Nothing is worse than building a website that looks and functions perfectly in one browser, only to find that it is non-functional in another browser. This is often the case for many web developers and designers.
Web browsers perform differently for various reasons. Some work for a specific operating system, some are not updated to keep up with the latest versions of HTML or CSS, and some lack features that are necessary for a good user experience.
With so many web browsers to choose from on so many platforms, web users could more than likely view an inoperable version of your website. This is what makes cross browser testing essential for all websites.
Why You Should Perform Cross Browser Testing
The Consequences of Not Testing Properly
If you only do cross-browser testing for web browsers you have immediate access to, you will run into various issues. One huge issue is a poor user experience. When web users land on your website and it isn’t functioning or displaying properly, they will click away and move on. This increases your website’s bounce rate and can affect how your website ranks in the search engines. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website and click away after visiting only one page. Some search engines take this into account when ranking a website.
Another major issue is the loss of potential new customers and sales. When users are viewing a broken version of your website, they are less likely to buy a product or sign-up to a subscription form. You never know what browser, operating system, or mobile device a user is using at any given moment. That is why it is so important to ensure your website functions properly across as many browsers and mobile/tablet devices as possible.
How to Perform Cross Browser Testing
The main way most people perform cross-browser testing is by having various web browsers installed on their local machine. Depending on the operating system you have installed on your local machine, you are only able to test browsers for that particular operating system. You would also need desktop computers that run other operating systems such as OS X and Linux. The most used operating systems are Windows and OS X (Mac). As you can see, browser testing is a hassle if you do not have immediate access to other operating systems.
The same goes for mobile and tablet devices. You would need access to various types of smartphones and tablets. Many people resort to only testing on the most common mobile phone operating systems such as Android and iOS. However, a website can still render differently across various devices.
A Better Way to Test
There is a much easier way to perform cross-browser testing with more accurate results. A cross-browser testing service allows you to perform live testing of your website across all of the latest (and older) versions of browsers on various operating systems, including mobile and tablet devices. You can receive screenshots that show you how your website displays on each browser and device. Best of all, it can all be done right from your local machine.