Category Archives: Cross Browser Testing

12 Cross-Browser Testing Tools To Improve User Experience & Increase Conversion.

For my Free Digital Marketing Toolbox click here.

Why Cross-Browser Solutions?

Webpages can look very different in each browser they are viewed in because a browser understands some code slightly different than other browsers. This can often be the cause of your conversion rate being significantly lower for some of your supported browsers.

With over 1,000 combinations of browsers, operating systems and plugins it is practically impossible to check every single page to ensure it renders correctly for all users. Even if you only focus on checking the most common browsers, OS, device and plug-ins it is still a very time consuming and complex process.

For most organisations it is likely to be more efficient and better use of your scare resource to get a company that specialises in this task. They can quickly check and come back to you with screen shots from multiple browsers, operating systems, devices etc. You can then concentrate on the analysis and fixing problems identified.

1. Browsera:  Browsera locates cross-browser layout problems automatically by comparing each browser’s output and reporting on JavaScript errors. The site crawling feature allows for easy testing of all the pages on your site. It can also test pages behind login and does not require any installation as the service works entirely in the cloud. The Free plan offers limited browsers, deferred processing, public pages and low resolution screenshots. However, the Free plan does include problem detection, site crawling and JavaScript errors.

2. BrowseEmAll: Live testing, automated screenshots and compatibility reporting all from your own PC. BrowserEmAll operates from your local machine to find cross-browser problems, optimize for mobile devices using simulators for iOS and Android, test local pages and allows you to run different browsers side-by-side.

BrowserEmAll is great for testing websites protected by firewalls because it is on your own machine and you can run up to four different browsers side-by-side and instantly see how a change affects the page rendering in your selected browsers. Free trial licence key available on request.

3. Browsererling: Offers a limited Free live interactive cross-browser testing that is powered by HTML 5 canvas and JavaScript so no need for Flash, Applets or anything to install. Simply enter your URL and when your test is ready you have 3 minutes to review it. The paid plan unlocks ‘premium’ browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 to 11, and provides Secure Shell Tunnels (SSH), resolution changes and premium support.

4. BrowserShots: Is a Free (though there is a charge for priority processing) open-source online web application that takes screenshots of your web pages in different operating systems and browsers.  It uses a number of distributed computers to open your website in their browser. It will then take screenshots and upload them to a central  dedicated server for you to view.

5. BrowserStack: Provides easy access to all desktop and mobile browsers using live, web-based testing. You can test internal servers or local HTML designs, via remote browsers through a secure local testing setup. Free trial offer gives access to over 700 desktop and mobile browsers.

6. Cross Browser Testing: Covers over 1,000 combinations of browsers, operating systems and plugins.  Just enter your URL, select your browsers and get automated screenshots of how your website renders. Check Ajax, HTML forms, JavaScript and Flash  in most browsers and operating systems in your own browser or through a remote VNC connection. Also checks most major mobile devices.

The comparison feature allows you to choose a ‘base’ browser as a benchmark and provides a summary of rendering differences, plus screenshots of images side-by-side to identify layout issues. Allows you to test locally, even behind firewalls and secure login. You can also change the browser, cache, cookie settings and turn JavaScript off if required. Free trial and demo available.

7. Ghostlab: Provides synchronized testing of web and mobile for scrolls, clicks, reloads, and form input. This allows you to test the whole customer experience and identify problems connected with the DOM programming interface or JavaScript output.

Using their development tool you can inspect the DOM on connected devices remotely and make live changes to the DOM. Changes are synced to all connected devices, providing instant feedback on how it will affect your site on other devices. The remote JavaScript debugging feature allows you to debug JavaScript code on any client that is connected to Ghostlab. Free full-featured 7 day demo.

8. IE NetRenderer: A Free service that allows you to check how webpages render in Internet Explorer 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 or 5.5, as seen from a high speed data centre located in Germany. Type in your URL into the field and it comes back with your page almost immediately.

9. Litmus: Provides cross-browser testing as an additional feature to its email preview service. The latter shows previews across more than 30 email clients and devices, with images of how your message looks in the preview pane, and with images on and off. For cross-browser testing simply enter the URL and Litmus will show you how it looks in most popular browsers.

Further, Litmus offers link validation by providing a screenshot of each web page that a link in an email takes a recipient to and it certifies that the URLs you are linking to are not blacklisted. It also confirms that you click-throughs are being tracked correctly.

