It's essential to ensure a finished website it looks identical across different brands of browsers. However, the problem we have is- we don't have all the browsers we need to test the website. For example, we can't have IE6, 7 and 8 altogether. I know about MultiIE, I used it and I can tell it's not accurate in some cases and quite buggy. And also, if you're using mac, you can't have windows based IE as well.
Well, we have several common solutions that able to solve this issue:
- Virtual Machines - We can use Parallel or VMware virtual machine. We can install multiple copy of windows with different versions of IEs. The problem is, we need licenses for all the windows and a quite powerful host computer to run multiple OSes in the same time. I used Mac Pro at my workplace and it's capable to run multiple OSes without any problem. This is a good solution but can be quite expensive.
- Dedicated Test Machines - I guess this is about the same with Virtual Machine with extra disadvantages though. You need spaces, electricity to run all the computers. And it's not practical to have computers setup just to use different version of browsers. This was the solution I was using few months ago until we bought VMWare. Of course, just one PC and with MultiIE installed (because we are using MAC). However, we weren't happy about it.
- Online Screen Capture Services - If the solutions above won't work for you, you can try these online screen capture services. Simply type in your website URL, choose the browsers you want to test and it will send the screen shot of your website. What you have to do is - you need to upload your website to your web server, wait for A WHILE and see the result.
I have collected 8 Online Screen Capture Services for you. Most of them provide free trial and some of them are totally free. This will be handy if you really desperate and want to test your websitess :)
- Net Renderer
IE NetRenderer allows you to check how a website is rendered by Internet Explorer 7, 6 or 5.5, as seen from a high speed datacenter located in Germany. Just type in a URL in the field above and try it out - it's free!
- Browser Camp
BrowserCam's Screen Capture Service lets you submit single or multiple URL's, choose the browsers and operating systems you want to see, and screen captures of your webpage are loaded in the different browsers and operating systems you selected.
- Litmus App
Litmus is lightning-fast, reliable and affordable. It's relied upon by thousands of smart freelancers and switched-on agencies; as well as big companies like Yahoo!, Facebook and eBay.
Browsrcamp allows you to test the compatibility of your design with Mac OS X browsers.
- Cross Browser Testing
Test the look and functionality of any website on multiple browsers and operating systems.
- Spoon Browser
Browser Sandbox - Run any browser from the web
Browsershots makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers. It is a free open-source online service created by Johann C. Rocholl. When you submit your web address, it will be added to the job queue. A number of distributed computers will open your website in their browser. Then they will make screenshots and upload them to the central server here.
Browsera automatically detects cross-browser layout problems and scripting errors on your website. Try it for FREE!