Effectively Testing Your Website in Multiple Browsers
As a website designer you have the ability to create an attractive and functional design. Unfortunately, you do not have the ability to control which internet browsers will be using to view your site. Because each browser behaves differently you will need to test your projects in multiple browsers.
In most cases the variation from one browser to another will be minor, and probably will not even be noticeable to the average visitor. However, sometimes you site will have major problems in a particular browser that can prevent visitors from being able to use the site. The best way to be sure that your site is usable in different browsers is sufficient testing.
How Can You Test Your Website in Different Browsers?
For starters, you should be familiar with which browsers are most commonly used by your visitors. After all, you’ll want to make those browsers the biggest priority. Google Analytics will show you a breakdown of which browsers are being used by your visitors and how many visitors are using each one, breaking it down into a pie chart (shown below).
Once you know which browsers are most commonly used by your visitors you should focus your testing efforts on those browsers. You can easily install several different browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Netscape, but with the huge amount of browsers available you’ll never be able to have them all. This is where you will need the help of a few specific tools.
BrowserShots – Test your website in different browsers. BrowserShots creates screenshots of your pages in a wide variety of browsers and displays them for you to see. It also has several additional options.
BrowserCam – A paid service that lets you test multiple URLs in a huge number of browsers.
NetMechanic Browser Photo – Another paid service. Choose between one-time use or pay for an entire year.
Litmus – Another paid service. Also provides resources for testing email.
AnyBrowser – A variety of tools for creating and testing websites.
Articles and Resources:
How to Check Your Website with Multiple Browsers on a Single Machine – from thesitewizard.com
How to Use Different CSS Style Sheets for Different Browsers – from thesitewizrd.com
Why Test Your Website in Different Browsers – from gbradhopkins.com
CSS Hacks and Browser Detection – From WebCredible.
Introduction to Browser Specific CSS Hacks – from SitePoint
Cross Browser Issues – from devarticles.com
Position is Everything – Modern browser bugs explained in detail.
Published August 19th, 2007 by Steven Snell