The way we enjoyed websites today would not have been possible without cross-browser compatibility testing. It was a simple method of finding out which website works on which browser. Such a discrepancy in people’s preferences for browsers or browsing tools actually causes big trouble for web developers, administrators, content creators, and even the visitors alike.
The reason is simple: not all browsers are created the same. Some are more suited for certain operating systems while others are developed unconventionally. One is even a RAM-hungry beast that will certainly cause problems for many devices. This is why, as someone responsible for keeping a website afloat or working, cross-browser compatibility testing is a godsend.
Funny enough, just as there are numerous browsers on the internet, so too are there numerous cross-browser compatibility testing tools. Yes, you do have plenty of options for testing your websites or other software.
First off in this list is a robust tool offering versatility; this allows you to try it out with as much as 2,000 web browsers available on smartphones and even on desktops with BrowserStack, you can take screenshots, interact with the browser natively, or debug errors in real-time. You can even use this tool to see how your website looks like when the browser window gets resized.
Such a powerful tool doesn’t come free, of course. BrowserStack’s entry fee starts at $12.50 per month and that’s actually more affordable compared to most other tools of the same caliber. For that much, you can even automate your own testings not only for websites but also for apps in case your specialization extends there.
Like BrowserStack, Selenium also features its own automated testing capability. In fact, BrowserStack even supports Selenium in case you want to use both tools. The difference is that you can install Selenium either as a Firefox add-on or a WebDriver, either has its own use especially for recording and playing back actions or for code tests.
For some of the biggest browser companies ever, Selenium is a tool worth integrating as a native part of their browser. In that regard, Selenium has great compatibility with numerous other tools. You can even execute your cross-browser compatibility testing across a range of platforms; this is all thanks to Selenium’s support for other cloud services. The best part is that Selenium is free and open-source.
BrowserShots is one of the simplest and most straightforward tools in this list as it does what its name literally implies. The tool takes screenshots of your website functioning across many different browsers. From there, you can check these screenshots yourself to see what’s good or needs improvement in your website’s compatibility.
It may not be as robust or have the same quality of life improvements as some of the previous tools in this list but at least it’s free. For such a price that can’t be beaten, you can even play around with Java or Flash on your websites. It’s a great stepping stone for those who are just starting out in the online world; especially if you don’t yet have some complex websites that require interaction. Anyone above that level might want to consider a more thorough tool.
You’ll find that while BrowserShots doesn’t have the best gallery of browsers to test with, it’s different versions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and etc. will make up for that as people tend to have browsers with different update levels.
LambdaTest might not be the most affordable tool in this list but it’s certainly one of the most promising. For $15 per month, you get access to unlimited website responsiveness tests, unlimited screenshots, unlimited automation tests and pretty good support for when you run into troubles with the tool.
Like BrowserStack, LambdaTest boasts testing capability for 2000+ browsers both for smartphones and desktop computers. It also comes with one of the sleekest user interfaces among cross-browser compatibility testing tools, meaning it’s beginner-friendly. Among its quality-of-life bonus features is a time-saving function that reveals some hidden bugs on your website with just one click. That’s $15 per month worth the asking price especially if you handle multiple websites.
Browserling is even more expensive than LambdaTest at $19 per month for the lowest bundle; however, it does have some benefits that might win you over. For one, you can easily get a browser extension version of the tool if you run Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari browsers. That’s only for desktops and laptops, of course, but that’s where web developers and bloggers usually work anyway.
Don’t let the name fool you as well, that “ling” in its name doesn’t mean it’s a slouch as cross-browser compatibility testing tools come. Browserling has pretty much all the standard functions the previous tools in this list save for automated testing. Plus, it’s speed is quite formidable as it promises you that it can start testing in less than five seconds. If you don’t mind the lack of automated testing, then this browser extension mini-tool is good to have in your collection.
If Selenium’s open-source yet not-so-user-friendly operation is not your cup of tea, then EndTest might be more your speed. The tool offers a feature called Codeless Automated Testing that lets you do automated tests on repeat without having to deal with code. The best part about that is that EndTest is also free like Selenium, though not open source which shouldn’t matter for beginners.
They do offer paid programs if you need more advanced options for your tests. To save you time and space as well, EndTest executes everything via cloud. There’s no need for a cumbersome installation and you can even start testing right away.
Apparently, Functionize is has a shiny advantage over all other cross-browser compatibility testing tools. It makes good use of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in order to deeply check your browser. Moreover, you can save a healthy amount of time with Functionize since you only need to code tests for one browser. Once you’ve done that, the tool will handle the recoding for others.
That way, you can spend more time reviewing the test results instead of making different kinds of code for different browsers. Beyond that, Functionize offers the standard fare such as debugging and visual tests. Do note that Functionize comes in a bundle whose price will only be revealed by its developers, meaning you’ll have to ask them.
So, the choice is yours on which cross-browser compatibility testing tool you want or need.