April 15, 2022

Selenium Cross-Browser Testing: A Web Testing Tutorial


When it comes to ensuring robust applications for web applications, testing teams must perform cross-browser testing to ensure their applications function across browsers. End users have come to expect superior functionality for their apps, whether they are using Google Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and more. 

Many teams use Selenium cross-browser testing to test on multiple browsers at once for their responsive or traditional websites. Selenium is the de facto testing framework for the testing of web browsers. Selenium allows testing teams to create test scripts using various programming languages, including Java, Python, PHP, and more—all while testing across different web browsers to check an application’s functionality. 

Furthermore, Selenium is a versatile cross-browser testing tool which encompasses several main sections: Selenium WebDriver, Selenium IDE, and Selenium Grid. Each of these Selenium test automation frameworks contribute to the testing of successful applications.

Cross-browser testing in Selenium ensures that applications function the same regardless of which browser a user is accessing it from. 

In this blog, we will cover the ins and outs of Selenium cross-browser testing, as well as provide a helpful tutorial for those getting started with Selenium cross-browser testing.

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What Is Cross-Browser Testing With Selenium?

Cross-browser testing with Selenium is a way to test at scale on different browser-device combinations at the same time. Cross-browser testing with Selenium helps determine the ability of a website or application to perform across various operating systems and browsers, such as IE, Chrome, and Firefox. Cross-browser testing with Selenium helps ensure a consistent user experience across all browser and operating system versions.

Selenium releases frequently, and it is always improving. You can also integrate Selenium with other tools as part of your cross-browser testing effort. Selenium is the main test automation framework for web, but there are also Selenium alternatives.

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How Does Selenium Cross-Browser Testing Work?

You can do multiple browser testing with Selenium on Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox browsers. Selenium frameworks provides a built-in grid capability. This enables parallel testing and testing across browsers through various web drivers and language binding support.

Testing across multiple browser permutations as well as mobile devices is quite difficult. It requires a lab configuration that is always up to date. That’s why testing web apps across platforms involves leveraging Selenium to automate the effort.

You can do this using tools, such as Perfecto, to execute test cases on different browsers and mobile devices at the same time.

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Tutorial: How to Perform Selenium Cross-Browser Testing Using WebDriver, Java, and Perfecto

Here’s a walkthrough of how to perform cross-browser testing Selenium with Perfecto.

A standard Selenium project requires a local grid configuration. But when you’re working with Selenium and Perfecto, there’s a minimal setup that needs to be done.

You can also watch the video below to see how it works. Or keep reading for a quick introduction.

Watch a demonstration of cross-browser testing with Selenium.


1. Configure Your Selenium Project in the IDE

First, you’ll need to configure your Selenium project in the IDE. Let’s assume your Selenium project is already written in Java, JavaScript, or another language binding.

You’ll need to ensure the following are configured.

All of the POM.XML maven file dependencies are in place:

  • Perfecto reporting SDK dependencies
  • Selenium SDK dependencies
  • testNG dependencies
  • Maven plugin dependencies


<!-- Reportium SDK -->


Perfecto unique user configuration:

  • Perfecto cloud URL
  • Perfecto security token
  • Perfecto username

And you’ll also need the target platform under test configured in a testNG.xml file. This file specifies on which desktop browsers and mobile devices to execute the tests.


case "Firefox 64":
    device = false;
    fast = true;
    capabilities.setCapability("platformName", "Windows");
    capabilities.setCapability("platformVersion", "7");
    capabilities.setCapability("browserName", "Firefox");
    capabilities.setCapability("browserVersion", "64");
    capabilities.setCapability("resolution", "1280x1024");
    capabilities.setCapability("location", "US East");


2. Set Up Perfecto With Selenium Execution

To get started, you’ll need to have Perfecto set up that you’ll need for cross-browser testing with Selenium execution.

You’ve configured the Selenium project in the IntelliJ IDEA environment and built the testNG file. Now, the only thing that a user needs to do is to execute the testNG.XML file.

Selenium developers can use testNG to also pass many of the above-mentioned configurations as parameters (including cloud URL, Selenium address, username are examples). This creates much cleaner test code.

3. Run the Test Across Browsers

After triggering the execution from the IDE, you can login to the cloud to see the execution happening within the Perfecto live stream. In this view, you can track the execution progress. You can also zoom into a specific platform that is running.

In our execution, we tested the Boston Globe responsive website across 14 different web and mobile configurations in the Perfecto cloud.

In the demo video, you’ll see the devices and device capabilities are defined. So are the characteristics of the device for that test.

Once the testing is done, Perfecto will release the browser and mobile devices. Perfecto then can do a quick clean-up — and generate the subsequent report for you.




In our example, we’ve entered a couple of variables for a website — homepage, zip code, and more. The Selenium test will run on the site — and the reporting capabilities will capture what happens.

5. Analyze Test Results

Finally, you may have encountered a failure that is not a real defect. The failure reason tab within the reporting is the first step for analyzing the root cause — and deciding how to move forward.

There could either be a test coding issue, a platform specific configuration issue, or an environment issue. The initial analysis helps you improve the stability of your Selenium scripts and keep a healthy testing pipeline.

This is just the beginning of what you can do for cross-browser testing using Selenium WebDriver, Java, and Perfecto. Watch the full demo video above to go into more advanced Selenium test automation.  

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Automate Cross-Browser Testing in Selenium With Perfecto

To ensure scalability, reliability and advanced reporting and productivity, it’s recommended to move the execution to the cloud. And the best way to automate cross-browser testing with Selenium in the cloud, is to use Perfecto.

Perfecto and Selenium are seamlessly integrated. That means you can:

  • Connect your Selenium code to the Perfecto cloud.
  • (Easily) create a Selenium Grid with Perfecto in the cloud with browsers and mobile devices.
  • Test using Selenium WebDriver and Java — or other languages.

Get started for free with a 14-day trial.

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