10 Helpful Resources for Cross Browser Testing

Every web designer knows that browser differences can create plenty of headaches. Finding and fixing problems can be difficult if you’re not equipped with the right tools. In this post we’ll take a brief look at 10 of the leading resources for making your browser testing less time consuming and more productive.

Browsershots

Browsershots is a popular free service that will provide screen shots of a page from just about any browser from all of the common operating systems. All you have to do is enter your URL and select the browsers and operating systems that you want to test. Browsershots will then enter your information into the queue, and in a few minutes you should have the screen shots.

There is a paid option that will give you priority over the free requests. When the service is busy it can take a while to get the free screen shots, but you can pay $15 per month for priority processing.

BrowserCam

BrowserCam provides several different services for browser testing. There is a browser capture option that will give you screen shots from any browser and any operating system. There is also a device capture option for working with Blackberry and PDAs. The Remote Access service will test JavaScript DHTML, forms and other dynamic functionality on any platform.

BroswerCam is a paid service with options for daily, monthly, or yearly. They also offer a free trial that will allow you to test the screen capture service by getting up to 200 screen captures within the 24-hour trial.

NetMechanic Browser Photo

Brower Photo from NetMechanic is a paid service that will allow you to test different versions of Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Safari on Windows, Mac and Linux. You can test on various screen resolutions as well.

Browser Photo has a nice print-friendly feature that will help you to show clients or bosses how you’ve test the site and how it appears on different browsers. You can get Browser Photo for $15 for one-time use, or $150 per domain per year for unlimited use.

Litmus

Litmus provides testing on all major browsers and also produces bug reporting to help you identify and correct any errors. Once the testing is complete you can produce a compatibility report to share with clients. In addition to website testing, Litmus also offers testing of HTML emails in all major email clients, and also runs your messages through spam filters and identifies any problems so you can get more of your messages read.

There is a limited version of Litmus available for free. Additionally, there is a day pass with full access (minus spam analysis) for $24, an individual subscription for $49 per month, or a team subscription for $199 per month.

IE NetRenderer

IE NetRenderer is a free tool that’s great for testing websites in Internet Explorer, typically the most troublesome browser. With IE NetRenderer all you have to do is choose a version of IE and enter the URL that you want to test, and you’ll instantly get a screen shot of the page being tested.

BrowserCamp

BrowserCamp allows you to test the compatibility of your design with Mac OS X browsers. You can quickly enter the URL that you want to test and get a full length screen shot at several different screen widths. Additionally, for full testing you can pay $3 for a two-day subscription, or $99 for a one-year subscription, with a few options in between.

IE Tester from DebugBar

IE Tester from DebugBar s a free web browser that allows you to have the rendering and JavaScript engines of IE8 beta 2, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.

CrossBrowserTesting

CrossBrowserTesting.com will allow you to test your website, including AJAX and JavaScript. The service is free for less than 5 minutes per session, or you can buy credits for additional minutes. There are no monthly subscription fees, just pay for what you use.

ieCapture

ieCapture is a free tool for getting screen shots from websites in Internet Explorer. It’s very simple, just enter a URL and in a moment your screen shot will appear.

iPhoney

iPhoney is a free iPhone web simulator for designers. To use iPhoney you’ll have to download the program, but there is no cost.

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Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design. Connect with Stephen on google+
  1. October 20, 2008

    An excellent list – always looking for help here. Thanks!

  2. Steven Snell
    October 20, 2008

    Brandon,
    I’m glad it can help.

  3. October 20, 2008

    Great list.

  4. October 20, 2008

    Great stuff,

    Especially like the link for iPhone – will be useful in weeks to come.

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  6. October 20, 2008

    Great list thanks!

  7. October 20, 2008

    I didn’t know about a couple of tools here. Specially the iphoney and the iecapture tools.
    Excellent resource Steven 🙂

  8. yar man
    October 20, 2008

    iPhoney only scrunches the browsers. it doesnt’ accurately render the page in anything close to the same way as the iPhone. Just compare to see how some sites may look fine on iPhoney but be broke on iPhone.

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  13. October 21, 2008

    IE Net Render and IE Tester are my two favorites. Litmus looks pretty awesome for checking html emails in different email clients but I haven’t tested it yet. Some of the others I haven’t heard of though.. I’ll have to check them out!

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  15. October 22, 2008

    Well done, just what we needed!

    Cheers*

  16. October 22, 2008

    10 Helpful Resources for Cross Browser Testing – Makes testing Simple.

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  22. October 26, 2008

    Very usefull! i’ve used one of the sites above and it works very fine!

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  29. November 3, 2008

    Superb collection – very helpful for designers and developers, thanks.

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  31. Laura
    November 7, 2008

    Has anyone heard of a tool which checks your emails in different email clients AND browsers?

  32. Steven Snell
    November 7, 2008

    Laura,
    I’m not aware of anything like that. Working with html email can be extremely frustrating.

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  38. December 30, 2008

    thanks 🙂

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  41. March 15, 2009

    Great info. Saved me a lot of time of needless searching. Thanks!!

  42. I use IE Net Renderer all the time when I don’t have a PC sitting next to my mac. It’s great because the screenshots only take about 30 seconds to generate compared to Browsershots 10~20 minutes.

  43. March 23, 2009

    great stuff i mean list. some of them are paid versions

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  47. May 23, 2009

    Great list. Thank you!

  48. Janesh
    May 29, 2009

    Thanks for sharing the list.
    We will be using a selected service soon
    Janesh

  49. June 5, 2009

    Excellent list, very helpful resources. Thanks

  50. June 17, 2009

    someone mentioned about testing for html emails.

