How to Test and Debug Local Sites on Mobile Devices Connected to a Network?
By Tom Collins, Community Contributor - October 1, 2022
According to statistics, there are 5.7 billion people who are using smartphones to access the internet and visit websites. So it’s a key responsibility for developers to make the website or web application mobile friendly. QA testers who upload high standards of accuracy and quality prefer real-world testing by accessing real mobile devices. This guide will discuss how QA testers can test responsive websites locally and debug them in the best possible ways.
How to View Local Websites on Mobile Devices?
When it comes to viewing the local websites on mobile devices, you should understand the IP address & port numbers in the localhost URLs. There’s a simple step-by-step process to view local websites on any mobile device connected to a network:
- Step 1 – First, use any local device to go to localhost URLs. After that, note down the port number (it looks like localhost:5000, 8000, etc.)
- Step 2 – Once you have a local host port number, you should focus on getting the local IP address. To get the local IP address, go to the desktop (Windows or Mac), open the command prompt, and type “ipconfig.”
- Step 3 – Run this command in the command prompt, and you’ll see the complete information about IPv4.
- Step 4 – After getting the IP address and the port number, go to any mobile browser and enter the URL in the given format (IP address: port number). It will then redirect you to see the local website on the mobile device.
Once you’ve viewed the website on a local device, the next question is…
How to debug a Local Website on a Mobile Device?
Debugging a website is crucial for testers to identify & resolve the bugs from the local site and make it user-friendly, interactive, and mobile responsive. But when it comes to debugging a website, it becomes challenging for testers because it requires many real devices & browsers to check the performance of the local website and avoid cross-browser compatibility issues, which may cause lots of money and effort.
However, there’s a better alternative solution to debug a local website, i.e., BrowserStack App Live. A cloud-based platform that provides QA testers a complete testing environment to test the local website and get access to 3,000+ real devices & browsers. So testers can pick any device-OS-browser combination and start debugging a local website with a few clicks.
For debugging a local website, the Chrome DevTools is essential, and BrowserStack makes the debugging process easier. Follow the step-by-step process to debug a local website:
Step 1 – Go to “Product” and select “App Live”.
Step 2- Now, you’ll see the list of 3,000+ real devices & browsers, and you need to select Chrome & OS where you want to debug a local website.
Step 3 – Once you open Chrome, click the local website URL.
Step 4 – Now, open the Chrome DevTools in Chrome. By clicking on the upper-right side dots, go to “more tools” and click Developer Tools.
Step 5 – After opening the DevTools, you’ll see a Responsive section where a list of mobile devices is available, and you need to select any device.
Step 6 – Now, right-click and select “inspect element” to identify the web page elements.
Step 7 – It’s time to Debug a website and inspect all the elements, performance, and web vitals to identify the bugs & resolve them.
By following these steps, testers can debug a local website, but it comes with various challenges and the risk of getting errors. Instead of using Chrome DevTools to do manual debugging, BrowserStack can make the tester’s work easier and help to test a local website faster.
Must-Read: How to Perform Mobile Browser Debugging
How to Test a Local Website on Mobile with BrowserStack?
BrowserStack App Live provides a complete local testing environment for QA testers and provides access to 3,000+ real devices and browser simulators to test the local website. So that testers can test local websites on mobile devices and check their cross-browser compatibility in a few clicks.
Local Testing creates a consistent tunnel between your local development/staging environments and the BrowserStack Cloud. All your web and mobile apps can be tested out of the box, including those hosted on localhost, behind proxies and firewalls, and much more.
Here’s the step-by-step process to test a local website on BrowserStack:
Step 1 – First, you must download the BrowserStack Local extension in your chrome to enable the local connection.
Step 2 – Once the extension status shows “Connected,” launch the extension.
Step 3 – Select the OS (Android or iOS) and any browser (Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Microsoft Edge) from the dashboard.
Step 4 – Paste the URL of the local website after selecting the device and browser.
Step 5 – It’s time to test local websites on mobile. In the left sidebar – there’s an option “Local Testing” with a green signal (which means the network is connected), you need to click on the option, and you can test a local website on different parameters, including performance, compatibility, networking, location, and other elements.
Step 6– Get a detailed report after testing the local website.
Following the step-by-step process, testers can test local websites on mobile devices within a few clicks.
Besides this, if QA teams wish to run a responsive test for a hosted website, they can test their sites instantly using BrowserStack Responsive tool. Instantly view how their site renders across numerous devices with different screen sizes and resolutions.
Advantages of Testing a Local Website on BrowserStack
- Test responsive websites locally and web apps on 3,000+ real cloud devices and browsers with different versions.
- Debug easily using the developer tools on different browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge)
- Keep your work under wraps till it’s time for a full-blown product launch.
- Once a Local Testing connection is established, you can test websites on the Cloud without compromising your team’s network security protocols.
- IP Whitelisting and Advanced Local Testing for enterprises enforce monitoring, logging, and security policies for every user across the organization.