Web users use different browsers. The times when Internet Explorer was the only available browser are over. The tables have turned and now we can choose between Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and many other browsers as well as devices. People nowadays have a lot of choices from Android to iOS. You can find thousands of devices.
The browser preferences are personal, and typically include criteria like speed, available plugins, browser customisation, and synchronisation options.
Browser compatibility is important for any page, especially for startups. Here’s why:
Why is browser compatibility important?
A tester’s job is to ensure that the site is working properly, regardless of the platform used to open the page. Simply put, this means that the site must offer the same user experience regardless of the browser.
Cross-browser compatibility for startups is even more important. For the reason that most people use older versions of different browsers that do not support new web site development technologies (HTML5 and CSS3), cross-browser testing and optimization are some of the most complex aspects you have to consider when creating your startup website.
Now, we must make a short digression here. If you are researching about your startup browser compatibility issues, you will probably come across the idea of some website developers focusing on a very limited number of browsers. It is true that some startups do support and opt for this idea. However, you should know that the only valid reason for this decision is – saving money (and some time if you are doing the testing and optimization manually.
However, you must never forget that the number of site visitors can launch your startup to the very top or destroy its chances of development. Consequently, if a website does not work properly on a particular browser or version, the number of visitors automatically decreases. As a result, the decreased traffic negatively impacts SEO and site ranking.
Do you wonder what the browser shares were in the past year? Let’s take a look at this interesting chart. It shows the results of the statistical analysis of browser usage in 2018. It will be useful for your understanding of the importance and relevance of browser compatibility, especially for your startup.
Chart 1: Browser Market Share Worldwide. Dec 2017 – Dec 2018.
We can see that Google Chrome was the leader in 2018. The runner-ups were Safari and Firefox. Here’s the table representation of these results.
Table 1: Browser Market Share Worldwide. Dec 2017 – Dec 2018.
Browser Market Share Worldwide – December 2018
In addition, you might find this information useful. Users are turning to mobile devices more and more. In 2018, mobile browsing dominated over the desktop with 63! Therefore, you will get the best results by focusing on the most popular browsers for smartphones.
Now, let’s get back to the testing. As we have already said, the differences in browsers affect your page layout. More importantly, they affect its functionality. To make sure that your site works properly, you need to test it. Testing websites on all browsers is known as cross-browser testing. In this section, we will explain to you what this term implies. Also, we will show you how to perform the testing.
However, if you are short on time and don’t have an infrastructure for testing on all browsers, you can use some browser compatibility testing tool, such as LambdaTest. It will help you find your cross-browser compatibility bugs in no time. Most noteworthy, these services can let you perform testing on more than 2,000 browsers! In addition, they will guarantee the validity of the test results and provide some optimization solutions.
What is cross browser testing?
Cross browser testing helps you test your website on different browsers, mobile devices, and operating systems. In this way, programmers run the web code through the development console and change the layout of the page on different devices. They can clearly see if the website functions change depending on the browser. This includes examining how the page looks, i.e. how the CSS styles are displayed.
How to conduct cross-browser testing?
The testing can be done in several ways. One of the most common ways is the following.
Make a list of certain functions that the website or the applications must perform.
Methodically open the page in multiple browsers to check results from the list you’ve made.
There are tools such as LambdaTest which are much simpler than making a list. These tools can help you check websites or applications over a long list of browsers and organize the results into a neat list. However, a human can notice the flaws that a program cannot.
The best choice is to combine the benefits of the software (tools) and human analysis.
Why does it matter for the startups?
Unfortunately, or luckily, depending on your performance, the first impression is often the last impression! This is crucial for startups. You must impress your visitors the first time because it might as well be the very last time they are visiting your site.
One of the problems with the startups is the fact that they still don’t know the nature of their audience. A good analysis can make an impeccable model and predict consumer behavior, but the reality is often quite different. This is why you must do cross-browser testing on as many browsers as possible.
Furthermore, startups are usually low on budget. Therefore, you will probably not be able to afford all real devices and the manpower necessary to maintain the infrastructure. Hence, a cloud tool can help. Tools such as LambdaTest offer Smart Visual UI Testing, Responsive Testing and cross-browser testing on more than 2,000 mobile and desktop browsers. The good thing about LambdaTest is that they have a startup plan in which they have special pricing for startups; you can just contact their support or visit the Startup Page and enroll for the same.
You can choose between the Lite plan, which is free, and includes 60 minutes per month of real-time browser testing, 10 responsive tests, as well as 2000+ browsers with native browser behavior. There are also the Solo and Pro plans and special plans for startups. These offer unlimited responsive testing, as well as the Unlimited Real-time browser testing option. The Enterprise Plan is more comprehensive but is not preferred by the startups.
Well, we can conclude that browser compatibility is also very necessary for startups. Performing Cross Browser testing, manually or with the help of the tool, or via a professional service, will ensure that your site or application is working consistently and in an impeccable manner on multiple browsers, operating systems, and devices. This directly affects the size of your visitors, followers, audience, potential investors, partners – your community, in general. As a result, it also heavily affects your SEO.