Cross-browser testing tools: A comparison

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Gone are the days when web standards were a mess, with limited browser support. Well, you must have encountered an issue with the website and on calling the technical team, they tell you to try the same website in another browser. And it works pretty fine for you.

So, is it your fault or lack of your technical expertise?

The answer is “NO”.

It’s just that the website is not extensively tested with cross-browser testing tools and lacks compatibility with some browsers. Every browser interprets the information and presents it on the website in a different manner. Some browsers may lack the features you are trying to display on your website that makes your website look broken on the browser.

Just like the below example image indicates different responses of the same website. The errors of sign-up forms are different on both browsers.

A comparison between interfaces of chrome and safari

 Today, the web scenario is entirely different and in fact, much better. 

All thanks to open-source cross-browser testing tools.

“Any software tool is considered as open source if you can use and modify over the original design. The open-source tools don’t have a commercial license but serves the specific purpose of testing.”

With the next-gen technologies and tools, it is now possible to make your website work perfectly on all web and mobile browsers. The users should not be restricted to use any browser to access your website. Some of the commonly used browsers include Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera.

all browser icons

That being the background story, let’s understand the “What, why, how, who, when, where” of cross-browser testing.

Why is Cross Browser Testing Important?

Imagine that you are trying to access a website or app from MacBook Air. You open the Safari browser and type the URL, enter, and wait for the website to load. When it gets open, none of the images and media files gets loaded. All the text and buttons are over the web page. You check for internet connectivity and reload the page on the same screen. If it still does not open, you will assume that the site has some issue or is broken.

Now, the next obvious step is to find an alternative.

This is where open-source cross-browser testing tools come into the picture. The testing process ensures that the website and apps work in a smooth and uniform manner on all the browsers and devices used by your customers –

  • Browsers – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.
  • Operating systems – Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, etc.
  • Devices – Laptop, tablet, mobile, desktop, smart TV, etc.

Here is what you need to check with cross-browser testing.

CSS and HTML validationSpecial characters with HTML Character encodingPage validation with and without JavaScript enabled
Ajax and JQuery functionalityFont SizePage layout in different resolutions
Images and alignmentHeader and footer sectionsPage content alignment to center, LHS, or RHS
Page stylesDate formatsPage zoom-in and zoom-out functionality

Hence, it is required to check the performance, user interface, and overall compatibility of the applications on all these combinations. Cross-browser testing helps to provide a high-quality and consistent experience across all browsers, operating systems, and devices.

How to Perform Cross-Browser Testing?

Now we started talking. So, cross-browser testing can be performed through the manual process or automated testing methods. Let’s understand both the choices.

Cross browser testing process infographics

Manual Method

Manual testing is performed by checking the website on multiple browsers, machines, and operating systems. Then, the same test cases need to be performed again to observe the behavior of the application and report bugs. Clearly, it will lead to increased efforts, time, and investment. Moreover, it is not possible to cover many browsers.

Automated Method

This process runs the same set of test cases multiple times on different browsers. This eliminates the manual processes and repetition of tasks. This, automation method is more time and cost effective to perform automation method with ready-to-use cross-browser testing tools

Let’s explore the top tools to make cross-browser testing easier.

Best Cross-Browser Testing Tools

1. BrowserStack Live

BrowserStack Live is a cross-browser testing tool available for mobile and desktop browsers. This tool does not require any installation and starts at $29 per month after the free trial period. It allows you to set up a testing environment with proxies, firewalls, and Active Directory support. BrowserStack Live also supports multiple versions of Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and macOS. The cloud platform is a helpful tool to test your website on real mobile devices running different operating systems.

Benefits of BrowserStack Live:

  • Start testing on real devices on the cloud
  • Does not require virtual machines to run the tests
  • Supports a wide variety of mobile device browsers

Drawbacks of BrowserStack Live:

  • Poor response time
  • Can miss bugs that could not be identified on real devices
browser stack live interface

2. LambdaTest

LambdaTest is a cloud-based testing platform for web apps and websites. It allows you to conduct interactive testing in real browser environments or run automated Selenium testing scripts. Commercially, LambdaTest starts at $15 per month for browser testing. The mobile and web testing start at $99 per month. 

Benefits of LambdaTest:

  • Provides a limited-time free version that allows you to perform 6 testing sessions.
  • Open-source cross-browser testing tool that supports desktop and mobile browsers
  • Provides an online grid for Selenium test automation

Drawbacks of LambdaTest:

  • Not available on Linux
Lambdatest screenshot

3. CrossBrowserTesting

CrossBrowserTesting is a user-friendly testing platform that allows you to perform cross-browser testing on multiple browsers including mobile platforms. It is available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu. You can easily run visual, manual, and Selenium tests on more than 2050 real mobile and desktop browsers. The tool starts from $29 per month for one user and unlimited testing capabilities are offered at $100 per month for two users.

