How to perform cross-browser testing and why it is important

In this article we are reviewing Comparium, a cross-browser testing tool that shows how your website is going to render is different operating systems and on different browsers. Read our article on how to utilize this tool to reduce your QA timeline and get better results.

I am a backend developer and therefore, don't think much about the UX feel that our end users get. After all, that is the responsibility of the engineers working on the front-end. Due to this reason, many times I just focus if the thing is working or not, instead of giving much thought if that could be presented to the user in a much easier way. However, when I am out of the office and am myself browsing different websites, the same inconveniences make me choose which website to use out of the many available out there. In fact, when I think about it, some of the websites we worked on, broke easily on Microsoft Edge. Though our target users were not going to use it, we did have to make sure that it is at least properly visible on Microsoft Edge.

It strikes me how important testing user experiences is for websites. And while my team does a great job of it, they limit themselves to a limit few screen types and to just 2 browsers - Chrome and Firefox. However, giving them different hardware to try out different screen sizes or to ask them to try out multiple browsers on different operating systems when our release cycles are so frequent, is just too inconvenient. What we need is a cross-browser testing tool that can take care of these permutations and combinations and give me a test result on which my team can now work.

While I am sure that there are great tools for this both offline and online, I will be focussing on the first satisfactory website we found for cross-browser testing. The website that offers this service is Comparium. The application is available to use for free and you don't even need to sign up to start using their application.
Comparium home page
It emulates the screen of our website in different browsers and on different operating systems on a desktop/laptop computer. In these different screens, you can easily see how your various webpages look like. However, you can't navigate or check any functionality since it just offers a screenshot of how your website looks in that particular configuration and not a complete emulated environment.
Combination of cross-browser testing configurations
The service offers a large combination of operating systems, browsers and browser versions.
Operating systems on offer:

  • Windows 7
  • Mac OS
  • Mac OS Dark Mode
  • Linux
Browsers for Cross-browser testing
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari
  • Opera
I personally would have prefered to have Microsoft Edge here instead of Internet Explorer, but still, other browsers are more of a priority so no issues! This tool a handy way to quickly do the basic QA work of your website and get it ready for more advanced testing.

Wrap up

Being a free tool, Comparium offers a cool suite of cross-browser testing which can save any UI development team a lot of time from their QA efforts. With the screenshots its offers, a QA can easily attach these images in his/her report for quick turnaround on the QA backlog. A must try out the tool for every UI team that is looking out for automated tools to reduce their UI testing task across browsers and operating systems.


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