I would hope that those of you taking the time to read this posting would have some idea of why you should perform some level of testing of the software and websites you create. However, I am keenly aware that some management types don’t always understand the importance of testing until an untested “feature” appears in the wild, frustrating all that run across it.

  1. Ensure Cross Browser Compatibility- Unless you develop a website for internal usage only, where you are able to successfully restrict users to a specific version of a specific browser, Cross Browser Compatibility ensures your site functions well for the greatest number of users.
  2. Detect Shallow Errors - Simply loading a website for a quick look in all the major browsers allows you to find 95% of all the browser compatibility errors for your site.
  3. Discover Performance Issues - Typically, older and less-advanced browsers, such as Internet Exporer, and the older versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are unable to process the CSS, JavaScript, and HTML that the most recent and more-advanced versions of these browsers handle with ease.
  4. Prioritize Backwards Compatibility - I have heard countless times that we need to make sure this website supports browser versions that were released more than a decade ago. Instead of just making excuses for why you can’t support them, testing your site in the older browsers first allows you to put a more accurate time estimate that supporting these browsers will require. Its amazing to see how the requirements for supporting old and outdated browsers evaporate as the time and cost estimates begin to add up.
  5. CYA - Whether it is your internal customer that is requesting the new website or you are an agency working with another individual or business for a new website, the last thing you want to have happen is that the customer open the site when it goes live in a browser you have not tested yet and has major issues. Establish ahead of time what the list of supported browsers will be and make sure to test all of them. If you have time, test the next most popular browsers or versions of popular browsers.

While testing your website may not be the most exciting part of web development, it definitely will save you time and money in the long run.