Testing on Safari Browsers: Best Practices and Challenges


With the speedy technological advancements and the digital age, companies strive to benefit most from it and ensure their web application can run smoothly across all platforms and browsers. 

Today, companies depend on an Internet presence to boost their return on investment and increase their reach online. This is because the majority of web applications are built to work with a variety of browsers. 

It is essential to every user-friendly web app since one must ensure that the application can be used with all browsers and browser versions at any moment. 

However, cross-browser testing is a subject that is often overlooked since there are numerous difficulties with testing across browsers that developers must overcome when integrating this into the QA process.

We’re all aware we know that Google Chrome is the most well-known browser around the globe. But did you know that, with 17.24 percent of the total market share of browsers, Safari is the second most viewed?

The reason Safari has such a strong presence is the fact that it’s the default browser on every Apple device. We also know how developers and programmers enjoy macOS, so we must ensure that our websites have been tested and optimized in every Safari version.

The most recent version of Safari (10 and higher) includes Safari driver, an option built into Safari to perform web browser debugging. The older version of Safari required users to install an extension called the Safari WebDriver extension, which is no longer available in the most recent versions. Safari browser uses Safaridriver to implement the WebDriver protocol.

In this blog, we will see how to test on Safari browsers and some cross-browser testing challenges and browser compatibility issues with their solutions.

Test On Safari Browsers: Top Challenges

i) Limited Debugging tools: Safari’s developer tools built into the browser are powerful; however, they can differ from other browsers. Learn about Safari’s capabilities for debugging.

ii) Vendor Prefixes: Older versions of Safari may require prefixes of the vendor to be used for CSS properties. Be aware of the versions that need prefixes and apply the prefixes accordingly.

iii) Cross-Browser Compatible: Cross-browser compatibility may be difficult because Safari can behave differently from other popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

iv) Testing on older Devices: Older Apple devices might have limited resources and cannot support the most modern web technologies. Make sure your website functions properly when using older equipment.

v) Only for Mac: Safari mostly runs for Apple devices. Tests on macOS are crucial to ensure that it covers the user base.

vi) Updates: Safari updates are linked to macOS and iOS updates. Be ready for changes to behavior with every OS update.

vii) Security Restrictions: Safari has stringent security guidelines, which could affect how your website behaves, specifically with respect to third-party cookies and cross-origin requests. Be aware of the restrictions.

viii) Third-Party Libraries: Third-party plugins and libraries may not function properly in Safari. Check compatibility with any other components you are using.

Best Practices For Testing On Safari Browsers In 2023

1) Use Real Devices

Utilizing real devices to test is an essential best practice when developing websites, particularly when testing with Safari browsers. Here’s why testing with real devices is crucial and a few tips for successful testing on real devices:

Why Use Real Devices:

i) Accurate Representation: Real devices precisely depict how your site or web app will behave for real users. Simulators and emulators can’t reproduce all the device-specific behavior accurately.

ii) Different device types: Apple’s ecosystem includes many different devices, including iPhones and iPads, up to MacBooks and Macs. The testing on authentic devices lets you cover the whole range of devices.

iii) Hardware Variability: Real devices have various hardware configurations, screen sizes, resolutions, and capabilities. Testing on various devices can help determine hardware-related issues.

iv) Gestures and Touch: For mobile and touchscreen devices, real-world devices allow you to test touch gestures with gestures, responsiveness, and precision.

Tips for Effective Real-Device Testing:

i) Create a Lab for a Device Lab: Create a device lab that includes a variety of Apple devices with different resolutions, screen sizes, and operating versions of the system. The lab should comprise older and newer devices to reach a wider audience.

ii) Utilize Remote Testing Service: If you don’t have access to various Apple devices, think about using remote testing tools like BrowserStack and Sauce Labs. These services allow access to devices and browsers hosted in the cloud, allowing users to test on various configurations.

iii) Testing on Various iOS versions: Make sure you run the test on several iOS versions because Safari behavior may differ between versions. Test on devices that run diverse iOS versions to reach an extensive population of users.

iv) Consider network conditions: Test your website in various network conditions, including Wi-Fi and cellular data. This will help you identify problems with performance that can cause problems for users with slower connections.

v) Debugging using Real Devices: Familiarize yourself with Safari’s tools for developers on macOS since they are vital to debugging problems with Apple devices. With these tools, you can examine elements, analyze JavaScript, and analyze the network traffic.

vi) Cross-Browser Testing:  Apart from Safari, you can test other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, particularly when your audience has different browsers.

Utilizing authentic devices and implementing these suggestions ensures your website or web application functions properly and delivers a smooth browsing experience to Safari users on different Apple gadgets and OS versions.

