One of the areas that causes the biggest confusion with web development, is “will my new creation render correctly in different browsers”. There’s nothing more frustrating than finishing work on a site and launching it, only to be informed by a client that it is not loading correctly in a particular version of a browser.

Perhaps it doesn’t bother you too much if your new website looks awful in Internet Explorer 5, but you never know what your visitor could be using. So instead of them leaving your site never to return, you might want to inform them via Javascript that their browser type or version is too old to render your site correctly. 

I regularly read forum posts from people who take the view “my site looks fine in Firefox but not Internet Explorer (IE), but I don’t care about Internet Explorer so I won’t do anything about it”. In my opinion, it is a bad mistake to ignore either the Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers, particularly when you consider that all Windows computers come with IE installed. Like it or not, Internet Explorer still holds a large market share in the browser space.

When I develop websites or blogs, I always test my work on a number of different browsers and resolutions but this can be difficult unless you start using virtual PCs etc.

A very useful free service is Browsershots which prepares screenshots of your web design in many different browsers and versions, enabling you to test your website or blog in over 30 different browsers and that’s just the Windows versions.  So don’t leave this to chance, test your websites today.

Browsershots.org screenshot

Just enter your website or blog URL, make your browser selections and click on Submit and it goes to work displaying the results. You can hover your mouse over the screenshots to see a larger version and you can even download all of the results in PNG format inserted into a single zipped (compressed) file.

You can also select …

  • from a range of screen resolutions from 640 to 1,680 pixels wide.
  • whether Java or Javascript is enabled.
  • Color depth ranging from 8 bits per pixel to 32 bits per pixel.

What a great service for any budding web designer 🙂

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Filed under: Browsers