Mobile browser compatibility: Test it, or let someone else worry about it

Testing a site for mobile browser compatibility can be a tricky matter. Each of the different mobile platforms has their own built-in browser in addition to downloadable third-party ones, there are the different screen sizes and resolutions, different orientation sensors, and different processor power profiles.

And there's the ever-present problem of plug-in support and support for the new, growing browser technologies like HTML5 and CSS3.

But there are solutions, both for Web app developers and site admins.

This week, Google integrated the Selenium WebDriver project into the Android SDK as an add-in. Selenium can test websites and Web apps for Android 2.3+ browser compatibility within the Eclipse IDE or directly from the command line, and it simulates user interaction such as flicks, clicks, scrolls, long-presses, screen orientation flips, and so forth.

"We try to stay as close as possible to what the user interaction with the browser is. To do so, Android WebDriver runs the tests against a WebView (rendering component used by the Android browser) configured like the Android browser. To interact with the page Android WebDriver uses native touch and key events. To query the DOM, it uses the JavaScript Atoms libraries," the project's Wiki says.

Of course, if time is short, and Android-specific interaction testing isn't quite in the cards for your site, there's always simple substitution.

This is where a service like Onepager comes in. OnePager is a startup Website builder that focuses on giving its users a dead simple way to deliver sites with the broadest compatibility.

Let's say you have a plug-in heavy or cutting edge HTML5 site for your family restaurant. It looks great and works well across desktop browsers, but you need a mobile version that works on every mobile platform out there. Nothing fancy, just a guarantee that the important information (your location, contact information, hours, menu, links to social media/review sites) will be available on whatever device will be looking for you. This is what OnePager gives its users, a simple template for building a site that contains all this information that can be completed in minutes. It's almost exactly the same as and but for businesses.

Like those services, Onepager is totally free, too. However, there are monthly/yearly subscription tiers for users who want to use their Onepager as their full site, complete with analytics, custom URLs, and hosting with unlimited bandwidth.

By using a tested and proven template, you can opt to sidestep often lengthy browser compatibility tests. It's one of the many reasons that social media pages are sometimes found as the main sites for businesses and organizations; compatibility issues are entirely handled by someone else.

Photo: Bannosuke/shutterstock

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