If only making products for the web were a simple fire-and-forget business, life would be much easier. Of course, when you think you've crafted the list line of code, the story is far from over. You need to start testing and – given the varied browser landscape – exploring how your site works in different environments.
There are lots of different ways you can test for browser compatibility. To explore preferences and approaches, net magazine (opens in new tab) recently asked its Twitter followers to vote for their favourite method. Here are the results of the survey (in the poll, voters could only nominate one approach as their prefered methodology).
Browser testing results
- Desktop load time testing – 15%: Attacking the problem of performance testing by measuring the response time for server-based applications.
- Physical mobile device testing – 15%: Arguably the most reliable way of seeing how sites actually behaves across a slew of different physical devices.
- W3C Validation – 14%: Check the markup validity of web documents in HTML, XHTML and the rest.
- Local virtual machine testing – 13%: More convenient, more efficient and cheaper than testing on a suite of physical devices.
- User testing – 13%: Working with real users and exploring how they react to your site or service can yield the best insights.
- Mobile load time testing – 12%: Milliseconds matter, particularly on mobile so it pays to measure these kids of variables.
- Remote virtual machine testing – 10%: Test remotely on a slew of different browsers, running in virtualised environments can be a very efficient mode of testing.
- Server load testing – 8%: Run stress tests on your servers and see how they perform.
Words: Martin Cooper
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