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Effective Cross-Browser Testing Strategies with Selenium  

As we know, there are millions of websites already, and thousands are being made daily. And this will grow in the future. A report suggests approximately 4 million websites worldwide, but only 1.5 million are active and working. Have you thought about the other? They are inactive and might not work properly due to browser and device compatibility issues.

Cross-browser compatibility is a very important factor in the development of a website. It ensures the website will be compatible and easily accessible through the various web browsers and their versions. There are millions of devices and many web browsers that people across the globe use. To make your website user-friendly and growing, you need to make your website cross-browser compatible.

To do this, many automation testing tools help perform automation testing for cross-browser compatibility and lessen human efforts. Selenium is one such popular automation testing tool. Performing effective cross-browser testing with Selenium needs some good planning and strategies.

In this article, you will see a brief introduction to cross-browser testing and Selenium, followed by the best strategies for effective cross-browser testing with Selenium.

What is Cross-Browser Testing?

Cross-browser testing is a type of functional testing used by the QA team and developers to ensure the website or web application compatibility across different types of web browsers and their versions. Suppose you have created a website and need to make it available for numerous web browsers such as Chrome, Safari, etc., because the users are using many web browsers, and you can not restrict them. In such testing cases, cross-browser testing is used. Some differences discovered in different browsers include image orientation, user input positioning and validation, JavaScript implementation, font size, and page alignment.

Apart from that, some web browsers are incompatible with every operating system. Hence, cross-browser testing allows the developers and QA team to tackle such compatibility issues. Performing cross-browser testing for your website or web application also improves its performance and efficiency, making it useful for every user regardless of the operating system, web browser, or device. Performing cross-browser testing on-premises and in physical device labs requires much money, more time, and human effort. But this is more secure.

However, cross-browser testing on the cloud has several other advantages for testing professionals and developers. Using cloud-based tools and platforms like LambdaTest for cross-browser testing eliminates various factors such as time investment and the high cost of setups, and it reduces the human workforce for the maintenance of physical infrastructures.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that lets you run manual and automated tests at scale with over 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations. This platform not only allows you to perform web application testing but also allows you to perform mobile app testing over various platforms where you can choose any real device and run real device testing over the cloud.

This comprehensive testing environment ensures thorough coverage, allowing meticulous testing across various configurations. LambdaTest goes beyond the limitations of traditional automation capabilities, making it an invaluable tool for handling complex testing scenarios. Its user-friendly interface and advanced features enable teams to effortlessly automate tests, resulting in efficient and effective testing across different browsers and operating systems.

In summary, LambdaTest is a versatile and powerful ally for individuals seeking to optimize their automation testing processes. Its AI-powered functionalities make it an indispensable asset in software testing.

Cloud-based cross-browser testing is extremely customizable to suit an organization’s dynamic requirements. It allows tests to be run on multiple environments simultaneously. It provides more testing options, and you can choose many real devices to increase testing efficiency and improve your website compatibility.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is defined as an open-source automation testing tool that is very popular in website automation testing or automated cross-browser testing. It can validate the interoperability of websites and web applications across many platforms and browsers. Selenium provides the ability to choose developer and testing teams with their preferred programming language, such as Java, Python, PHP, etc. Also, Selenium is compatible with various famous web browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc. Selenium is very popular for automation testing because of its multi-platform support, such as Windows, Linux, etc.

The various components of Selenium are Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, Selenium, and WebDriver. Let us have a brief look over them:

  1. Selenium IDE: Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is the development tool that provides an interface to design your testing script. This IDE has many features designed for software testing, such as playback, which you can use to record and browse all the interactions that you have done with the browser. Also, IDE helps you to develop your testing code using various programming languages, such as Java, Python, etc., just by downloading an extension file for a specific language.
  2. Selenium Grid: With the help of Selenium Grid, you can run several test scripts on various machines at once. It consists of a hub server and numerous grid nodes, with the hub acting as a conduit for commands to reach the registered nodes.
  3. Selenium WebDriver: Selenium WebDriver allows the tester to communicate with the browser for the testing process directly, and it is controlled from the operating system (OS) level. You can create and execute the test cases using it.

