Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Testing your web page in over 60 browsers.

So you have developed this mind blowing, gob smacking, beautiful website. It rocks! But the first day you put it up, you get an e-mail along the lines of, "your website sucks, the size is all wrong, things are not positioned correctly, its all outa whack".

What in the world is going on here? Your site rocks, who is this idiot? What is he ranting and raving about?

You soon find out that the unfortunate user viewed your site in a different browser to what you have. The site does not display well in browser xxx.

What do you do? Well you could install all the browsers onto your machine and test them all individually. But that's a scary thought and not advised.

Most would only try and get their site to display well in the three major browsers, Firefox, IE and I suppose Safari.

But as most of you know these three do not agree with each other as to the standards that should be kept. Even the different browser versions display sites differently within the same browser family. I am not going to debate which browser is the best or which is the most compliant when it comes to web standards.

What I am going to do is let you into a little secret. I came across a site that will take a snap shot of how your site looks in over 60 browsers. Now you do not have to test all 60, but you can choose which browsers you want to target.

It navigates to your site, and loads it into each of the browsers that you selected. Takes a snap shot of what your website looks like.

The best thing about this is that it is a free service. 121 computers run by volunteers are used to submit sites to different browsers. They even have some rudimentary stats. Where you can see against which browsers people are testing.

No surprises that it seems that IE is winning the testing race, followed by Firefox, the I think Safari. Opera makes a good showing as well. But there are browsers being tested that I have not even heard of.

The site in question is browsershots, and it can be found at this address http://browsershots.org.
Check it out. If you are into building and testing websites and you believe that you might be having some peculiar display issues. Submit your site to browsershots and see how your site is rendered in the browsers of your choice.

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