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How to Ensure Compatibility Across Different Browsers and Operating Systems in Web Testing?


Web and app development have come a long way since the days of a single browser monopoly. Nowadays, users access the web through an array of browsers, with each of them having their own quirks and features. Cross-browser compatibility refers to the ability of your web app or website to function correctly and uniformly across various types of web browsers.

It is a common notion that technology is evolving fast, and browser compatibility testing is becoming immensely popular. Despite the introduction of newer browsers and mobile devices, you will still find people still using the outdated browsers and devices. That’s why it is crucial to implement the best cross-browser testing practices. Here are some ways in which you can ensure compatibility across different browsers and operating systems.

Why Compatibility Testing Holds Significance?

The main objective of compatibility testing is to ensure that a web application or a website performs uniformly across varied browsers, devices and operating systems. So, why does compatibility testing still hold importance among QA teams? Let’s find out.

User Base

The user base of your web app or application will never stick to a single device or browser. Moreover, there are numerous users who still use outdated browsers and devices. Therefore, to cater to the needs of these users, you should conduct compatibility testing.

User Experience

User experience is the key component to making your web app or website popular. If the web app renders inconsistently across devices, it can lead to a negative user experience.

Moreover, there are higher chances that your users won’t install or visit your web app and website. With mobile app testing tools, you can recognize and rectify issues that may hinder a positive user experience.

Download a PDF That Highlights Best Practices for Ensuring Effective Cross-Browser Testing


Nowadays, competition is tough among app development companies. To stay relevant it is essential to develop apps and websites that address the pain points of your users. Compatibility testing lets you analyze the shortcomings of your website. You can act on these shortcomings to make the app user-friendly.

The Best Practices for Ensuring Cross-Browser and Cross-OS Testing

It is vital to leverage the proper cross-browser testing practices to make sure that your web app functions seamlessly. Listed are the best practices for conducting cross-browser and cross-OS testing.

Never Undermine Automated Testing

With the best automated testing tools, you can streamline the entire QA process. As these tools are automated, they can help your testers execute the test cases across several browsers and operating systems more effectively. It helps in decreasing the time and effort required for manual testing.

Browser Compatibility Matrix

Your QA team should develop an extensive matrix that illustrates the browsers and operating systems to be tested and analyzed. It is crucial to prioritize testing on browsers with a higher market share to make sure that your web app is well received. The main objective of developing a browser compatibility matrix is to make sure that the website runs consistently on different platforms.

Responsive Design

Use a responsive design to make the website adaptable to various screen sizes and resolutions. The method ensures uniformity in the user interface from mobile phones to personal computers.

User Agent Testing

Test the site with a modified UA string to emulate browsers and devices. This technique assists in determining challenges encountered by customers while using different gadgets to view the site.

Regular Browser Updates

Keep up-to-date with the browser updates and test the site on the latest versions. This allows the website to be maintained as a modern browser so that it will be able to cope with the latest capabilities and security enhancements.

Testing on Real Devices

Simulators and emulators are important, but accurate device testing can only give those nuances that are particular to certain devices. Carry out tests on real devices to authenticate the site on various operating systems.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

To address the compatibility issue, promote effective collaboration between developers, testers, and designers. To succeed, they have to communicate clearly about the complexities of different browsers and operating systems and work together with the best mobile app testing tools.

Establish a Testing Environment

Develop a test environment that resembles the production environment as much as possible. To ensure thorough testing, this environment must comprise different browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Performance Testing

Include performance testing in compatibility testing to see how the website works. Speed, responsiveness, as well as resource utilization are tested across different browsers and OS.

Monitor Analytics

Use analytics tools to acquire information on user likes and trends. Using this data, a browser or an OS could be prioritized in some compatibility tests.

Conduct Beta Testing

Rely on users to beta test the site and collect information on how it runs in different situations. Beta testing is very important because it allows beta testers to shed light on actual usage scenarios and detect problems that might not easily be spotted in a tightly controlled testing setting.

Stay Informed About Standards

It is also necessary to maintain the knowledge and web standards, ensuring the website’s compliance with them. Adherence to standards increases the chance of being rendered uniformly across browsers & operating systems.

The strategies and best practices provided here are a roadmap for web developers and testers on how to surmount the challenges associated with cross-browser and cross-OS testing. Teams should embrace proactiveness and promote cross-functionality among members by using automation to ensure that their sites are accessible and deliver exceptional user experience on any device and platform.

Building successful web applications in a digital era characterized by high user expectations nowadays is not just a best practice – it is a necessity that includes prioritizing compatibility testing. Web designers and testers face challenges in making their websites compatible with various user preferences as users access websites on different devices and platforms.

The market share for browsers and operating systems differ. The target audience of websites tends to have preferred browsers and operating systems which websites need to cater to. Compatibility testing makes sure that a website works well on the major platforms.

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R Dinakar

Dinakar is a Content Strategist at Pcloudy. He is an ardent technology explorer who loves sharing ideas in the tech domain. In his free time, you will find him engrossed in books on health & wellness, watching tech news, venturing into new places, or playing the guitar. He loves the sight of the oceans and the sound of waves on a bright sunny day.

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