8 Cross-Browser Testing Tools You Need in 2022

Share this article

8 Cross-Browser Testing Tools You Need in 2022

This article was created in partnership with LambdaTest. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

This article was updated for the third time in April 2019 to reflect the cross-browser testing tools that have come and gone, and also to reflect the current browser usage statistics today. First off, what is cross-browser testing? Cross-browser testing is the formality of testing web applications and websites in all of the common web browsers that users use today — this ensures that we deliver a consistent user experience everywhere, and not just the web browser that takes our fancy. Here are some of the things to look out for:
  • Code validation: do some browsers report code errors?
  • Performance: is the website slow, or even causing crashes?
  • Responsive design: is the design consistently responsive?
  • UI inconsistencies: are there any other design flaws?
  • Other strange behaviors: anything else simply not working?

What happens if I don’t test?

Inconsistencies are actually very normal. Fact is, all web browsers behave and render websites a little differently, and some browsers might not even support the features we originally aimed to utilize; and when these inconsistencies appear, it can have a direct impact on our revenue (among other things). Let’s take eCommerce for example. 69.89% of checkouts are abandoned, and 17% of those are attributed to website errors and crashes. Assuming that a business would accrue half a million sales annually, that’s 59,407 sales lost due to errors and crashes that could have been thwarted by cross-browser testing.

Which browsers should I test on?

Since Microsoft announced they’d be ditching their own EdgeHTML and Chakra engines in favor of the widely-adopted Blink and V8 engines, this means many of the major browsers today offer similar levels of code compatibility. While this is a step back in terms of healthy competition, it does mean that if a website works in Google Chrome, it’ll most likely work in Brave, Opera, and soon-to-be Microsoft Edge. That combined with the fact that even Microsoft has instructed us to stop using Internet Explorer, cross-browser testing is easier than it’s ever been before, with only Safari and Firefox using their own engines. Technically, the web browsers we should be supporting today are the ones that our users and customers are using, information that’s easy enough to find using Google Analytics or some other kind of web analytics tracking software. But if you don’t have that kind of data available, here are the worldwide statistics*:
  • Chrome: 61.75%
  • Safari: 15.12%
  • Firefox: 4.92%
  • UC: 4.22%
  • Opera: 3.15%
  • Internet Explorer: 2.8%
  • Samsung Internet: 2.74%
  • Microsoft Edge: 2.15%
*As of November 2018. Also, bear in mind that there are multiple releases of each web browser across multiple OSs. Sound scary? Not really, but it is boring as heck to be testing websites on all of them! Luckily, there are a number of excellent cross-browser testing tools available, so today we’re going to take a look at 7 of the best ones.

BrowserStack

With immediate access to over 2,000 web browsers running on real Android and iOS devices, the well-known BrowserStack lets developers and other stakeholders engage in cross-browser testing, whether that’s to snap a few screenshots, debug errors in realtime, or to actually interact with the browser natively and see how the layout fairs when the window is resized. There’s no need to compromise on simulators and emulators, BrowserStack offers you total control since you’ll be interacting with real browsers on remote machines. It’s not like the real thing, it is the real thing. BrowserStack also supports Selenium, an open-source tool to help you automate various tests so you don’t have to do so manually. Although the features above are fairly standard when it comes to cross-browser testing tools, what really sets BrowserStack apart is that you can kick things off from as little as $12.50/mo, an initiative aimed at freelancers – offering lighter functionality.

HeadSpin

HeadSpin is an AI-driven testing and DevOps collaboration platform. It enables deep insights into an app’s performance, empowering development, QA, operations, and product teams to assure optimal experiences for users.

With HeadSpin, you can deliver your best user experience yet! The platform provides insights into crucial performance KPIs and understands your user experience from dozens of angles — what the user sees, edge utilization, system performance, code execution, and more. Automate functional and performance testing pre and post-release with ease and surface issues and root causes across all layers of the stack—from quantifying audio/video QoE to code and packet visibility.

