Comparing 4 Top Cross-Browser Testing Frameworks | TechWell

Comparing 4 Top Cross-Browser Testing Frameworks

Laptop with icons for multiple web browsers

The market is flooded with cross-browser testing frameworks, with more options than ever before. How should you decide which option is best to test your application for compatibility with different web browsers?

Let’s take a look at a comparison of four of the top open source solutions, listed below in an arbitrary order.

Cypress is a JavaScript-based front-end test automation framework. It’s intuitive and its test creation, execution, and analysis are extremely fast, efficient, and developer-friendly. 

Cypress is emerging as a dev-focused framework, with a great set of APIs, documentation, and examples. However, Cypress is limited in the number of browsers it can run or test against compared to Selenium.

Since Cypress has less mileage in the industry, it is also more limited in its integrations and flexibilities to fit into other DevOps toolchains. 


Selenium is the leading cross-browser test automation framework, and it works with many languages.

Selenium 4 will be 100% W3C compliant. The new version includes productivity features such as relative locators, a modified Selenium IDE, a new Selenium Grid implementation, and integration with Chrome debugging protocol (CDP).

Selenium, as opposed to Cypress, allows its users to create various types of testing, including performance, security, and unit testing, through its APIs. It also offers integrations and extensions.

Google Headless Puppeteer

Puppeteer is the modern headless browser testing for Chrome. It comes bundled with the latest Chrome browsers and allows users to run the tests within the browser. This provides fast feedback, debugging abilities, logs, and other Chrome DevTools features.

This is a dev-friendly solution and does not require setting up a complicated browser grid. It is also JavaScript-based, which makes it appealing to front-end web developers. Headless browsers provide fast feedback and are typically great to use in the earlier development cycle of a website feature.

Microsoft Playwright

Microsoft Playwright is one of the newest cross-browser testing tools. Playwright supports Chrome, WebKit, and Firefox browsers within a single solution, as opposed to Chrome only by Puppeteer.

Playwright is a node JavaScript-based framework that supports Windows, Linux, and MacOS. For test runner support, it supports Jest, Mocha, and Jasmine, as well as major CI servers like Jenkins, Azure Pipeline, Circle CI, and more. Among its rich features, Playwright also can support these additional capabilities:

  • Scenarios that span multiple pages, domains, and iframes
  • Auto-wait for elements to be ready before executing actions (like click, fill)
  • Intercept network activity for stubbing and mocking network requests

Bottom Line

The cross-browser testing landscape is undergoing massive changes, and there are more options than ever. Selecting from these four is not easy, since they are all great options.

To make the right decisions, your team must follow a rigorous process driven by value and quality in order to reach greater test automation coverage and higher-quality website applications.

Eran Kinsbruner is presenting the session How to Select the Right Selenium Tools to Boost Your Test Automation at the entirely remote Agile + DevOps Virtual conference, June 8–11, 2020.

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