2) Testing On Multiple Versions of Safari

Testing with various versions of Safari is essential for ensuring that your site or web application functions properly across the various Safari browser versions. Here are some good practices for testing across multiple Safari versions:

i) Find Target Versions: Determine which Safari versions are the most appropriate for your intended audience. Examine your website’s analytics to identify your visitors’ browsers. Make sure you test the most frequently used versions.

ii) Simulators and Emulators: While actual devices are the best, emulators and simulators can be useful to test older versions of Safari, which may not be available. Utilize Xcode’s simulator on macOS and iOS. Consider apps such as Cross BrowserTesting to test your tests on the cloud using different Safari versions.

iii) Test using the most recent version of Safari: Make sure you test with the most current version of Safari since it usually comes with bug fixes and enhancements. Make sure your website is compatible with the latest version.

iv) Prioritize older versions: While ensuring your site is compatible with the most recent Safari version is essential, don’t forget about those who might still be using older versions. Check that your website works properly on these versions as well.

v) Regression Tests: If you implement changes or modifications to your website, perform regression testing across different Safari versions to ensure that the new features or changes do not cause compatibility issues with older versions.

vi) Testing Service: Consider using browser test services such as LambdaTest that provide access to various Safari versions on both simulators and real devices. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and test execution platform that helps businesses drastically reduce time to market through faster test execution, ensuring quality releases and accelerated digital transformation. The platform allows you to perform both real time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices, making it a top choice among other cloud testing platforms.

Through thorough testing on various versions of Safari and ensuring that your site is functional and accessible in a way that is suitable for a wide variety of users, irrespective of the Safari version they’re using. This will improve the user experience and assist in preventing problems with compatibility.

3) Responsive Design

Responsive design is essential to developing websites and should not be ignored when testing Safari browsers.

It is the process of ensuring that your site seamlessly adapts its layout, content, and design to fit various sizes and orientations found on the various ranges of Apple devices. 

Since Safari is the primary browser on Apple devices, users must be aware that they can visit your website from various devices with different resolutions. 

When you prioritize an adaptive design, you can ensure that your content stays attractive, accessible, and user-friendly regardless of whether they are using the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or iMac. 

This ability to adapt to different sizes and orientations of screens is crucial to delivering an unbeatable and enjoyable user experience to your visitors, improving engagement, and decreasing bounce rates.

4) CSS and JavaScript Compatibility

Ensuring CSS and JavaScript compatibility across Safari browsers is a pivotal facet of web development. As the default browser for Apple devices, Safari can sometimes interpret CSS styles and JavaScript code differently than other popular browsers like Chrome or Firefox. 

Therefore, meticulous attention to cross-browser consistency is imperative. This involves rigorous testing and validation of your CSS stylesheets and JavaScript functionalities on Safari, encompassing multiple versions to effectively cover a broader user base. 

Issues such as rendering discrepancies, layout distortions, or unexpected script behaviors can arise, making it paramount to address these challenges promptly. 

Leveraging feature detection, modern CSS techniques and JavaScript polyfills or libraries can aid in creating a consistent user experience across Safari and other browsers, ensuring your website or web application functions flawlessly and retains its aesthetic appeal while maintaining compatibility with Apple’s ecosystem.

By comprehensively addressing CSS and JavaScript compatibility, you enhance user satisfaction and foster a more inclusive online presence that caters to various audiences across various devices and browser preferences.

5) Performance Testing

Testing performance is an important element of web development that involves testing the responsiveness, speed, and overall effectiveness of a site or application when it is accessed using Safari browsers. Since Safari is the primary browser on Apple devices and devices, its performance could significantly affect your user’s experience.

Performance testing is the process of evaluating elements like the time it takes to load a page and usage of resources, as well as server response time and overall responsiveness of the website on Safari and other devices, covering a variety of configurations and networks. Finding and removing performance bottlenecks can result in speedier loading times, lower bounce rates, and increased user engagement.

Conducting thorough performance tests with Safari developers can ensure that their websites perform at their best and offer an effortless browsing experience for users using Apple devices, thus enhancing the usability and competitiveness of their web-based services.


Testing using Safari browsers, specifically using automation testing tools such as LambdaTest, is an essential element in web design for any company trying to make its mark on an audience within the Apple ecosystem. Safari’s popularity on Apple devices emphasizes the need for thorough testing to ensure users have a smooth experience. 

LambdaTest, with its extensive testing capabilities for browsers, helps speed up the process by offering access to a broad range of Safari versions on actual devices and emulators. If you follow the best practices, including testing multiple versions using actual devices and focusing on responsive design and optimization for performance to ensure your site or web application is suitable and optimized for Safari users. 

A commitment to testing using Safari tools such as LambdaTest can result in improved compatibility with all browsers, fewer user issues, and a more prominent online presence. This is crucial to reaching and keeping your targeted customers in today’s diversified web world.