HeadSpin’s intelligence surfaces issues before they become problems, and customers have seen impressive outcomes: 60% fewer QA hours spent on new releases, 68% faster development cycles, 30% faster in-app load time, and 90% reduction in production issues.

HeadSpin is used by top companies like Tinder, Disney, Telstra and Pinterest.

CrossBrowserTesting, by SmartBear

CrossBrowserTesting by SmartBear offers both manual and automated testing via Selenium, 1500+ remote browsers across mobile and desktop, and has a similar subscription setup as BrowserStack (minus their “Freelancer Plan”). With total access to browser extensions and developer tools such as Chrome Dev Tools and FireBug, the ability to interact using swipe motions and more, and finally, the means to natively debug front-end errors, CrossBrowserTesting isn’t all that different from BrowserStack. CrossBrowserTesting and BrowserStack also enable users to compare versions (live or screenshot), run multiple tests (or take multiple screenshots) at once, and even share the results. All-in-all, a suitable alternative to BrowserStack, however I would choose BrowserStack if the number of browsers supported is important to you (BrowserStack supports an additional 500).

LambdaTest

With unlimited realtime browser testing, unlimited automation testing, unlimited responsive testing, unlimited screenshot testing, and 24×7 support, you won’t have the slightest of worries in terms of limitations when using Lambdatest. And with the lowest plan starting at only $15/mo, Lambdatest offers the best bang for the buck. In fact, there’s even a highly-functional “Lifetime Free” option, making it one of the most accessible cross-browser testing tools available on the market today, very suitable for those anxious about cross-browser testing for the first time. As an added bonus, all options include free automation minutes; that is if you don’t choose their mighty automation option! All options also include:
  • 2000+ native test browsers
  • Issue tracking with test logs
  • Local testing functionality
  • Automated screenshot testing
  • Responsive and visual comparison testing
  • Access to the WordPress and Chrome extension
  • Integration with Trello, Asana, Jira, and Slack
In short, the LambdaTest automation platform is an online selenium grid that gives you the ability to run your test scripts on 2000+ browser environments.

Browserling

Despite being one of the cheaper cross-browser testing tools at $19/mo (overtaken by only Lambdatest in terms of value), don’t let Browserling’s no-frills website fool you. If automated testing isn’t much of a concern for your team, Browserling is a fairly cost-effective option. Also, they have extensions
for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari as well!

Experitest

Experitest offers fairly standard features but with reduced costs starting at $9/mo, and even has an attractive freemium option like Lambdatest. That being said, the Experitest doesn’t feel nearly as shiny at Lambdatest, so Experitest may be the better option only if you’re on a budget.

Functionize

What separates Functionize’s cross-browser testing tools from the competition is its vast use of artificial intelligence and the fact that if you set up tests for one browser, there’s no need to recode tests for others, which can save a fair bit of time. They’re all about autonomous testing (using their Adaptive Event Analytics™ technology), so that you can spend more time analyzing the results. It’s not specified how many browsers Functionize supports, however, they offer the same standard of features as with other cross-browser-testing tools, such as code debugging and visual testing. Just FYI: their cross-browser testing tools ship as part of a larger platform, and their pricing isn’t publicly available.

Sauce Labs

Despite offering similar functionality to other cross-browser testing tools, Sauce Labs starts from $89/mo (for testing on real devices). They’ve been around a while though, and claim to have “the world’s largest continuous testing cloud,” so if you have the budget, it’s worth a try.

Conclusion

Even though the majority of cross-browser testing tools on the market today have maintained a very high-standard in terms of features offered, allowing development teams to increase their test coverage and deliver a more consistent user experience across all devices and screen sizes, many of them have a least one small trait that sets them apart from their competition. Whether that’s Functionize and their AI-driven approach to front-end testing, Experitest with their competitive pricing, or BrowserStack for their reduced-cost option aimed at freelancers, one of these tools are sure to suit your teams’ needs. If you’re looking for an awesome-all-round option, Lambdatest seemingly offers the best value for money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Cross-Browser Testing Tools

What are the key features to look for in a cross-browser testing tool?

