Cross-Browser Testing in Selenium: A Guide

Cross-browser testing can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have multiple issues you’re trying to test and solve. That’s where Ranorex’s automated testing tools can come in handy. With Ranorex’s help, you can automate cross-browser testing for a more efficient, consistent testing process.

What Is Cross Browser Testing?

Also known as multi-browser testing or online browser testing, cross-browser testing is a nonfunctional test that examines how websites or applications function across different web browsers. When you perform browser compatibility testing, you’re primarily examining the base functionality, design, accessibility, and responsiveness of your app in each specific browser.

These tests check for the same functionality between:

Remote test execution

Different Browsers

Manual and automated cross-browser testing allows you to test your website on multiple browsers, as well as how it interacts with different combinations of browsers and operating systems, such as Chrome on macOS, Edge on Android, and others.

Different Devices

 This form of testing also allows you to see how your webpage functions across different devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and cell phones.

Automation helpers

Browsers and Assistive Technology

It also allows you to ensure that your webpage is compatible with assistive devices, such as screen readers and text-to-speech systems, which can be critical for allowing users with visual or audio disabilities to interact effectively with your website.

Running these tests across all possible variables can be time-consuming and outside of your team’s bandwidth, especially if they have deadlines to follow. Conducting data analysis to understand how your target audience accesses your website can help you prioritize which browsers require testing. 

You’ll need to consider the top browsers, device types, and operating systems and determine which combinations must take priority in your tests. This will help you achieve better functionality on the browsers your user base uses most often.

Selenium supported browsers

How to Perform Cross-Browser Testing

While you can perform cross-browser tests manually using individually on different browsers and devices, automating the process can be a more effective use of your team’s time and resources.

These steps will walk you through how to conduct Selenium cross-browser testing, regardless of the browser or device type.

Selenium supported browsers

Identify Target Browsers

You’ll need to establish a baseline for cross-browser testing before you begin the tests. You can do this by running all design and functionality tests on your primary browser. In most cases, this will mean running the tests in Chrome. Doing so allows you to create a “control group” and compare the site’s performance on other browsers to it.

Once you’ve established your baseline, identify other target browsers that your users are likely to use to visit your website.

Use Cross-Browser Testing Tools like Ranorex

As a free, open-source platform for automated cross-browser testing, Selenium is one of the most trusted tools for testers and developers creating web-based applications. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux—and it works natively with some of the most common programming languages.

However, while Selenium is a comprehensive tool on its own, Ranorex Studio is one of the best cross-browser testing tools and can work seamlessly with Selenium. 

Without Ranorex Studio, developers have to conduct all their tests individually and can’t run them in parallel with each other. Using it enables developers to build, manage, and execute cross-browser testing without adding hours of extra work to their workload.

Develop Test Cases

Ranorex Studio makes it easy for even the newest developer on your team to create test cases. Between our automated testing frameworks, GUI object recognition for web applications, and accessible support from our experts, you can develop test cases within the browser and OS of your choosing. This allows your team to make adjustments more easily, saving them time and potential human error.

Execute Test Cases

Using Ranorex’s integration with Selenium, conduct your cross-browser tests within a matter of minutes, in parallel with each other. The platform will return a report to you as each test concludes, noting errors and their level of urgency based on your parameters.


The results of your test cases will allow you to more easily find and prioritize the code you need to debug in your website applications. Whether your website behaves differently in other versions of the same browser or has critical changes to its operations across different browsers, Ranorex Studio’s integration with Selenium helps determine what to debug first to help your website run smoothly for all users.

Continuous Testing

With every update you make to your web-based application, you should conduct cross-browser testing during development or prior to release. This ensures that your webpage is functional and viewable for all users before updates are released. It also allows you to catch bugs or visual differences between browsers before they become an issue that affects your user experience.

Best Practices for Cross-Browser Testing

This non-exhaustive list will help you develop a foundation of best practices whenever your team needs to conduct cross-browser tests.

Remote test execution

Use a Testing Grid

Using testing grids in programs like Selenium allows you the flexibility to distribute your test cases for execution. It also reduces batch processing time and allows you to compare multiple nodes, or tests, using a singular hub as a control group.

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Automate Testing

Automating your cross-browser testing process streamlines it significantly by allowing you to conduct tests on multiple browsers at the same time. This can save your testing team hours of work and makes the test process less tedious and time-consuming when they’re operating on a deadline.

Mobile testing on real devices and simulators

Test on Real Devices

It’s one thing to emulate your cross-browser tests through a desktop, but you can get a better sense of the functionality of your website by using real devices. Conduct functionality tests on different types of devices and in native browsers to get a clearer sense of how your website operates on them.

Test Different Resolutions

Your website will render at various resolutions for different devices and browsers. Include resolution testing in your cross-browser test framework to ensure your website renders clearly and quickly at all resolutions, including mobile devices.

Mobile testing on real devices and simulators

Test for Performance

In addition to testing design elements and load speed for your web pages, the best websites also have tests to ensure their accessibility. This ensures you’re compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and that you do not alienate users with visual or auditory conditions by having inaccessible parts of your website.

Verify Functionality

It’s essential to test the base functionality of your web pages with cross-browser testing to ensure all elements on the page are working as intended. After all, if your site doesn’t work, your visitors will leave and find another website that does.

Mobile testing on real devices and simulators

Check for Browser-Specific Issues

Not all browsers are created equal. A known issue developers have identified for Firefox might not be present in Google Chrome, Opera, or Microsoft Edge, so it’s essential to be aware of any potential browser-specific issues and address them before they become a problem for your users.

Regular Updates

Your developers routinely develop new updates to make your site safer, more functional, and easier to use. Similarly, your application testers should perform cross-browser testing either during the development process or prior to updates being released.

Collaborate with Developers

Your developers and testing team should work in tandem to ensure your website or web-based application is functioning properly. By keeping an open line of communication between developers and testers—and fostering a culture of making data-informed decisions around your products—you’ll be able to create a better experience for your end users.

SAP testing with Ranorex Studio

Ranorex Studio for Cross-Browser Testing

Ranorex Studio works in tandem with Selenium to make your cross-browser functionality tests more effective. Its Selenium integration allows you to test in native browsers for Windows, macOS, and Linux with ease and conduct tests in parallel on all Selenium-supported browsers.

With Ranorex Remote, you can run tests simultaneously in different test environments all at once. You can also use Ranorex Parallel Runner, a command-line tool that allows parallel testing across multiple capabilities sets on a single Selenium grid.

Improve Your Cross Browser Testing with Ranorex

Ranorex can provide you with a suite of tools to ensure the effectiveness of your cross browser testing. We make automated testing a simple and understandable process so that even the most inexperienced coders can perform automated cross browser testing with relative ease. To try out Ranorex Studio and our other tools for yourself, contact us today and begin your free trial.

Start a Free Trial

Ranorex provides a suite of tools to ensure the effectiveness of the cross-browser tests you conduct. We make automated testing simple and understandable so everyone on your team can automate their cross-browser tests with relative ease. Start your free trial of Ranorex Studio and our other tools for yourself today.