Check Web Browser Compatibility for Your Website

When you are designing a web site it is important to always test the design in many browsers. The reason for this is that different browsers may display your web site in different ways.

It has always been a difficult task to test your web site design in many browsers and many versions of the different browsers. To help with this there is a web site that can do this all for you, and provide screenshots of your web site as it is viewed in the browsers.

Browsershots

Browsershots is a web site that allows you to test your web site in many different browsers on several operating systems. The operating systems include Windows, Linux, Mac, and BSD.

The browser options include multiple versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, as well as the lesser known browsers and versions. You check the browsers you want to test, and uncheck the ones you don’t want to test. It is that simple.

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There are other options that you can specify as well. You can specify screen size, colour depth, Javascript, Java, and flash options. These options should provide you with a good idea of how your web site will look on most computers.

Using Browsershots

Even with all the options, Browsershots is incredibly simple to use. The user interface is very basic with a textbox, check boxes and dropdown lists. The following steps describe how to use Browsershots.

  1. Navigate to Browsershots.
  2. Browsershots - Home Page
    Click to view full size (80KB).

  3. Enter your web site address in the text box at the top of the page.
  4. Check the browsers you want to test your web site with, and uncheck the browsers you don’t want to test.
  5. If you have specific requirements for screen size, colour depth, Javascript, Java and Flash, you can set those options below the browser list. Simply use the dropdowns associated with each option.
  6. When you have set your requirements, click the Submit button to test your web site.
  7. Browsershots - After submit button
    Click to view full size (56KB).

  8. Once you submit your web site, the screenshots will slowly be generated. On the new page, simply refresh the page every few minutes to see the generated screenshots appear.
  9. Browsershots - Uploading screenshots
    Click to view full size (64KB).

  10. Clicking on any of the screenshots will produce a large copy as well as display all the information regarding the computer that generated that screenshot.
  11. If you want to download the screenshots, there is a link at the bottom of the page (after the screenshots), that will allow you to download all screenshots in one compressed zip file.
  12. Browsershots - Download screenshots link
    Click to view full size (92KB).

Your requests do expire after some time. If all the screenshots haven’t been captured and uploaded before the expiry time, then you won’t get them. In my last request I received 41 of the 49 browser screenshots, with 2 fails and 6 expires. I am not too concerned with this as I received the 41 screenshots for nothing, and the screenshots did give me an idea of how my web site will look.

You can also donate 10 euros or 15 dollars for a month of priority processing. I’m guessing that this will put your requests ahead of others so you get the screenshots faster.

Summary

When designing a web site it is very important that you test out the design in various browsers and versions of browsers. This will ensure that your web site looks identical within the various browsers. Browsershots has made this job very simple by providing a service that allows you to easily view your web site in many browsers.

This is one service that I have been using on a regular basis, especially when I update the design of Technically Easy. Within a few minutes I can find any flaws or problems with the design and then correct them. Testing your web site design couldn’t be easier.

PG

About Paul Salmon

Paul Salmon is the founder of Technically Easy. He is a an experienced PC user, and enjoys solving computer-related problems that he encounters on a regular basis.

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13 Comments

  1. Posted January 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice free tool but very slow.

  2. Posted July 9, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I’m going to have to check this out. My sites always look good in Firefox and then I get to IE and the CSS goes to pot. Thanks for the tip.

  3. jeric
    Posted July 9, 2008 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    great tip. I develop sites and have five different browsers installed on my notebook just to check compatibility. What you just shared increased my capability to test more browser with ease. again, many thanks!

  4. ovan
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing.

    This is what I looking for from blog.

  5. Posted July 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I have had no trouble using it with a Blogger blog.

  6. Posted July 8, 2008 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Nice tool! Too bad blogspot blocks it though! :[

  7. bambit
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Thanks very much for sharing this very useful information. It is of great help to me.

  8. Eric - InfiniteWebProfit
    Posted July 7, 2008 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Great!!!
    Projecting good image for your site is also important to reach success. The general overall look of the blog matters a lot. Put value on checking for browser compatibility and broken links.

    I will check this out. This is very helpful since you can check how it look in just one place.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Posted July 6, 2008 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. I am currently working on a web site for a client and the CSS has been a nightmare with all the different browsers. This gives us a look right away and will prevent embarrassment later on.

    Thanks.

  10. Posted July 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    That was an awesome tip. Now if there was something like this that showed errors for browser-based software, I’d be set!

  11. malapu
    Posted July 6, 2008 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    nice info man. Thanks

  12. Michael Aulia
    Posted July 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. I’ll check my blog’s new theme with the site :)

  13. Nathan Patel
    Posted July 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    AWESOME POST!!

    man i love this blog

    frequent subscriber viewer plsu ad clicker

    GREAT post

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