When choosing a cross-browser testing tool, there are several key features to consider. Firstly, the tool should support a wide range of browsers and their versions, including both desktop and mobile browsers. Secondly, it should offer real-time testing capabilities, allowing you to interact with your website or application as if you were a user. Thirdly, the tool should provide detailed test reports, including screenshots and videos, to help you identify and fix issues. Lastly, it should integrate with your existing development and testing tools, such as Jira, GitHub, and Jenkins, to streamline your workflow.

How can I ensure that my website or application works correctly on all browsers?

To ensure that your website or application works correctly on all browsers, you need to perform cross-browser testing. This involves testing your website or application on different browsers, browser versions, and devices to identify and fix any compatibility issues. You can use cross-browser testing tools to automate this process and save time. These tools simulate user interactions and generate test reports, helping you to quickly identify and fix issues.

Are there any free cross-browser testing tools available?

Yes, there are several free cross-browser testing tools available. However, these tools often have limitations in terms of the number of browsers and devices they support, and the features they offer. For comprehensive testing, you may need to consider paid tools, which offer more features and support a wider range of browsers and devices.

How does cross-browser testing improve user experience?

Cross-browser testing ensures that your website or application works correctly and looks consistent on all browsers, browser versions, and devices. This means that all users, regardless of the browser or device they are using, will have a positive experience when interacting with your website or application. This can lead to increased user satisfaction, higher conversion rates, and improved brand reputation.

Can I perform cross-browser testing manually?

Yes, you can perform cross-browser testing manually by opening your website or application on different browsers and devices and checking for any issues. However, this process can be time-consuming and error-prone, especially if you need to test on a large number of browsers and devices. Using a cross-browser testing tool can automate this process and make it more efficient and accurate.

What is the difference between cross-browser testing and responsive testing?

Cross-browser testing involves testing your website or application on different browsers and browser versions to ensure compatibility. On the other hand, responsive testing involves testing your website or application on different screen sizes and resolutions to ensure that it adapts and displays correctly. Both types of testing are important for ensuring a positive user experience.

How often should I perform cross-browser testing?

The frequency of cross-browser testing depends on several factors, including the complexity of your website or application, the rate at which you make changes or updates, and the browsers and devices your target audience uses. As a general rule, you should perform cross-browser testing whenever you make significant changes to your website or application, and regularly to keep up with new browser versions and devices.

Can cross-browser testing tools help with debugging?

Yes, many cross-browser testing tools provide debugging features, such as interactive testing sessions, step-by-step execution, and detailed test reports. These features can help you identify and fix issues more quickly and accurately.

What are some common challenges in cross-browser testing?

Some common challenges in cross-browser testing include the large number of browsers and devices to test on, the frequent release of new browser versions, and the differences in how browsers render websites and handle JavaScript and CSS. Cross-browser testing tools can help to overcome these challenges by automating the testing process and providing detailed test reports.

How can I choose the right cross-browser testing tool for my needs?

When choosing a cross-browser testing tool, consider your testing needs, budget, and the browsers and devices your target audience uses. Look for a tool that supports a wide range of browsers and devices, offers real-time testing and debugging features, integrates with your existing tools, and fits within your budget. You can also take advantage of free trials to test out different tools and see which one works best for you.

Daniel SchwarzDaniel Schwarz
View Author

Previously, design blog editor at Toptal and SitePoint. Now Daniel advocates for better UX design alongside industry leaders such as Adobe, InVision, Marvel, Wix, Net Magazine, LogRocket, CSS-Tricks, and more.

AlexWbrowser testingcross platform developmentcross-browserTesting
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week
Loading form