What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross Browser Testing is a way of making sure your website is going to look great for all of your users. Just because everything is aligned and beautiful on your development PC, doesn’t guarantee that anyone who visits your website will see the same thing. Users will be on:
- Different Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari
- Different OS like Windows, Android or iOS
- Different versions of each browser (some really old)
- Different devices like PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones
If you neglect to test your website on any of those platforms, you run the risk of a sub-par experience for an entire subset of users. It can be a lot of extra work, especially when you find unsupported functions in a particular environment. But it is the hallmark of a well designed and robust website.
Several testing tools exist. My favorite one recently changed from a free tool to a paid subscription. So you may not get out of it for free. But you can definitely at least have a few different browsers installed on your personal PC and do some high level compatibility checks before deploying to production.
Or you could always go the lazy route and put a banner at the top that says, “This website is best experienced in Google Chrome.” (Don’t do that.)