Cross Browser Testing Tools to Make Your Website Look Consistent

As web developers, we know that we spend more time fixing browser compatibility than actually creating our websites and applications in the first place. We develop on one computer, but our user access the website from smartphones, tablets and their own browsers. We can control how a website looks on our machine, but it is not so easy to make sure that it looks the same on all browsers running on all operating systems.


cross-browser-testing-tools


To lighten this impossible to carry burden for web developers, a number of tools have been developed that will help us to test our sites on different browsers and it’s responsiveness. Some of them are easier to use and more productive than others. Here are some of the better cross browser compatibility testing tools available today.

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IE Tester

More than any other browsers, Internet explorer users seem to be intent on sticking to their old browsers, which makes it difficult for us to create modern websites. IE Tester lets you test your website on various IE versions all the way back to IE 5.5. It includes all the browse engines for those old browsers. You can use this to make sure that your website degrades gracefully as it is viewed on older browsers.

Browser Stack

This is an expensive testing tool, but also the most versatile one for cross browser testing. Once you have an account with them, you can test your website on: Versions of Linux, Macs and Windows

You can also individually see how the site looks on different browsers on all those operating systems. If you want to be cocksure that your site looks the same across all devices, Browser Stack is currently the most advanced tool for that.

BrowserCam

This is a similar service to Browser Stack as it allows you to test on all devices and browsers. Supported operating systems include: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, Windows 98, 200, XP and later.

Supported browsers include: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, Google Chrome and Konqueror.

As an added benefit, BrowserCam will send you a screenshot of how your website looks on each of those instances. Looking at images will give you a clearer picture of the differences in layouts and color display among different browsers. It is also a paid service, but it is quite worth it.

Spoon Browser Sandbox

This is yet another powerful, perhaps the most powerful cross browser testing tool in the market today. With Spoon sandbox, you don’t need to install 5 different browsers on your device. Instead, you create an account with spoon.net and all of them are installed inside your account.

When you create websites, it is synced with all browsers, so your changes are instantly visible on all of them. Supported browsers include: Mozilla Firefox 11, Internet Explorer 6, Google Chrome 17, Opera Desktop 9, Firefox Mobile 5, Opera Mobile 11.

This covers just about any browser your visitors are likely to use. If your website passes the design test on these browsers, you can confidently deploy it and expect every user to see the same website.

IE Tab

This is an add-on for Firefox and Chrome. If you develop one of these browsers and want to see how it looks on Internet Explorer, you don’t need to open it up separately. IE Tab will show you exactly how the website looks.

Support for IE bookmarks:
Use the same configuration as your current IE installation
Use IE rendering engine (Trident) to view pages

IE tab is very specific in its use case, but it is free of charge. Most importantly it helps you test your website on the most difficult browser to test for. It can shave hours of your development time.

There are more advancements coming to cross browser testing in the next few years, but the current state is the best it has ever been. As more and more browsers adopt HTML5 standards and people use newer devices, we will have fewer cross comp ability problems, but we will still need these tools to solve those 1% problems that can create a bad impression on our visitors. Current tools are the best alternative we have to having dozens of virtual machines to test just a few pages.

About Author: Alex, a marketing expert has years of experience in branding. He works for Rush Essay.
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About Jimmie Luthra

Jim Luthra is a Third Officer in Merchant Navy and Chief Editor of The-Area51.com, He is a Blogger, Guitarist, Painter, Book Lover, Tech Geek, Basket Ball Lover, Traveller and Fitness Freak. He loves Traveling and Adeventure Sports.
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