Why Selenium for Cross-Browser Testing?

You have seen what Selenium is and what its components are. Now, you will see why Selenium is famous for cross-browser automation testing and why it is the first choice despite having many similar testing tools in the market.

  • One of the reasons for the popularity of Selenium is its open-source availability. You can use the Selenium framework without paying any cost. Many such companies provide automation testing tools and frameworks. There are many other competitive tools, but they are not price-friendly or open-source. So, Selenium is the best free and open-source for website automation and cross-browser testing.
  • The second advantage of Selenium is that it has multi-language support. Selenium supports various programming languages: C #, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and Pearl. The developer and testing team can use their preferred programming languages. Before starting the automation testing, they do not need to worry about their preferred language choice. They can write the test scripts and then convert them into Selenium-compatible courses.
  • Selenium allows the test’s reusability to a great extent. You just need to write the tests once, and you can use them many times during the whole automation testing process.
  • Multi-browser and multi-operating system support is another reason for Selenium’s popularity in cross-browser automation testing. Initially, Selenium was only supported in the famous web browser namely ” Firefox Browser”. But after some updates, it became multi-web browser-supportive, and then it became one of the popular tools in the field.
  • Performing the automation testing in less time with much efficiency is considered a good testing process. Selenium does that so well. Some of the flexibility features of Selenium are regrouping and retracting test cases. These features allow the testing team to check their testing codes quickly, make any changes, remove duplicates, and perform many other tasks.

Strategies for Effective Cross-Browser Testing with Selenium    

Now, let us see the various strategies that can be used to perform effective cross-browser testing with Selenium.

Identify Target Browser for Testing

Identifying the target browsers is one of the best strategies for making your cross-browser testing successful. The testing team must list target browsers and their versions to make your website more compatible. Targeting the web browsers also helps to choose the appropriate test cases for your automation testing. Identifying the target browsers for cross-browser testing with Selenium is crucial to ensure compatibility, optimize the user experience, reach the widest possible audience, and ensure the security of your web application.

Use Explicit Waits

Explicit waits is another useful and essential strategy in automation cross-browser testing with Selenium. An explicit wait is a more flexible wait that allows us to wait for a specific condition to be met before continuing test execution. As we know, different web browsers take a long time to load the web page. It is advised to use explicit waits for the elements to load on the page to ensure the test cases are executing correctly. Explicit waits also help to make your tests robust and reliable across different web browsers and environments.

Use Relative Locators

Selenium has a feature, namely “relative locators”. These relative locators come with Selenium 4. It allows the developers and testing team to locate the web elements based on their proximity to the other website elements. Using relative locators helps to write tests that are resilient to changes in the UI of the website easily, and it also helps to improve website maintenance. Relative locators are very useful in cross-browser testing by increasing the testing flexibility, readability, and consistency.

Use Headless Testing

Headless browser testing is a website testing approach that runs automated tests without displaying the GUI (Graphical User Interface). When you perform normal website testing, the test is done by loading several GUI components that load large-size data; alternatively, the test speed degrades. Headless browser testing can be done with Selenium to tackle this and make your cross-browser testing effective. Selenium supports headless testing for various popular and most-used web browsers. To use headless testing with Selenium, you must choose a headless browser, set up your testing environment, launch it, write your tests, and run them.

Implement Visual Testing

Implementing visual testing for your cross-browser testing is a very effective strategy. It is used to test all the visual appearance and components of the website. Visual testing involves capturing screenshots at various test execution stages and comparing them. If any visual bugs or errors are found, you can easily fix them and improve the test result. Implementing visual testing with Selenium involves choosing a tool, setting up your testing environment, creating a baseline for your tests, writing your tests, running your tests, and reviewing and updating your tests as necessary.

Conclusion

Cross-browser testing is a very important aspect of website development as it ensures the working and functionality of your website is well enough with various web browsers and versions. Selenium is used for cross-browser testing to meet such requirements. However, a planned and effective strategy must make automation testing easy and more productive. Hope you get an idea about the best strategies to follow while performing cross-browser automation testing with Selenium.

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