4 tools for cross-browser testing

May 02, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
4 tools for cross-browser testing
Keeping an eCommerce website fresh and full of new information will tickle online shoppers’ curiosity and inspire them to check back often. So, when a company strategizes to develop new web pages or update pre-existing web pages, expectations are high – and rightfully so. Repeat visits are prone to becoming online purchases. But what happens when all of that hard work doesn’t reap the benefits of increased revenue? Better yet, why isn’t the new content producing the anticipated attention or sales?
A common issue, unfortunately, is that some developers don’t always test new additions on all of the potential browsers that customers could be using. Therefore, when content doesn’t render properly, online shoppers will become frustrated and will move on to a competitors’ site – a worst-case scenario, for sure.
For anyone who gets the fortunate opportunity to talk to an open and honest developer, he or she will tell you that some developers will conduct browser tests on Firefox and iE9 or 10, but will fail to conduct those very same tests on iE7 or iE8. And because there are a significant number of customers who use iE8, conversion rates will be affected if the new pages aren’t working properly. In some cases, user traffic on those pages might appear to be fine, meaning that luck was on the developers’ side.
But because luck is prone to run out, the editors at Practical eCommercesuggest that developers test and test again to ensure that conversion rates aren’t affected. Analytics can be leveraged to see what browsers are working as can the following tools, recommended by those same editors:
  • Browsera. Browsera tests and reports cross-browser layout differences and scripting errors on your site. With the site crawling feature, test all of your pages. JavaScript errors from each browser are collected and reported after your test is complete. Price: One-time project is $39; monthly plan is free for 25 pages; standard plan is $49/month.
  • BrowserStack. Test your site in real browsers. Includes smartphone and tablet emulators to test across a large range of devices. Use the automated testing and a wide variety of developer tools.Price: Plans start at $19/month.
  • Browsershots. Browsershots makes screenshots of your site in different operating systems and browsers. It is a free open-source online web application, providing developers a convenient way to test their websites' browser compatibility in one place. Price: Free.
  • Cross Browser Testing. Cross browser test your website in dozens of browsers with instant results. Test your AJAX, HTML forms, JavaScript, and Flash in almost any browser and operating system. Take snapshots or record video and share with a public link. Price: Plans start at $29.95/month.

From a development perspective, it’s also beneficial to follow W3C standards for HTML. If a company keeps those standards in mind while developing in HTML and CSS, sites won’t have issues across browsers and will exhibit good compatibility.

To get additional insight while taking on the task of updating pages or creating entirely new pages for your site, feel free to reach out to the experts at NetSphere Strategies. We can lend a helping hand during those initial phases or after, when it’s time to cross-test.

Trackback URL for this blog entry.

Abbe Miller is the marketing manager at NetSphere Strategies, located just outside Chicago. NetSphere Strategies is a boutique eCommerce company positioned to help businesses transform their online presence by providing a full complement of services that starts with our strategic consulting and creative design teams, then continues with building innovative solutions and providing ongoing post-project support.