Offers unlimited and enterprise plans that allow you to use only the features you need, add as many users as you need, organize your account and re-sell Litmus without an integration. 7 day Free trial available.

10. SauceLabs: An automated cross-browser checking service for desktop and mobile. Covers over 450 browser and platform configurations. Enables access to live breakpoints during testing which allows you to investigate problems manually during the process. Free 14-day trial available for all sizes of organisation.

11. Spoon: This is a browser sandbox which currently covers Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, Firefox mobile, Opera mobile and Opera mini. Spoon offers manual and automated browser testing. The browsers run within isolated virtual containers, eliminating the need for installs and allowing legacy browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 to run on Windows 7 and 8. Just click Run for any browser to launch it instantly.

Containerised browsers behave the same as installed browsers, and because they run locally, you can test web applications hosted on your own development machine or on internal servers. Spoon browsers also support standard browser components like Java applets and ActiveX controls, as well as common plugin like Firebug, JE Developer Toolbar, and CSS and JavaScript debugging consoles.

Spoon browsers support standard browser components like Java applets and ActiveX controls as well as popular browser plugins like Firebug, IE Developer Toolbar, and CSS and JavaScript debugging consoles.

Browser Studio is Spoon’s three-step tool for creating custom browser containers. Choose your browser, and version, pick the run times and plugins you need and Spoon will create your custom test environment in minutes. This for instance allows you to test a web application with a Java dependency or see if Flash breaks your website.

12. TestingBot: Provides either automated or manual cross-browser testing with Selenium in the cloud. You can operate tests in 198 browser/OS combinations and every test runs on a virtual machine. Manual testing allows you to control browsers interactively from your own machine or you can run automated tests by choosing which browsers to test. You decide when automated tests should run and over what time frame.

Advanced reporting for each test includes multiple screenshots, video of your test and detailed statistics about the test. Their secure testing environment allows you to run tests on your local computer, on a LAN, or on a server via VPN. Offers a two week Free trial.

All the subscription services offer some kind of free trial and so you have nothing to lose by giving one or more a try out.

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You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

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  • About the author:  Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as Deezer.comFoxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com.  He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.  By  aligning each stage of the customer journey  with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to neal.cole@outlook.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.

Free Digital Marketing Toolbox

Over 300 Marketing Solutions To Boost Conversion Rates.

Updated 29th April 2017

  • Original posts explaining how to improve the performance of your digital marketing activity.
  • Regularly updated and designed for the professional marketeer, usability expert, website designer, developer or conversion specialist.

Please bookmark this page to ensure you can find it when you next need it.

1. A/B testing tools:

View my post here on choosing an A/B and MVT testing tool, including user ratings and over 20 suppliers to select from. This now includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) testing and optimisation solutions.

In addition to help you decide what to test: How should you prioritise your A/B test ideas?

2. Abandonment recovery emails and onsite re-marketing:

 

image of laptop and shopping cart
Source: Freeimages.com

Read my post here on how to engage visitors who abandon your website and  details of 8 suppliers to consider.

 

3. Address verification and auto-complete tools:

 

Read my post: 10 Free & Paid For Address Lookup Solutions To Boost Conversions.

4. Books:

 

There are some great books to help you optimize your website. Here is my post on 12 Awesome Books To Help You Optimize Your Website.

You can also read a review of The Growth Strategy That’s Being Ignored from Paul Rouke at PRWD.

 

5. Browsers and resolutions:

Images of browser logos

View my post – 12 Cross-Browser Testing Tools To Improve Your User Experience And Conversion.

 

6. Card Sorting (Remote):

 

My post explains how to use online card sorting to improve your website navigation – 6 Online Usability Card Sorting Tools To Improve Website Navigation.

 

7. Competitor Analysis:

 Evaluate competitors’ sites that have more traffic or a higher proportion of returning  visitors than your website.

 

Read: 10 free and paid website audience comparison tools for competitor benchmarking.

 8. Cultural Dimensions By Country:

 

For a full summary of key cultural factors in website design see my post: What you need to know about cross-cultural website optimization. 

9. Design Feedback (Also see Usability Tools) :

 

Get expert of customer feedback on your designs – 9 tools for getting design feedback for websites and apps.

10. Email Marketing:

 Images of promotional emails

Read my posts: 13 email verification solutions to boost conversions and 4 strategies to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing.

11. Fold height:

See Above the fold in my conversion glossary for details of how the fold influences visitor behaviour.

