Have you checked out your own website lately? If you’re like me, you tend to check analytics religiously. You also will check on spam if you have a blog and you’ll do lots of updating, but few of us actually just go to the front end of the site and look to see what people are seeing unless we’ve made changes to the site and we want to see how they look.
The truth is, once you have your site set up, unless you make changes, you probably don’t need to check it out anyway. After all, once you know that your site is working, you don’t really need to check it again unless you make changes. However, if you recently did make changes or you never bothered to properly check to begin with, then you need to read on.
Not Just Firefox and Internet Explorer
Most of us, if we check our websites at all, do so only using the browser that we use along with perhaps Firefox and or Internet Explorer (if you use a third browser such as Chrome, Opera or Safari). However, that list alone shows exactly why you need to do testing of your website in many more browsers than just the one that we use.
More than Those
Now just to throw a curve at you, there are actually dozens of browsers still in common use for visiting websites, including such browsers as Konquerer, Avant and Lynx to name just a handful of them. Some of these are specially designed browsers, for example to let you see a site without graphics, while others are just alternatives used in alternate operating systems such as Linux and BeOS.
Not Just Browsers
Another thing to check on is the different possible resolutions that you may be able to view a site in. Most sites are optimized for 1024×768 because that’s the most popular format, however there are lots of other possible resolutions that people could potentially use to look at your site and as such, it’s always a good idea to check that as well.
No One Service Does It All
I did find a site which will let you test your site in dozens of browsers, including additional versions of Firefox, IE and others. You just enter the URL of your site and it will render your site in dozens of different browsers, all for free.
It’s called Browsershot, but it does have limitations. First, it doesn’t let you see any Mac browsers and second, it doesn’t check on resolutions. The site also occasionally times out while checking your site for compatibility meaning that you won’t see every single browser version.
To check your site’s resolution however, you need a separate website. I found one called Viewlike.us which is a relatively new site. It offers to check your site in about a half dozen resolutions. Combined with Browsershot to check to check your site in different browsers, this seems like the best deal.