While mobile websites offer cross-platform access, they still present a variety of testing challenges. Operating systems, browsers, and platform versions all need to be considered during mobile website testing. With that in mind, here are some tips and tools to help you achieve a successful mobile web launch.
Key to ensuring the universal accessibility of your mobile website is to test it on as many operating systems and browsers as possible. Unlike with native apps, people will be accessing a single webpage with a variety of devices spanning several manufacturers and carriers. And while your website might look fine on an iPhone, it might not work as well on an Android. Similarly, Firefox for Android and Chrome for Android can present unique issues—even on the same device. Without testing on multiple devices and browsers, you will never know if your website has issues.
An easy way to do an initial run of testing is to use mobile emulators or simulators. A variety of emulators match just about any mobile device you are targeting. Breaking the Mobile Web offers download links and information for thirty-seven different emulators and simulators, including device-specific, OS-specific and mobile browser-specific options.
If you’ve found issues but need help pinpointing the problem, a debugging program will help. Again, you’ll want to test your website across as many operating systems and browsers as possible to determine which have bugs. If you find a bug, one of these debugging programs will likely help you pinpoint the issue:
- Safari Mobile Debugger
- Webkit Remote Debugger (Apple)
- Opera Dragonfly (Opera)
- Chrome for Android Web Inspector
- Firefox for Android Remote Debugging
- Adobe Shadow
Consider checklists to help you remember what needs to be tested. OWASP’s security testing cheat sheet is designed for websites and can be used for mobile website testing. Look into general mobile app testing checklists. Lists dealing with mobile apps in the generic sense (rather than referring to native apps) will give you some good insight into mobile-specific issues like touch screens and device differences.
One last thing—even though emulators are helpful, nothing beats testing on real devices under real-world conditions. Crowdsourced testing can provide you with a real-world representation of your end users and help you feel confident that your mobile site functions and looks good across the board.
Jamie Saine is the marketing writer at uTest, the world’s largest marketplace for software testing services. She spends her time creating white papers, eBooks, case studies, web content, and blog posts focused on mobile, web, and desktop application testing. Jamie particularly gravitates toward the real-world ramifications of testing—or the lack thereof. Reach Jaime at email@example.com.