 

1. Google Chrome Screen Resolution Tester:  Resizes the browser window to view websites in different resolutions.

2. Scree Resolution Simulator: Test website usability with different screen resolutions.

3. Screenfly: Responsive screen testing on monitors, tablets, smart phones and more.  http://quirktools.com/screenfly/

 

12. Headings & imagery:

 

Ensure your landing page headings and imagery align with customer expectations by using word association to identify what people automatically think about when they explore your sector or product.

1. Human Brain Cloud: A simple multi-player word association game which will display results for words that you enter at the end of the URL (after #view/)

2. Word Associations Network: Project Word Associations Network allows you to lookup associations with a given word.

3. wordassociation.org:  Started off as a project and now claims to be the world’s largest database of word associations.

 

13. Image optimisation:

image of faces of two women from jpegmini.com

Reduce load speed and improve conversion by choosing from 14 image optimization tools.

 

14. Internal site search:

 

Evaluate your built-in search functionality by analysing key words  used by visitors or use a third-party search tool provider.

1. Google site search:  Uses the same technology that powers Google search to allow your visitors to find content on your website.

2. Freefind: Established in 1998, Freefind is a Free site search engine used by over 200,000 websites.

3. Fusion Bot: A site search engine which offers search, site map and reporting. Being fully hosted it does not require software to be installed. Also offers e-Commerce search engine with search and navigation of your site.

4. Adobe Target: Search driven merchandising includes options such as  auto-complete, a did you mean function, dynamic image options, multi-media use and decision-making refinements (filters).  Allows for automated merchandising rules and enables customised result display (e.g. sorting options).

 

15. Live chat:

 

Image of Carphonewarehouse.com live chat
Source: Carphonewarehouse.com

Improve engagement and reduce bounce rates by offering live interaction with customers whilst they are on your website.

Read my post – 6 top live chat solutions to increase sales.

16. Load speed for web pages:

 

 

Free resources are outlined in my post – How to improve site load speed to increase conversions.

17. Navigation Guidance &  App Tours:

 

Image of tool tips on Virginatlantic.com

Read my post: 9 Website onboarding solutions to improve conversions.

 

18. Personas:

Here is my post  7 free buyer persona online tools to build your personas.

To understand how to create buyer personas and benefit your bottom line please read my post: How to use personas to improve conversion. 

 

 

19: Product Ratings & reviews:

View my post about the value of product ratings and reviews, including the top suppliers here.

 

20. SEO Keywords:

Image of the letters SEO and a computer mouse
Source: Freeimages.com

 

Here is my post on How to do keyword research and 17 awesome tools to use.

You may also find this post useful; How to use Google’s Search Console to Boost Conversions.

21. SEO Link Building & Site Audit Tools:

 

View my post – 20 Powerful Link Building Tools To Drive Traffic To Your Website.

 

22. Social media tools:

 

View my post – Over 50 awesome tools to optimize your social media activity.

 

 

23. Stock Images (Free):

 

The use of stock images is often criticised by conversion experts because the same images are sometimes used by competing websites. They are also sometimes used inappropriately (e.g. to show a member of your customer services team when they are clearly a model).

However, when you have a limited budget, and provided you take care with selection, stock photos can be a great resource to convey relevant imagery on your website. Pictures are engaging and can instantly communicate emotions.

Here are 6 resources that provide free stock images and illustrations.

1. Flickr: The world’s largest online photo imaging and sharing application. A great website used by some of the world’s top photographers. Not all images can be used commercially so check first before you use a photo.

2. Morguefile: Contains freely contributed photographs for creative projects. Morguefile do ask you to reference the photographer where possible.

3. StocksPhotos.io: This is a community for high resolution images (over 27,000 to choose from).

4. rgbstock: Is a free resource of high quality photographs and  graphics for illustrations, wallpaper and backgrounds.

5. Openphoto: An extensive library of stock photos which was established in 1998 and now has a huge selection of free images to choose from. Categories organised in thumb nails and also has a keyword search facility.

6. Freeimages: Most of the 6,000 images on file were either taken exclusively for the site or were sourced from contributing photographers and illustrators.

 

24. Surveys and user polls:

Typeform.com mobile survey
Source: Typeform.com

Click here for How to use online Voice of Customer tools to boost conversions – and 22 tools to reviewed.

 

25. Text Analysis – Word clouds:

 

A word cloud is an image composed of words used in a particular text or subject, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency or importance.

