Cross Browser Testing can be the biggest pain for Software testers. But thanks to all cross-browser testing tools available online which help to minimize testing efforts.
I’ve written this post mainly for software testers but designers can also refer to cross-browser testing methods and tools mentioned in this post.
Here’s a handy cross-browser testing checklist you can refer to while testing your web project on different browsers and operating systems:
1) CSS validation
2) HTML or XHTML validation
4) Ajax and jquery functionality
5) Font size validation
6) Page layout in different resolutions
7) All images and alignment
8) Header and footer sections
9) Page content alignment to center, LHS, or RHS
10) Page styles
11) Date formats
12) Special characters with HTML character encoding
13) Page zoom-in and zoom-out functionality
And obviously, you will have to repeat these tests on:
14) Different Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, and Mac
15) Different browsers (with different versions) like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera.
There are many free and paid cross-browser testing tools available in the market. You need to select the browser compatibility tool depending on your needs. If cross-browser testing is a critical part of your web project then you must allocate considerable time, resources, and budget to test your website on different web browsers. Paid cross-browser testing tools can be also a good option for projects having browser-dependent functionality. But for most of the projects, free cross-browser testing tools are sufficient to verify cross-browser functionality
Check out the below list of all cross-browser testing tools available online for the testing website in multiple browsers:
Free Cross Browser Testing Tools:
1) Spoon Browser Sandbox:
The Spoon Browser Sandbox allows you to use almost all web browsers without installing on your machine. You can run all popular browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera on your machine directly from the web. (Note: Currently Internet Explorer is removed temporarily from the list of this sandbox)
Spoon Browser Sandbox is a free service currently supporting the following browsers:
Mozilla Firefox versions: Firefox 2, Firefox 3, Firefox 3.5, Firefox 3.6, Firefox 4 beta
Internet Explorer versions: IE6, IE7, IE8
Google Chrome versions: Chrome, Chrome 5, and Chrome 6 beta
Opera versions: Opera 9 and Opera 10
Browsershots allow you to test the website in any browser and operating system. This is a widely used cross-browser testing tool because of its features and available customizations.
You need to repeat the steps for every test. This free browser compatibility test service can be used for taking website screen-shots almost in 61 browsers and various operating systems.
The main drawback of this service is the time taken to display the result when you select many browsers and many times it shows a timeout error.
Supported browsers: IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Minefield, Netscape and many more browsers with all versions.
3) IE NetRenderer
This is a free online browser compatibility check tool to test websites on almost all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Just select the Internet Explorer version from the drop-down list and put your URL to start rendering the website. You can instantly verify the screen-shot of the page under test.
There is also an “IE NetRenderer” Firefox add-on available that allows you to render the web page that you are currently reading.
4) IE Tab
A Firefox and Chrome add-on to simulate IE browse with a single click of a button. This is the best tool for software testers and developers since you can easily view how your web page displayed in Internet Explorer with just one click using Firefox or Chrome browsers. Unfortunately, this add-on is not available for Firefox 6.0 and above versions. But again a good tool to quickly start your testing on Internet explorer when you have either Firefox or Google Chrome browsers.
5) IE Tester
There are many options available online if you want to check browser compatibility on Internet Explorer versions. IE tester is one of those options that allows you to test your website on multiple Internet Explorer versions at the same time using one application.
IETester, a free cross-browser testing tool can be used to test websites on IE 5.5, IE6, IE7, IE8 and IE9 preview browsers on Windows 7, Vista and XP operating systems.
6) Microsoft SuperPreview
Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview free cross-browser testing software allows you to test and debug layout issues across different IE browsers and platforms. You can check websites in different browsers simultaneously. Also, check how a page renders in a browser and compare it with other standard screen-shots you have.
Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer shows your web pages rendered in Internet Explorer 6 and either Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, depending on which version you have installed on your machine.
If you can’t rely on these free online cross-browser testing tools then using Virtual Desktop is the best solution for you. Using a Virtual machine you can simulate a live environment for multiple browsers and different operating systems. You can use virtual machine software or can set up a virtual machine in your office network with different operating system images and browsers which can be accessed remotely for browser compatibility testing.
Paid Cross Browser Testing Tools:
This is an automated browser compatibility testing tool used to test a website and its elements in multiple browsers. You can use this service to test websites and all web pages for layout and scripting errors.
8 ) Adobe BrowserLab
You can preview web pages across multiple versions of Internet Explorer (Windows), Firefox (Windows and Mac OS X), Safari (Mac OS X), and Chrome (Windows). You can quickly view full screen-shots with multiple view options and customizable test settings. You can also test web page content by zooming particular sections and comparing those with different browser screen-shots for alignment and other layout issues.
BrowserCam is a paid online service that allows you to view your web pages across different platforms and browsers, either by automatically taking the screen-shot or manually navigating web pages in different browsers. A free trial is available for 200 screen captures in a day.
BrowserSeal cross-browser testing tool allows you to capture an image of your website under different browsers with a single click of a mouse. You can navigate images to spot layout and UI issues. Browse real tools support almost all major versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari.
Free Trial version of Browserseal is also available, limited to two browsers (Firefox and Internet Explorer) and one screen-shot per session.
11) Cross Browser Testing
12) Cloud Testing
Cloud Testing tool allows you to check website look and feel and the functionality on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari. Opera and Google Chrome browsers on real operating systems in the cloud.
Over to you!
As of now, you should have a clear idea of many free and paid cross-browser testing tools available online. Obviously, the selection of a good cross-browser testing tool depends on your requirements as each browser compatibility checking tool comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Which cross-browser testing tools/methods you use to test browser compatibility?