How to Build The Right Browser List For Cross Browser Testing

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cross browser testing

Cross browser testing is no longer a new term in the world of software development. However, with the ever-increasing number of browsers and operating system combinations, it becomes practically impossible to test your website on each and every one of them. Despite this difficulty, it is crucial to ensure the compatibility of the website with all the leading browsers and operating systems and carefully pick those ‘leading browsers and Operating system’ combinations.

The entire process can be quite cumbersome and overwhelming, to say the least. This article is all about how to manage this issue and get an easy way out. Following is a list of the most important factors that need to be considered before preparing the list for cross browser testing –

  1. Careful Analysis Of Traffic – However an important point to note here is that although Google Analytics is one of the most awesome tools to take a note of the incoming traffic trends but it does not give you any idea about prospects. Thus, even if Google Analytics does not suggest a particular browser or operating system combination but you feel like including it, then you must include it.

Apart from that, you must include all the popular options like Google Chrome, Safari and Mozilla Firefox. Talking about the desktop operating systems that must be included, you cannot afford to miss out on Windows 7, Windows 10, Windows XP, Windows 8, Mac 10.12 (Sierra) and Mac 10.11 (El Capitan). While ensuring compatibility with mobile devices, pay attention to Android 6, Android 5, iOS 10, Android 7, Android 4, iOS 10 and iOS 11.

cross browser testing

Global leaders in a field must be paid special attention. For instance, Samsung phones have registered worldwide recognition over time and must occupy an important place in the list. But, if you want to delegate the task and want to prepare a region specific list, you must majorly concentrate on Apple in USA, for instance. Taking the idea forward, this will result in a location-specific browser list for cross browser testing and change from region to region. Keep using tools like StatCounter to keep a close eye on your target market.

  1. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is quite a popular web analytics tool today. It efficiently keeps a track of the incoming website traffic and has over time gained such popularity that today it is the web analytics service with the highest number of users on the internet.  The tool offers you an easy access to the behavior of your audience. It tells you what browsers and OS they are using to communicate with you.

Making a smart use of this data, you can decide which browsers and operating systems should feature in your browser list for cross browser testing. The higher the number of users on a given browser or OS, the higher its position on the browser list. Apart from that, it will also give you a fair share of knowledge based on topography, demographic factors, psychographic factors etc, further helping you to make a useful list. Apart from Google Analytics, you can use the following tools to understand your user behavior –

Statcounter – Apart from that, you can use tools like Stat-counter to get an idea about what has been striking a chord with the audience of late. It helps you understand your visitors and their mindset better so that you can take better and informed decisions regarding your business. However, the easiest way to go about it is to study some user survey reports and make intelligent guesses about what browsers and operating systems are topping the charts.

Mixpanel Trends – It is yet another product analytics tool that can help you in the task. It gets you data that helps you analyze and understand more about the changing consumer activity and trends across desktop and mobile devices. The reports on this platform help you interpret some of the most important trends so you can make smarter and informed decisions to grow your business.

StatistaStatista is yet another online tool that helps you with statistics, market research and business intelligence portal. It provides exclusive access to data from market and opinion research institutions so that you can wisely invest in profitable deals.

  1. Old And Problematic Browsers – Not everyone catches up with the technological advances. While preparing that ideal browser list for cross browser testing, it is important to include a few old browsers too which you think are no longer in fashion. Another reason behind that is that older browsers are hardly compatible with modern development techniques and are expected to be more troublesome. Apart from that, keep an eye on devices that are about to be launched. You can study their features and use some simulators to test your product. Although a majority of the users have happily shifted to the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, a section of society is still in love with Internet Explorer. It holds the controversial title of being one of the most troublesome browsers ever. We are not at all suggesting you to run tests on 100 browsers every regression, but performing some exploratory testing and visual testing on a considerable array of browsers and operating systems is always a safer alternative.
  2. A Smart Guess – Lastly, we can say that there is no hard and fast rule on what to include and what to leave. Your field experience, intuition, and knowledge on the subject matters. As a developer, you must be well-acquainted with the nitty-gritty of the field. For instance, if you are a mobile business professional all the mobile browsers and operating systems must be a priority for you.

Hence, these were the top tricks to build the right browser list for cross browser testing.  Also, does not matter how hard you try, you cannot just test on each and every browser. So, it is necessary to prioritize your list for cross browser testing. You can use a cross browser testing tool like LambdaTest to perform cross browser testing. These cross browser testing tools help you to cover all your browser list in a minimum time possible. So, go ahead, build a list and start testing.