Testing in different browsers using Browsershots.org

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If you're a template designer or happen to redesign your blog on your own, you must want to know how it looks in other browsers than the one you're using.

It's easy enough to open up the few browsers you have installed in your computer and test your newly designed blog in it. But to know for sure that it works ok in all the browsers out there is next to impossible. Just to test in 2 different version of browsers, IE6 and IE7, are tough enough - as I've faced with previously.

I have the IE7 and can't have the IE6 installed in the same machine. There are options out there to install a virtual PC in your machine so that I can install IE6. But it requires quite a large space for the virtual PC alone, and there are some other things to get out of the way to get everything in place. So, thanks but no thanks!

Recently, a reader here mentioned about using Browsershots.org to test a new template in all the browsers out there. All of them! I tried it and basically this was where my testing problem ends. All the testing works beautifully.

Browsershots.org is an online free service that takes the URL of the blog to be tested and opens it up in all the different browsers on their machines. Screenshots, or snapshots, of the blog page in each one of the browsers are then taken and uploaded back within a a few minutes into the main page for your viewing pleasure/displeasure. From there, you can immediately see which browser works or not, and zoom in to a full page ( top to bottom of page) to see the details.

Here's the Browsershots.org main page:

Here're the screenshots (you can zoom each one to a full page):

There are limitations in that you can only have a number of screenshots (~300+) per day per IP, and ~60+ shots per website per day. Limitations can be lifted up by signing up into their service or paying for an extended period of priority processing.

At least for me, having only a few hundreds of screenshots is much better than not knowing how it looks in other browsers at all. My own experience is that almost all browsers work great with my templates - except IE5 and IE6. Since knowing this Browsershots service, all my new templates are good to go with IE5 or IE6.

In some cases, you may see that your new template doesn't open up well in one or two obscure browsers. Before you try to do more tweaking to solve the problem, check to see that browsers' usage statistics. It's not worth your effort to pull up your brain power just to make it look okay in a browser used by one person for every million internet users. W3schools can provide you a record of the current browser usage monthly statistics.


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Pinoy Wit April 19, 2008 1:07 am  

thank God i found your site (weeping sound). i spent all day looking for answers to why my sidebar overlaps with the text in some browsers and not in others. aparently, my problem is also with IE6 and 5.

by the way can you point me to the right direction where i can read some resources on my own on how to fix my problem with IE 6 and 5?

i really need help (weeping sound)

Demiurg August 30, 2009 5:19 am  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Demiurg August 30, 2009 5:19 am  

BrowserSeal is a new web browser screenshot application that you may find useful. It is probably the fastest screenshot tool available, especially for web sites with scrollbars.

Fully functional free beta version is available for download from www.browserseal.com

It is under active development and new features as well as more browsers will be added in the future.

Unknown December 15, 2010 8:46 pm  

I think this is an improvement but by far not good enough to switch.I think adobe make an improvement and competition more gracious.That is one seriously useful tool.I have most browsers on my desktop,but this is what I really should use.Thanks for this.

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