A seamless online experience is crucial for retaining users and driving business growth. Web browsers in particular are diverse. Each has unique features and functions, among other capabilities. That can present a challenge for developers striving for cross-browser compatibility.
Browser popularity is not always the biggest driver. Desktop computers are an easy starting point for most users. Depending on the app, website, or digital service in development, however, compatibility in other areas could be more important. A large percentage of a business’s consumers might use mobiles over desktops. Testing across a wide range of browsers, platforms, screen sizes, and devices expands usage to the largest number of users.
Let’s delve into the intricacies of browser compatibility testing in 2023. We’ll also explore how turning to QA professionals can strengthen front-end web designs.
The Challenges of Web Browser Testing
Browser incompatibility remains a concern for developers and users alike. A well-crafted website or mobile application can lose its impact if it doesn’t function across various browsers. Users encountering broken layouts or non-functional features might quickly lose patience. That could result in lost engagement and revenue.
Time, a precious resource for developers, often gets consumed by cross-browser testing. Navigating through a myriad of browsers, versions, and devices to identify and fix compatibility issues can be time-consuming. Investing significant hours in manual testing, especially with a deadline, can hinder development progress.
Manual testing on devices for frontend errors continues to be an excellent way to see how users would view your app, website, or product. Turning to a vendor like us at PLUS QA can offer affordable, quick results. We have a large team of onshore testers and access to an extensive device lab.
Top Web Browsers in 2023
To cater to the widest user base, it’s imperative to understand the dominant web browsers in the market. According to W3Counter’s statistics as of July 31, 2023, the top five browsers in the US ranked as follows:
Chrome – A clear leader with a market share of 72.8%, Google Chrome has established itself as the go-to choice for many users. A few reasons for that include Chrome’s speed, simplicity, and the rise of the Android phone.
Safari – Holding 13.5% of the market share, Apple Safari is preferred among Apple device users. As the top-used mobile brand in the world, some users might like the convenience of syncing iPhone features with Safari.
Internet Explorer & Edge – Although losing ground, Microsoft browsers still command a combined market share of 2.7%. Over the years, Microsoft’s browsers have lost popularity, but some businesses still use them.
Firefox – With a 2.5% market share, Mozilla Firefox continues to offer an alternative for privacy-conscious users. It’s the only open-source browser on the market, which could help users who desire a customized experience.
Opera – A niche player, Opera accounts for 1.2% of the browser market. Users concerned about privacy may opt to use Opera, as it has a built-in VPN.
Choosing the Right Browser for Testing
A common question that arises during web testing is, “Which browser should I use?” Browser market shares shed light on user preferences. But it’s essential to consider the characteristics of your target audience. If your user base is primarily Chrome users, prioritize testing on Chrome. But don’t neglect other browsers.
Best Practices for Web Browser Testing
Addressing browser incompatibility requires a strategic approach. Developers should consider the following strategies to mitigate challenges:
Responsive Design: Adopting responsive design practices ensures that your website adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and resolutions. Responsive design can boost the user experience across browsers.
Regular Updates: Stay informed of browser updates and changes in rendering engines. Regularly testing your website against the latest versions of major browsers helps uncover compatibility gaps early on.
Mobile Platform Usage: Similar to how users are looking at devices on various screen sizes, they also use various platforms. Android 10 is currently the most popular platform due to Google’s popularity. On the other hand, it’s important to understand what the user demographic of your app, website, or product will use most.
Region-Specific: Consumers have vastly different online habits depending on location. While the majority of the world has navigated to Chrome, that may not be true for all users. You could find a high percentage of consumers use different browsers based on that alone.
Accessible Browser Features: All organizations should be aware that 1 out of 6 people in the world have a disability. Some users may need the assistance of devices and features for accessibility, such as screen readers, high contrast mode, and closed captions. It’s important to understand those features in the browser you are testing. And that your hardware or software is compatible with them.
QA Services for Web Browser Compatibility
These days, users have high expectations for seamless experiences. Browser compatibility testing remains a critical aspect of web development and satisfying user experience. By understanding the challenges and harnessing the power of browser developer tools, developers can streamline their testing process and ensure their websites shine across a multitude of browsers.
When you are neck-deep in code and a deadline is looming, however, it can be overwhelming to test your own products. Additionally, you may have a non-existent or small in-house team. And the wait time to hire new testers could hinder your ability to meet deadlines. If that is a challenge, then let a QA team take browser testing off your hands.
And remember—the effort invested in cross-browser compatibility ultimately leads to improved user satisfaction, engagement, and business success.
Ready to take the next step to ensure your website or app is compatible? Learn how we can help!