In this situation, browser compatibility testing tools empower organizations to ensure that no customer is left behind or has an undesired experience. Even while browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox dominate the market, older versions are still in use.
What is Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing?
Cross-browser compatibility testing online is a non-functional form of testing that highlights your website's basic features and functionality for two users on different browser OS combinations, devices, and assistive tools.
How does it Impact Your Application?
All browsers and devices don't work with the same configuration. They face browser compatibility problems on various levels. This paradox is the reason you might lack application uniformity across devices and browsers. You did not want a section of your prospective users to be unable to access the application features.
Which Browsers Should You Choose For Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing?
It is doubtful to test every possible browser device combination, so you should shortlist the important ones to test your web application on. According to a recent survey, Google Chrome has the highest number of users. It covers about 65% of the market. Safari is second with a market share of 11%, followed by Firefox with 8.3% and Edge with 7.4%. While others, such as Internet Explorer and Opera, have a market share of approximately 2-3% each. Google Chrome and Firefox are important for every business given the volume of users. Nevertheless, browsers such as Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer should also be a part of testing, and a subset of them could be chosen dependent on your traffic.
Also Read: 10 Cross Browser Testing Tools
Are Browsers like Edge, Safari, and Internet Explorer Still Relevant For Cross-Browser Compatibility?
Surprisingly, they are. Let's look at the market share of these browsers in different nations to see how each one is significant despite the low worldwide user figures. Safari is mostly used by Apple users, who can spend more than users of other devices. This might apply to luxury brands, for example. IE and Edge were developed by Microsoft, which is still a preferred platform among users who prioritize its family of corporate tools and more. The fact that Microsoft Edge has launched with Windows 10 means that many people who use previous versions of Windows still use IE. It’ll take time for Edge to emerge in terms of market share with new versions of the Windows OS. Let's look at specific markets such as Germany, the UK, and the US to see if browsers like Safari, IE, and Edge are significant in more ways:
1. Germany's Browser Usage Pattern
In 2018, Germany's market share of web browsers showed Google Chrome to be the most widely used web browser, followed by Safari and Firefox. Internet Explorer also has a considerable market share of 5.7%. Internet Explorer lags with a 4.04 percent share, which should increase over time as older versions of Windows become obsolete. Surprisingly, Samsung's internet browser holds 5th place in Germany with a slightly higher market share than Edge.
2. Browser Usage Pattern in The UK
Chrome is still the most popular browser in the United Kingdom. However, Safari and Internet Explorer both outperform Firefox, with Edge ranking fifth in terms of market share. It goes on to demonstrate how neglecting certain browsers based on worldwide market share can hurt the bottom line for firms operating in different countries.
3. Browser Usage Patterns in The US
Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox all have a notable presence in the United States. Following an examination of region-specific browser market shares, it is obvious that IE, Edge, and Safari are still significant for cross-browser compatibility. It all comes down to your company's target demographic. Company policies can also have an impact on browser selection. While private enterprises may choose which browsers they support, government portals cannot. For everyone in the public domain to have access to the information and services, they must be compatible with all browsers.
4. Finding The Right Balance
It is critical to select the appropriate combination of web browsers and operating systems for testing. Typically, there is a trade-off between the expense of testing and reach. Thus, the goal of this entire process is to strike the correct balance—testing on the fewest browsers/devices possible to guarantee that the greatest number of users can use the application.
How to do Browser Compatibility Testing While Keeping Feasibility in Mind?
Once you have chosen browsers based on their popularity and audience, you can commence cross-browser compatibility testing online manually or using automation tools like Selenium. These are powerful, robust, and trusted by most organizations in the automation testing space. Considering utility and cost, you may also use a cloud-based testing infrastructure instead of buying and maintaining a lab of real devices to perform cross-browser testing.
Some practices need to be considered while cross-browser compatibility testing:
- Researching Your Audience
It is essential to perform market research for the target audience before starting cross-browser testing randomly. It helps to analyze the right set of browsers used by the audience in specific locations.
- Prepare a Browser Matrix
Drifter includes the process of compiling a list of browsers necessary for the application to be tested. It aids in focusing development and testing efforts for a certain range of browsers and devices. Restricting the number of supported browsers encourages teams to focus on the most popular ones relevant to the target audience. It helps in reducing the website's exposure to cross-browser bugs.
- Choose the Right Automation Tool
Selection browser compatibility testing tools is a massive task that requires automation to complete. it is also important for teams to choose the right set of tools and frameworks that help them achieve comprehensive test coverage faster. Always look for tools that are easy to use and allow testing of maximum browsers.
- Run Tests on Real-World Browsers
Running cross-browser testing across real devices helps in identifying bugs that an end-user may face in the real world. These bags may be overlooked while using emulators for simulators.
Given the difference in the implementation of open web standards by different web browsers and web developers, the task of finding a middle way of compatibility through cross-browser testing is daunting. It is the only way to deliver a consistent user experience across different browsers and devices.