Tools to Check for Cross-browser Compatibility

March 31, 2011 · 5 comments

by Dustin Betonio

In this article I have listed useful online tools for cross-browser compatibility testing.

Cross-browser refers to the ability for a website, web application, HTML construct or client-side script to render equally across different web browser products and versions. The goal of doing cross-browser testing is to ensure that a website or web application is accessible to the largest possible audience without any loss in usability and performance.  The term cross-browser have been around since the web development era started. Back in the early days of the Internet browsers where really working against each other and it was a real pain for developers to get it right typically associated with high cost and low maintainability. Today the large players Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer have been aligned quite well, but as soon as you want to use new features in e.g. HTML5 you will find that there are still plenty of reasons to get headache. In this article I have listed useful online tools for cross-browser compatibility testing.


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1. CrossBrowserTesting

CrossBrowserTesting

Free 5 minute test sessions for registered users, and a lot more than that for paid users. CrossBrowserTesting.com makes things as easy as logging in and selecting an available machine with the browser/os you want. Once you pick your machine and browser you can begin your testing.

You can use a web-based java applet to connect to their remote test machines, or you can use a local VNC client if you have one installed. Their system allows full testing of a site’s interactivity and, like Xenocode’s solution, is not just screenshots.

The browsers it supports:

  • Android Browser
  • Chrome Google 5 to 8
  • Dillo 0.8.6-i18n
  • Firefox 1.0 to 4 Beta
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 to 9 Beta
  • Mobile Safari
  • Mozilla 1.7
  • Opera

2. Browsers On Spoon

Spoon.net

Named by Virtualization Review as one of the top two companies to follow in 2011, Spoon is a pioneer in application virtualization and cloud computing technologies. Spoon enables users to launch desktop applications from the web with no install, so you can test and use applications instantly, wherever you are.

Today Spoon.net has over a thousand apps available for launch from the cloud with a simple browser plugin. Imagine what’s coming next.

The browsers it supports:

  • Android Browser
  • Chrome Google 5 to 8
  • Dillo 0.8.6-i18n
  • Firefox 1.0 to 4 Beta
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 to 9 Beta
  • Mobile Safari
  • Mozilla 1.7
  • Opera

3. SuperPreview

superpreview

Microsoft is working to make your life easier. No, really. This tool makes optimizing for the various IE platforms a little less painful. The SuperPreview download for Internet Explorer allows you to check your site in multiple versions of Internet Explorer.

Side-by-side viewing options stack horizontally or vertically. There’s also an overlay option to let you work out minute layout differences. Rulers, guides and other toys ease the burden of compatibility tweaks.

Unlike other testing options, SuperPreview allows you to test pages as you’re developing them on your local machine. Still under development, but a promising program already.

4. IE NetRenderer

netrenderer

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 and try it out – it’s free!

5. Microsoft Expression Web SuperView

superview

The standalone version of this software supports only IE web browsers, while the full version can support Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers.

6. IETester

ietester

This is a free downloadable windows program that is still in the early stages of development. That being said, it is a single free resource that will allow you to fully test all of the relevant versions of Internet Explorer. Just download and install their free browser, and you can easily select which IE rendering version you want to browse in. The program even allows comparing two different versions side-by-side

7. BrowserCam

browsercam

An online paid service that allows developers to view web pages on different browsers and operating systems. It also supports mobile operating systems and browsers. This tool takes screenshots of your pages depending on your choice of browser and operating system.

The browsers it supports:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • Chrome NXS 2.3
  • Explorer 5.0 (RQVGA)
  • Opera 9.7b

8. WebDevLab

webdevlab

They know how important is for every good webdesigner to make cross-browser websites. Mac’s market share is constantly growing and you can’t leave it out of your audience. There are many tools on the web that grab webpage screenshots on any possible combination of operating system and browser, but what they miss is a way to test how your website interacts with the user. Rollovers, forms, reserved areas, Javascript, AJAX scripts and "Web 2.0" features in general are among the aspects that you should test before launching a website or presenting to your customer.
Straight to the point, our service provides Windows and Linux users with an easy way to fully test every aspect of their projects on a Mac.

9. Litmus

litmus

Litmus has risen in popularity to become one of the most favored cross-browser testing tools on the market today. The paid version of their app is robust, and allows testing in dozens of browsers and even email clients. Unfortunately again, with a single-user subscription starting at $49/mo, this isn’t cheap either. For those who need a robust test suite, though, it can be worthwhile.

10. Cloud Testing

Cloude testing

CloudTesting is a tool that enables web developers to view a website using any of  the web browsers listed below.

The browsers it supports are:

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8
  • Mozilla Firefox 3, 3.5, 3.6
  • Apple Safari 3.2, 4.0, 5.0
  • Google Chrome Latest Version
  • Opera 9.6

11. Browsera

browsera

Browsera is a tool that tests the cross-browser layout of your website. You will see the differences and errors on your site.

12. Browser Photo

browserphoto

Browser Photo gives you actual photos of how your web pages will look in different web browsers and platforms.

Service Details:

  • Browser Photo helps avoid display differences by showing you actual photos – not emulations – of your pages taken on 12 different browser and computer configuration combinations!
  • It’s Affordable! Building a test laboratory to get the same information that Browser Photo provides would cost at least $4,500.
  • Catch Errors Made By Your HTML Editor. Often FrontPage HTML works with Internet Explorer, but not other browsers. Browser Photo spots these problems.
  • Web Designers, show your stuff. Print-friendly reports show clients or bosses what you’ve done! Check out the Web Designer packages.
  • Browser Photo is an automated, easy-to-use tool that requires no downloads or installation and is continually updated.
  • Online Access Anywhere, Anytime. Through an internet connection, you can test your Web pages 24 hours a day from anywhere around the world

13. DotMobi Virtual Developer Lab

dotmobi

DotMobi Virtual Developer Lab is a free web-based tool that lets you check your websites on real devices including iPhone with the use of remote access technology.

14. Adobe Browserlab

image

Free and really cool browser test solution from Adobe.

Author : Dustin Betonio

Dustin Betonio is a Translation Management graduate at University of Mindanao. His earlier career was devoted on customer service outside the information highway. Currently studying Law in the same University.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Raja Torkar October 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

A gr8 collection of cross browser testing resources. However me and all my web designing community friends most often wonder which browsers are important and which to leave out. It’s always a trade off between efforts and rendering. The 4 Main Browsers to Test Your Website Rendering In helped me understand browser traffic and also helped me save my efforts and time in avoiding unnecessary coding for lesser important browser. Hope your readers do benefit from it.

Reply

Web Design nottingham April 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Great share, useful tools!

Reply

Adam March 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm

BrowserLab by Adobe is free and great to work with if you need a quick snapshot.

https://browserlab.adobe.com/en-us/index.html

Reply

Lars March 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thanks for the tip Adam

Reply

Hannah Hurst March 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Cross browser compatibility checks are really important and the list here is a good selection. I also find Browser Lab to be a great help too.

https://browserlab.adobe.com/en-us/index.html#

Thanks for sharing.

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