Sauce Labs provides a cloud-based, automated testing platform for web and mobile software development. For the past three years they have surveyed professionals in the field to track trends in testing practices among software development teams. They released their 2017 survey today and the results are of interest to software developers and the general public alike. […]
Why do websites fail in some browsers?
There’s a simple and straightforward answer to this question – the browser wasn’t tested before the current build of the website went live. The graph above shows the percentage of companies that test their web applications for a number of popular browsers. With the exceptions of Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge, all the browsers saw a decline in testing from 2016 to 2017.
The one percentage point changes for Chrome and Opera are too small to be meaningful and the 16-point loss for Internet Explorer isn’t surprising because it’s now a legacy browser. However, the 10-point loss for Firefox and the 14-point loss for Safari are unexpected. The survey did not ask why some companies have decided to stop testing for everything except Chrome and Edge.
A decline in testing for individual browsers isn’t the only reason why websites may fail. The Sauce Labs survey found that the percentage of companies that only test the current version of each browser rose from 37% in 2016 to 49% in 2017. One of the reasons behind this increase may be that companies assume most browsers are automatically updated. Unfortunately, this practice can lead to problems for consumers that turn automatic updating off and companies that do not allow automatic updates from outside their firewall.
Sauce Labs characterizes the decline in cross-browser testing as “a potential area of alarm”. It’s also surprising given how fast and easy it is to conduct tests of multiple browsers and browser versions with automated testing platforms like the one provided by Sauce Labs. Continue…
i don’t always read through a posting / article from start to finish, but this was one of ’em that i did… some really good info in there, and to be honest, i think we’re right smack dab in the middle of these findings as well… i feel like i spent more time browser testing in the past than i have of late, so that might be something i need to try to be better about — and certainly aware of — moving forward into 2017.