6 of the Best Cross Browser Testing Tools – In-Depth Comparison for 2019

Why care for best cross browser testing tools? Cross browser testing is a process of assessing the functionality of your web application on various browsers before pushing changes to production.

For a website, where readers are expected to belong to a certain cohort using the same browser, one may test the changes manually. However, with an increasing popularity of mobile devices and a large number of browsers, it may be a good idea to test an application on a wide variety of device-browser combinations before approving the changes.

In this post, we cover the best cross browser testing tools. We take into account various aspects such as cost considerations and ability to automate the whole process.

📚 Table of contents:

  1. Chrome Developer Tools #
  2. Responsive Test by DesignModo #
  3. Selenium #
  4. BrowserStack #
  5. LambdaTest #
  6. SmartBear #

🔬 Before you begin testing…

If your site has a history of visitors, you may use that data to decide which browsers to test on. Another approach is to select browsers based on the usage share of browsers. Once you have shortlisted the browsers to test your application on, you need to design your tests meticulously in order to test if your website works appropriately in all browsers.

This post covers the cross browser testing tools that will help you perform your tests once you have selected the browsers and designed the tests. The result of cross browser testing is consistent performance across devices and browsers.

🧪 Best cross browser testing tools in 2019

Chrome Developer Tools

A basic form of cross browser testing can be performed through Chrome Developer Tools. This is a set of tools relevant for web developers built into the UI of Google Chrome. With these tools, you can manipulate the HTML DOM, CSS properties and debug JavaScript code within a displayed web page to see changes – in addition to resizing the window to check how the rendering of the page changes with varying resolutions.

Cross browser testing tools in Google Chrome

Chrome Developer Tools has the potential to emulate a range of mobile screen-sizes and orientations to test how the layout of your website adapts to changing output parameters. This helps you find and fix errors quickly, and see the changes in real-time.

Chrome Developer Tools allow testing only on one browser, with a close resemblance to Chromium-based browsers like Brave. However, they serve as a good set of tools to test out an application in its initial stages. Any testing through Chrome Developer Tools can only be manual and does not have support for CI/CD tools as there is no scope of automation.

Responsive Test by DesignModo

Responsive Test by DesignModo is a web-based cross browser testing tool. It is an emulator that runs in the browser. Enter a website and wait for it to load in a desired viewport. Once it has loaded, you can change the device that you would like to emulate for the website and check if the website has rendered correctly.

Responsive Test by DesignModo

While the DesignModo tool shows you different screen sizes, it is still rendered on your machine locally. If a test passes on this tool, there could still be issues with accessing it on a real device. Just like Chrome Developer Tools, any testing through the DesignModo tool can only be manual and does not have support automation.

Selenium

This one is a free and open source tool. Selenium is a piece of software that runs a web application locally using your local browsers. You can run Selenium tests through a range of programming languages. The download links for the drivers for popular browsers are available here: ChromeEdgeFirefox and Safari.

Selenium Automated Local Testing

When you run a Selenium test, the driver opens up a test window where a set of pre-defined steps are performed. You can navigate DOM elements, submit forms and wait for events in Selenium. When running locally, however, the tests run in sequence as a test browser window is open during the process of the test.

Popular CI/CD tools like Jenkins and Travis CI have support for Selenium tests. You may also include Selenium tests in your unit testing module. Selenium is also a popular choice in the cloud, which forms the basis of cloud solutions for cross browser testing tools like BrowserStack and LambdaTest.

BrowserStack

BrowserStack is a tool that gives you instant access to over 2,000 real desktop and mobile devices. With BrowserStack, you are able to test your applications on browsers hosted on real devices through the power of the cloud. Its services can be categorized into two cross browser testing tool scenarios:

  • live, where you are able to test a website real time on a browser-device combination of your choice
  • automate, which enables you to automate your cross browser tests through Selenium

BrowserStack Test Results

The live testing option helps you debug your website in real time. So, it enables you to interact with a browser running on a real device. Live is ideal for manual testing either during nascent stages of a project or when you introduce new features.

Automate is of use when you have defined the standard tests that you would like to include as a part of your suite. Automate works through the remote version of Selenium for the cloud. It supports major CI/CD tools like Jenkins and Travis CI.

After registering for BrowserStack, you get 100 minutes of free testing, after which you have to opt for a paid plan. Monthly plans start at $29/mo. Recently, BrowserStack has introduced a pay as you go plan based on the minutes that you use.

LambdaTest

LambdaTest is another tool in the cloud for cross browser testing that lets you either perform tests live or automate them through Selenium in the cloud. For a real test, you can select a combination of device + browser. The tool will then initiate a session where you can interact with a browser in real time. You have over 2,000 real devices available to test.

LambdaTest Live Results

LambdaTest provides support for various CI/CD tools that enable you to integrate cross browser tests with your existing testing framework. A Selenium grid allows you to run concurrent tests too.

LambdaTest has a lifetime free option for one parallel test, thus making it a good choice when just starting out. Monthly plans start at $15/mo, which is a good value for money offering. LambdaTest has a WordPress plugin, where you can automate screenshot generation from within WordPress, making it a good dev tool for WordPress.

SmartBear

SmartBear provides a cross browser testing tool that allows you to test your site on browsers running both on real devices as well as automate the tests through Selenium remote. This cross browser testing tool has over 1,500 devices available for you to run your tests on.

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This tool’s features are comparable to those of LambdaTest’s and BrowserStack’s. However, the number of devices for both alternatives are higher, which may be of importance when choosing an option.

SmartBear has no free tier and free trials are available through special invites only. Paid plans start at $29/month.

The verdict on the best cross browser testing tools

In this post, we covered six of the best cross browser testing tools. These tools were selected based on varying degrees of skill, functionality and budget. To summarize the findings:

With that, it’s time to conclude our comparison of the best cross browser testing tools in the market for 2019. We hope this has helped you in automating your cross browser testing efforts.

Which tool is your favorite? Do let us know in the comments below.

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Layout, presentation, and editing by Karol K.

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