You can use word clouds as a way to visualise verbatim responses of users to surveys. complaints, problems or other feedback from visitors.

1. ABCya!: A word cloud for kids that may be relevant if your website is out interest to children. Type or paste text into the box below and press the arrow button to view the word cloud generated.

2. Jason Davies: A great tool if you want to generate a word cloud from a blog or website.

3. Tagcrowd: Allows you to set  specific criteria  for your cloud such as language, maximum number of words and minimum frequency.  Allows you to create a word cloud from a URL or upload text from a document.

4. Tagxedo: Create word clouds from a URL, Twitter ID, Del.icio.us ID, news, search,  RSS feed, uploading text or enter it yourself.

5. Tagul: A word cloud generator with advanced features including words inside words, rich font choices, roll-over effects, custom shapes, colours and fonts and export in vector formats.

6. WorditOut: Advanced filters allows you to filter the text to display or remove words and change their importance. Select your own layout by choosing your own colours, fonts, and sizes or let WorditOut find a random look for you.  http://worditout.com/

7. Wordle:  A simple word cloud generator which allows you to set the weights of words.

26. Tree Testing:

 

Tree testing or reverse card sorting is a usability technique used to evaluate how easy it is to find topics on  a website using the navigation structure. Checkout my post: How to improve website navigation using tree testing. 

27. Trust Assessment:

 

 

1. TrustRadius: Business software reviews from users, software comparisons and insights.

2. Web Of Trust:  The WOT user community has rated over 36,000,000 websites. Check out how they rate your website. I have seen mixed reviews about how accurate the ratings are on this site, so proceed with caution.

 

28. Usability:

 

Read my post – How to do usability testing to improve conversions – including 12 top solutions to use. 

 

29. Video – Explainer Videos:

Here is my post  –  How to create an awesome explainer video which includes a list of 111 studios and video production companies to choose from. 

 

30. Video – Explainer Videos (DIY):

 

1. GoAnimate: Software to produce professional animated videos. Free trial available.

2. PowToon: Free software version available to produce your own animated videos.

3. VideoScribe: Make your own whiteboard videos fast. 7 day Free trial available.

 

31.Video Players (Including Hosting):

 

 

1.SPROUTVIDEO: A video hosting that allows you customise, publish and track videos online. Includes security, marketing and analytical tools. Sprout allows you to monitor the number of plays and impressions, including geographic location and the domains they are played on.

2. Vimeo Pro: A fully customisable and embeddable HTML5
player with advanced statistics, private review pages and 20GB of HD storage
each week, with no additional bandwidth limitations.

3. Vzaar:  A customisable video players with multi-language sub-titles. Features include HTML5 support, JavaScript API, dual encoding, privacy and domain control, RTMPe and HTTPS embed code for a secure login portal. A 30 day Free trial is available.

4. Wistia: Offers a Free version with Wistia branding that allows you to produce up to 25 videos a month and basic analytics. The paid for versions include HTML5 support, real-time analytics, playlists, custom skins, email embeds, popovers, video SEO, and more. Wistia’s video heatmaps show when users stop, start, skip, and re-watch your video.

32. Video Spokesperson:

 

Read my post: How did Virgin Holidays achieve a 30% uplift in seat upgrades?

33. Visual analytics (heatmaps & session recordings):

Read my post: 15 Free & Paid For Visual Analytics Solutions to Boost Revenues.

 34. Visual  Eye Tracking  Heatmaps :

 

Eye tracking and facial coding solutions to optimise your digital content.

35. Web Analytics:

 

Google Analytics homepage
Source: Google Analytics

Read my post on the importance of the importance of web analytics and  a review of 18 top free and paid for solutions.

 

36. Other Conversion Toolboxes:

 

1. Conversion Ninja Toolbox: Tim Ash, Sitetuners, – author of Landing Page Optimization.

2. Conversion Optimization Toolbox: From Marketizator.

3. My Free Conversion Rate Optimization Toolbox: Rich Page – author of Website Optimization – An hour a day.

Wow, congratulations on getting to the end of this post. Please share using the social media icons below to prove you got this far.

Please contact me with any feedback or details of other tools that assist in improving conversion that you think should be included in the toolbox.

You can access all my posts on conversion, digital marketing and more here on my archive page.

  • About the author:  Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as Deezer.comFoxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com.  He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.
  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to neal.cole@outlook.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.