The Importance of Cross-Browser Testing on Websites

Everyone has a browser that they use all the time – some by actual choice, while others just use what ever is available to them.

As we progress in the advancement of website design and coding, it’s important to make sure that your website is functional across all major browsers. As last checked today, Chrome is the leader in the web browser market share at 42.7%, and then there’s still that 2.57% of people that use IE8.

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With Chrome being the leader in the web browser market share, do we really need to go through all these extra steps to accommodate all the browsers?

Well in a way, yes and no. Yes in that we still need to accommodate other well-used browsers like Firefox and Safari. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to do as these browsers are generally up-to-date with the latest tech, just a few edits will be needed here and there.

And no in that we need to stop catering for old technology. New features are there to use and explore, and websites tend to be held back by catering for old browsers.

 

But say I’m on MAC, how do I check to see if my website looks fine on IE?

There are quite a few websites out there that give you access to screenshots of your website on multiple browsers. Recently I came across Browserstack – in my trial version I could check the websites in a real time remote live feed of different platforms, from mobile phones and tablets, to PCs and laptops. Unfortunately after the trial, you will need to pay a monthly subscription from $39 for a small team.

Others include:

  • Adobe Browser Lab
  • Browsershots
  • Browser Sandbox
  • Browsrcamp
  • IE Tester

The best method to get ahead, is to build a website with new features in mind, but that will also be functional across all browsers. It does not necessarily have to look perfect in every browser, just as long as it works for the purpose of getting the information across.