Benefits of CrossBrowserTesting:

  • Supports a wide range of browsers and their respective versions
  • Appropriate for the quick testing process
  • Provide an option to choose the screen resolution and operating system
  • Provides free trial version

Drawbacks of CrossBrowserTesting:

  • High price, especially for large projects
  • Unavailable on Linux
Screenshot of CrossBrowserTesting interface

4. Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs is a cloud-based platform for testing mobile and web applications. It offers instant access to thousands of operating systems, mobile emulators, simulators, browsers, and real devices. The pricing for manual cross-browser testing starts at $39 per month (allows one test at a time), manual and automated testing starts at $149 per month (allows one test at a time). Real mobile devices testing starts at $199 per month. The tool supports multiple browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

Benefits of Sauce Labs:

  • Allows testing mobile browsers on real devices
  • Wide selection of real devices, emulators, and simulators
  • Latest browser versions support
  • Free trial version

Drawbacks of Sauce Labs:

  • Very high price and raises the cost of development
screenshot of SauceLabs Interface

5. Turbo.net

Turbo.net allows you to test your website on multiple versions of web browsers without creating many virtual machines. It also allows you to perform multiple tests without any dependencies or conflicts via isolated sandboxes. Turbo.net works well with the latest versions of browsers including Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Canary, Chromium, Firefox Nightly, Internet Explorer, and more. To use this cross-browser testing tool, you need to install a browser plug-in or download its desktop application. The tool is currently available only for Windows and starts at $19 per month.

Benefits of Turbo.net:

  • Supports latest versions of browsers
  • Provides a free version 
  • Functional testing can be performed seamlessly
  • Supports mobile browsers of Firefox and Opera

Drawbacks of Turbo.net:

  • Not available on macOS and Linux
Screenshot of TurboNet cross browser testing tool interface

6. Digital.ai 

Digital.ai offers multiple testing solutions including manual and automated cross-browser testing. This platform is cloud-based and allows cross-browser testing on the desktop version of browsers. The cross-browser testing tool provides extended browser support for Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, macOS, iOS, and Android. With Digital.ai, you can test mobile and desktop browsers securely, even in a staging environment by connecting with a secure tunnel. The pricing of the tool starts at $9 per month per user for manual testing and $39 per month per user for automated testing.

Benefits of Digital.ai:

  • Allows hundreds of parallel tests
  • Allows mobile testing for real devices
  • Provides free version for manual testing
  • Allows you to access visual reports with log files, videos, and screenshots

Drawbacks of Digital.ai:

  • Unavailable on Linux
Digital.ai open source cross browser testing tool

7. Browsershots, a completely free open source cross browser testing tool

Browsershots is one of the free tools for cross-browser testing. Browsershots is an open-source cross-browser tool to test websites in any operating system and browser. You can easily run cross-compatibility tests with great customization options like color depth, browser type, operating system, the status of JavaScript, and flash settings. Browsershot also allows you to take website screenshots in more than 60 browsers and multiple operating systems. By simply inputting a URL and viewing the screenshots, you can get a quick understanding of how your website looks on different browsers.

Benefits of Browsershots:

  • Free tool 
  • Multiple browser testing practices
  • Easy option to view several side-by-side screenshots

Drawbacks of Browsershots:

  • Cannot directly interact with the browsers as they are simply referenced screenshots

8. IE Tab

This cross-browser testing tool allows you to easily view your web page with a single click. With the IE tab, you can view a web page in multiple browsers without switching from one browser to another. The tool is well compatible with Firefox or Chrome browsers. IE tab is one of the best compatibility testing tool that supports internet configuration. It allows you to customize multiple settings like the internet and security can be set automatically or manually.

Benefits of IE tab:

  • View web pages in multiple browsers without any switching hassles  
  • Allows you to open tabs emulating Internet Explorer

Drawbacks of IE tab:

  • Not available for Firefox 6.0 and above version

Every tool in the list helps you enhance your testing strategy and perform cross-browser testing. But you need to choose the best tool, pick the one that best suits your unique business requirements.

How To Choose the Best Cross Browser Testing Tool?

Now when we know the importance of cross-browser testing and available tools in the market, it is time to choose the best tool and get started with a best-in-class user experience. Here are the key considerations while choosing the best tool for the cross-browser testing process.

  • The support of devices, operating systems, and browsers need to be verified. The tool should support the maximum possible combinations. If there is a new release of the browser, the testing tool should be able to accommodate the latest version too.
  • Third-party integration support with Nightwatch, Jenkins, existing Selenium code, etc.
  • The tools should support parallel testing to ensure the testing of a huge number of environment combinations. This feature is available with cloud-based open-source cross-browser testing tools.
  • The tool should provide support for emulators, simulators, and real devices.
  • There should be a technical support team to extend prompt support in the testing process.

Automating Cross Browser Testing with QAonCloud

In this post, we have covered all the key aspects of cross-browser testing and popular cross-browser testing tools. But if you don’t want to get into the hassles of manual testing and choosing the right tool, QAonCloud provides an easy option to make your cross-browser testing experience hassle-free, secure yet effortless.

At QAonCloud, we strive for the best-in-class quality and are dedicated to enhancing your product quality. Our cloud-based cross-browser testing tool provides access to thousands of real devices, browsers, and environments. Contact us to start your cross-browser testing journey and enhance your product quality. 

Below are some key benefits of choosing QAonCloud.

  • Automation script written in plain English. Hence, it does not require prior coding knowledge and skills. We can start running the test cases immediately.
  • Get free from the license and installation hassles of operating systems, software, etc. All the environments can be easily accessed on the cloud.
  • Allows to add multiple testing environments and run parallel testing to save effort and time.
  • Supports third-party integration with key business applications and tools.
  • There is no need to scale up or down the testing infrastructure according to varied testing needs. QAonCloud provides a highly scalable infrastructure to all the available environments.
  • The functional and visual testing is also conducted to test the user interface, the latest application image to the baselined image to report the difference.
  • Customizable and detailed reporting according to your requirements. 
  • Expert technical support team to provide you with the best solutions.

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