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How to do cross browser testing manually and why you need it

When it’s possible to automate cross-browser testing, why would you still carry out manual tests? While it may take longer to carry out tests manually, it’s important as you are able to test aspects and features of your website or app manually that automated testing can’t assess.

In this article, we’ll look at what types of cross-browser testing should be carried out manually and how to implement it.

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What is cross browser testing and who performs it

Check who actually performs cross-browser testing below.

If you’re wondering about the cross browser testing definition, cross browser testing is when you test your app or website’s compatibility across various different browsers, to check that it works as expected. You’ll generally want to carry out cross-browser testing to ensure your end-user enjoys a great user experience, and this type of testing is usually carried out by expert human testers. So who actually performs cross-browser testing?

  • Web developers
  • QA engineers
  • UI/UX/web designers
  • Customer support
  • Product managers
  • Marketing teams

These are just a few examples of the types of people and teams carrying out cross-browser testing.

When it comes to how to test cross browser compatibility, you can use cross-browser testing tools such as Comparium to help you when carrying out these types of tests.

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It'll help to implement cross browser testing

How to manually carry out a cross-browser testing

In this section, we’ll show you how to do cross browser testing manually, with step-by-step instructions and tips to make sure your manual testing goes smoothly. Bear in mind that manual testing can take more time than automated testing, and depending on what you’re testing this could take hours or weeks.

Just follow our step-by-step guide to how to do cross browser testing manually and you’ll be on the road to success.

Steps to implement cross browser manual testing

  1. Create a strategy. This is the first step and perhaps the most important. You’ll need to define clear goals and think about what you need to test and which browsers to test on. You’ll also need to decide how you will optimize and organize your tests and consider whether you’ll use a shared testing platform.
  2. Set up your testing infrastructure. In this step, you’ll need to decide if you want to test in-house or use an online service, as well as choosing whether to test on real devices or emulators and simulators.
  3. Execute your test strategy. Once you’ve planned and built your strategy and decided on the right infrastructure for your needs, it’s time to commence running tests. Don’t forget to refine your tests to ensure you are constantly improving.

When you need to choose manual cross browser testing

We’ve already answered the question “What is cross browser testing?”, but how do you know when to choose manual cross browser testing? There are plenty of scenarios where manual testing is a better option than automated testing, such as:

  • When testing complex functionalities in a website or app - or for tests that seem too complex to automate.
  • For testing security components that can’t be automated (such as CAPTCHAs).
  • For usability testing when looking to identify the UX challenges faced by an end-user when using your app or website across different browsers and devices.
  • When taking a closer look at bugs discovered during automated testing.

Of course, there are other situations where manual testing is a better option than automated testing, and if you’re wondering what types of manual cross browser tests exist, keep reading, as we’re about to explain.

Types of manual cross browser tests

Now we’ve looked at what cross browser testing is, and when you might want to carry out cross browser testing manually, we’ll take you through some of the types of manual cross browser tests that exist. Here are some of the types of tests you’ll want to carry out manually:

  • Visual tests: these types of tests ensure your app or website looks and feels good across different devices, browsers, and browser versions. They can also be used by QA teams and designers to check that implementation matches design.
  • Exploratory tests: these are always done manually and are a way to find UX vulnerabilities and bugs. You’ll discover how your end-user interacts with your site or app and how it responds in various situations.
  • Functional tests: again, these are generally carried out manually and ensure that your site’s UI components work and respond as expected. There’s no point having a beautifully designed app if it doesn’t work, and functional tests ensure users can actually use your app or site.
    With repetitive test cases or tests where a specific result is expected, you could automate things.

What types of testing are recommended to be automated?

Browser diversity makes it impossible to opt out of cross-browser testing.

Here are a few examples of the types of tests that are recommended to be automated when carrying out cross browser testing:

Stress testing: stress testing evaluates how your app or website performs in situations beyond normal or peak loads. Automating stress testing saves time and money.

Regression testing: with regression testing, you’re testing to ensure that changes or additions you may have made to your app or website haven’t broken its existing functionality. Automation can reduce costs and save time.

Localization testing: with this type of testing you are ensuring that your app or website is adapted to suit the cultural differences in various countries. This could include translating interface and service elements as well as adapting the display mode for units, time, currency, date, etc.

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Comparium is your choice

Live website testing via crossbrowser testing tool Comparium

Comparium is an online cross browser testing tool. It has an intuitive web interface, supports real-time testing, and has four comparison modes.

This is what an example of the Comparium interface looks like.

Just follow our handy step-by-step guide to carry out cross browser testing using Comparium:

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Register for Comparium for free to try out the service.
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Paste your site URL into the search box.
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Select a combination of browsers, platforms, and resolutions.
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Click Create screenshot.
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Your results are shown as a list of small thumbnail previews - each preview shows the browser, resolution, etc.
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To view the detailed screenshot analysis, just click on a preview.
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To compare screenshots, assign a template screenshot on the left - any others you click on will be compared to it.

Comparium offers four comparison modes: Overlay, Side by Side, Slider, and Find Differences, which automatically highlights any differences.

If you’re considering Cross Browser Testing vs BrowserStack, choose Comparium. It can be used to ensure your site displays correctly and functions optimally across various browsers, browser versions, and devices.

It offers automated visual testing across any combination of platforms, browsers, and resolutions, and can automatically detect incompatibilities with the offline report. The screenshot compare feature helps you to create parallel screens within the same interface and compare the two.

Now we’ve covered manual and automated cross browser testing, what’s the difference between the two? Well, while automated testing makes life easier, and can save you time and money, there are some scenarios where only manual testing will do - such as visual and functionality testing or exploratory tests for UX vulnerabilities and bugs.

We hope this article has helped to explain the difference between manual and automated testing as well as outlining what types of testing are best suited to each!

Frequently Asked Questions

Browser tests are a way to ensure your app or website functions correctly across a range of different browsers, browser versions, and resolutions. This can include how your app looks and feels as well as its functionality.
There are various methods and cross browser testing tools you can use to carry out browser tests, but we’d recommend Comparium. You can start using the tool for free and its intuitive user interface and real-time testing make it simple to use.
Cross browser testing is when you test a website across multiple browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc. These tests can be time consuming to carry out manually, but they can be automated using Selenium, one of the most popular automation cross browser testing tools.

A powerful tool for visual and functional testing of sites

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