Leveraging Playwright for Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing

By admin Feb 19, 2024

As software applications are growing exponentially, we need to make software applications or web apps more compatible, more efficient, and with a good user interface. Also, it should be compatible with more and more types of devices. The test for checking browser compatibility is called cross-browser testing. The testing that is performed to check the application compatibility across various types of devices is termed cross-device testing. 

There are various tools available on the market to perform these tests. But Playwright is a viral tool for that purpose. 

Playwright is a robust tool that automates cross-browser testing across Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit using a single API. It is an open-source software developed and launched by Microsoft in 2020. Playwright have many features that help to perform cross-browser testing efficiently and quickly. It has multi-language support, multi-platform support, and active community support.

All these features reflect why Playwright is considered a powerful automation testing tool for cross-browser testing. In this article, you will see what Playwright is, its benefits, cross-device testing, how to perform it with Playwright, and the best practices to follow. 

Let us start with the introduction first.

Introduction to Playwright

Playwright is an open-source library widely used for test automation. The various top contributors of Microsoft initially developed it. Playwright framework is also used to perform application testing for numerous types of web applications, such as single-page or multi-page web apps, before making them live for the users. Using Playwright to perform software testing allows you to test various operating systems such as macOS, Windows, Linux, etc. Also, Playwright has features that adapt its content and structure across different operating systems. This decreases the test case reusability. Hence, you do not need to write different code or modify the code according to the operating system.

Apart from supporting various operating systems, Playwright supports multi-web browsers such as MS Edge, Chrome, Safari, etc. This compatibility across different web browsers allows the testing team to provide a seamless and smooth user experience for all types of users. Due to the support of various web browsers, it will enable you to select all the elements of the web application individually, and you can perform the software testing process over them by using the friendly API. 

Key Features of Playwright

Below are the critical features of Playwright that make this automation testing tool popular among the developer and testing community. Playwright is not an old automation tool in the market. However, it is a powerful and reliable automation tool that has gained popularity in software application automation testing. It happened only due to amazing and unique automation testing features and capabilities. These are as follows:

Multi-language and Multi-Platform Support

When you perform cross-browser testing with Playwright, you do not need to worry about the programming language for writing test scripts. The playwright offers the testing team to choose their preferred language so that they can easily design the tests with ease and efficiency. 

Apart from that, the Playwright also automates Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit. These APIs can be used by developers writing JavaScript code to create new browser pages, navigate to URLs, and then interact with elements on a page.

Built-in Video Recording 

A video recording feature by default in this testing tool records the running tests. It helps debug and diagnose test failures but needs to be more seamlessly integrated into other tools. 

Playwright Inspector

The Playwright Inspector is a GUI tool to help debug your Playwright tests. It lets you review your tests, live edit locators, pick locators, and see actionability logs. This feature of Playwright is used to inspect web pages, generate selectors, navigate through various test executions, explore the click points, etc.

Trace Viewer

It is a handy and comprehensive debugging tool that captures a wealth of information during the test execution, test failures, and more testing phases.

Introduction to Cross-Browser Testing and Cross-Device Testing

Cross-browser testing is a web application that checks a website’s compatibility across different browsers. This testing process is used to check the features and functionality. The QA professional or team tests the consistency of the content and layout, such as how fonts and images display and whether the responsive site design works, if applicable. Also, the developers and QA team use cross-browser testing to check the web application usability, features, integrations with third parties, and many other things. 

There are various cloud-based tools and frameworks available that can be taken into account. Using cloud-based tools to perform cross-browser testing has multiple benefits. It increases the testing scalability, reliability, user experience, and many more factors. Also, you do not need to pay extra when you perform cross-browser testing on the cloud; you must only pay for the sources you utilize. 

Now, talking about cross-device testing. It is defined as the compatibility process of a website or web app across various types of devices. As we know, there are millions of devices across the globe, and this number is continuously growing. So, making your website or web application compatible with as many devices as possible is very important. Hence, it will create a good user base and ultimately increase the company’s reputation. 

Performing cross-browser testing adds a lot of advantages to the website or software application. It enhances the user experience. Cross-device testing helps identify inconsistencies or issues, ensuring users have a consistent and positive experience across all devices.

How to Perform Cross-Browser Testing with Playwright

Now, let us see the steps you must follow to perform cross-browser testing with the Playwright tool. 

Installing Playwright Tool

The first thing to perform cross-browser testing with Playwright is to install this. You can install Playwright as a Node.js library using npm with the following command:

npm install playwright

Writing Cross-Browser Test Scripts

You must write some good test scripts to perform automation testing for cross-browser and cross-device effectively. A good and highly efficient test script helps to check the functionality of your application deeply. And if any bugs are found, you can rectify them early. To write the best possible cross-browser test script, you need to consider the following pointers: 

  1. Select browsers and devices carefully for writing test scripts. Make a planned list of browsers and devices based on your target users. It will help to write specific test scripts.
  2. Consider and write test scenarios using Playwright’s rich API to cover user interactions and edge cases. 
  3. The third point to consider for writing cross-browser test scripts is to handle browser-specific code. The playwright helps the team write conditional code based on the browser context to ensure compatibility.

Execution and Analysis

The next step is to perform cross-browser testing with Playwright test execution and analysis. In this phase, you perform the following tasks:

  1. Running Tests: You can use the CLI (Command Line Interface) to run tests efficiently in parallel.
  2. Reviewing Test Results: After running the test scripts, the team must perform a detailed analysis of the generated reports. You can quickly identify the issue if the reports are correctly analyzed.
  3. Debugging: Debugging is finding and fixing errors or bugs in the source code of any software. You can use the Playwright debugging tools and APIs to resolve any error in your source code.

Best Practices for Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing with Playwright

Let us briefly examine the best practices for leveraging Playwright for cross-browser and cross-device testing.

Use emulators and simulators for your cross-browser testing and cross-device testing. Many cloud-based software testing tools like LambdaTest provide different emulators and real device cloud that help developers test their websites like real web browsers.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test execution and orchestration platform that empowers developers and testers to perform automation testing seamlessly on over 3000+ real browsers and operating system combinations.

What sets LambdaTest apart is the extensive grid of over 3000 real browsers and operating system combinations that users can access. This diverse testing environment ensures comprehensive coverage, guaranteeing thorough testing across various configurations.

Making a browser matrix is the process of creating a list of various web browsers and their versions for which we will test our project. Many older browsers do not accept new browser functions and CSS styles. So, to make the best testing result, build a browser matrix before starting the testing process.

Use the concept of parallel testing to run many tests simultaneously. You can run independent tests in parallel by distributing the tasks on different machines. It makes the testing efficient and saves time.

Always test your software applications before making them live, and test every component of your web app or software application to save the cost of future bug fixing. 


Playwright is a viral tool for performing cross-browser testing. However, there are plenty of tools and frameworks available that can be used to do this testing. However, the Playwright has a different place among the developers and QA team. Microsoft developed it and is a very new competitor compared to similar tools. Playwrights have multi-language support. Also, it has multi-OS and web browser support. The team can leverage cross-browser and cross-device testing on Playwright without any hesitation. 

Using cloud-based tools to perform cross-browser testing has various benefits. It increases the testing scalability, reliability, user experience, etc. To perform Playwright automation testing, you must install “npn” and write the test scripts. At last, you need to execute the tests and then make a detailed analysis. Also, there are some best practices that you should follow to get the best possible automation testing result using Playwright. You should know about leveraging Playwright for cross-browser and cross-device testing.

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