Building a website is just one part of the job. Making sure it works well in all popular web browsers across all operating systems is the second part lots of designers tend not to give much attention. Once it works on their default browser, some they think the work is done. However, just because a website displays well on Google Chrome doesn’t guarantee it would look as good on Mozilla. This is why cross-browsing website testing is an integral part of web designing that shouldn’t be ignored.
So, how then do you efficiently test your website across different browsers and operating systems?
Manual testing vs automated testing
When testing a website or web application, a designer is often faced with two choices: manual testing or automated testing. While each of these has its pros and cons, automated testing looks like the smart choice. This is because manual testing involves a lot of work and it does take a lot of time. For a developer or designer working independently, this may not be practical.
Automated testing, on the other hand, lets you simply bypass the stress of manual testing with the click of a few buttons using a tool like Comparium.
Comparium is an online tool that lets you test a website on multiple platforms through a single test. It is a simulation software that saves you time and lets you see exactly what your site looks like on platforms your users are using. Unlike most cross-browser testing tools available on the web, Comparium lets you choose multiple platforms and browsers to test simultaneously with the click of a button.
At the moment, Comparium lets you work with the most widely used desktop operating systems:
Supported browsers include:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Google Chrome
Unfortunately, mobile devices are not available at this time.
To use Comparium, all you need to do is to key in your URL in the address bar provided. After this, you will have to select platforms and browsers. In our test, it took less than a minute to generate the results when this site was tested across 10 configurations of different platforms and browsers.
To view a larger image in a lightbox, you need to select the result one after the other. From other tests we ran, Comparium did well and the renders were helpful.
In case you need to add new platform and browser combos to your test, you only need to click New Configuration. A box that lets you add or remove operating systems and browsers combination appears:
However, there’s a little downside: the footer of our website didn’t appear in the result. Apart from this, the tool did work great.
As a cross-browser testing tool you can use without paying a fee, Comparium does a pretty good job. Desktop platforms and browsers are well covered, the multi-platform selection feature is fantastic, and the way results are presented is quite nice. If there is any gripe we have with the service, it’s the exclusion of mobile devices.
With more than half of web users on mobile these days, this feature is noticeably missing. But then, one needs to be reminded this service is absolutely free to use and there’s always room for improvement and addition of features like this.