    Just build it as a page, stick it on the server and then use one of these tools to test it from the domain it is on.

    simple.

  51. June 19, 2009

    Awesome! (Also noticed the question about emails. Campaignmonitor.com has a service for a nominal fee, as well resources on email client/CSS compatibility.)

  52. July 29, 2009

    Excellent info – Thanks! IE Tester is VERY handy!!

  53. July 31, 2009

    Do you have any that are free of charge? I used one about a year ago and it was totally free, I can’t remember the name though.

  54. August 1, 2009

    Very nice application.

  55. August 3, 2009

    Cloud Testing – http://www.cloudtesting.com/ – offer a functional website testing tool that allows you to test your websites from the cloud. Enterprise users can download an agent which allows access to your local resources, i.e. inside your firewall/network.
    It is based on Selenium, and allows you to capture scripts in the Selenium IDE plugin for Firefox, and then upload onto our servers for running.

    We currently support the following browsers:

    Firefox 2, 3 & 3.5
    Internet Explorer 6,7 & 8
    Safari 3.2 & 4.0
    Chrome 2 and 3
    Opera 9.6 and 10.0

    With all of the above we capture full screenshots (i.e. of the browser window, not just the OS window), store the HTML and details of components on each page, along with timings and HTTP request and response headers. All of this is available to view via the results portal – http://portal.cloudtesting.com/

    A free 7 day trial is available.

  56. August 5, 2009

    A Very Useful List

  57. August 20, 2009

    To rescue the web designers from this aching job of testing browser compatibility in different browsers there are few websites which offer this service. On these websites you can check the compatibility of your website in all desired browsers. You can find these websites at http://www.bestpsdtohtml.com/7-awesome-resources-to-test-cross-browser-compatibility-of-your-website/

  58. August 28, 2009

    One more browser screenshot tool for your list – http://www.browserseal.com

    It is currently in beta, but it is probably the fastest screenshot tool available, especially for sites with scrollbars.

    Free beta version is available for download

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  61. October 27, 2009

    Great list.

    If you have a simple web site, the above resources are great (and probably sufficient). But what if you have a site that allows people to take several different actions (e.g., search, put things in the shopping cart, pay for things with credit cards, etc.) In that case, most software testing teams become extremely inefficient. They’ll tend to test the same kinds of paths through the application the same way in each of the different kinds of browsers. Reusing scripts and only changing the browser type is both very common and extremely inefficient. It is an extremely inefficient way to find defects for the same reason that if you want to avoid stepping on a land mine when you are walking through a land mine field, you’d be well-advised to step in footprints that mark where people have already stepped.

    To maximize coverage in a minimum number of tests, a test design tool like Hexawise can be extremely helpful. Numerous proof of concept pilots (several of which included cross browser testing elements) have shown that using Hexawise will more than double the number of defects found per tester hour.

    More information about this approach can be found here: http://hexawise.com/intro_movie

    Thanks.

    – Justin
    Founder of Hexawise
    Blog: http://hexawise.wordpress.com

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  64. November 5, 2009

    really nice job thank you.

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  66. November 7, 2009

    This is amazing and will save me sooooooo much time, thanks

  67. November 15, 2009

    Great info – Thanks for sharing!

  68. November 18, 2009

    Adobe has recently launced BrowserLab which enables you to do real time cross browser testing on multiple browsers in one place. I have made a post with some more info on it at http://thedesigner.co.za/cross-browser-testing-adobe-style

  69. November 30, 2009

    We just released a new version 1.1, adding support for Chrome and Opera browsers. Check our blog at http://blog.browserseal.com

  70. December 16, 2009

    Usefull info for new Web beginner like me. thx

  71. December 17, 2009

    Great stuff 🙂

  72. Aadil
    December 24, 2009

    This is just too good…

    awesome guys…. 🙂

  73. January 4, 2010

    Does anyone know the name of that browser plugin that emulates other browsers within one? It emulated a few browsers liek Safari and IE6, etc.

  74. January 26, 2010

    This is an EXTREEMELY useful resources. I thought I was up to date on the best ways to do cross browser testing but I learnt a thing or two from the above.

    Thanx

  75. January 26, 2010

    I would not hesitate to recommend CrossBrowserTesting.com.

  76. February 8, 2010

    Nice list and introductions. There are some tools here that I have found really useful, especially IETester.

  77. February 12, 2010

    I’ve found that for testing sites on an iPhone a good solution, for mac users, is to download the iPhone SDK from the Apple development site and then use the iPhone Simulator App.

    http://developer.apple.com/iphone/ – You’ll need to sign up for a free developer account, but if you’re a mac user and a developer, what’s stopping you?

    This simulates an iPhone fully and allows full browsing, pinch zoom, etc. without any glitches or loss of functionality. It’s essentially like having an iPhone that’s not portable and can’t make calls, useless in that sense, but great for testing iPhone compatibility of sites.

  78. February 13, 2010

    nice post, but i use Adobe’s BrowserLab https://browserlab.adobe.com/index.html

  79. February 13, 2010

    Naeem,
    Me too, but I didn’t know about browser lab when this post was written (it may not have even existed at that point).

  80. February 15, 2010

    Thanks for the list. As this is over a year old now, and a new list may come out soon (with more contenders I am sure), here are some suggestions to make it even more helpful.

    Have a small table at the top serving as an Index / TOC with # links to the individual entries below that could be sorted alphabetically (or by popularity etc.)

    In the table, have categories such as:
    Free – No Limitations
    Free – Some Limitations
    Free – Major Limitations

    Paid – Budget
    Paid – Premium
    etc.

    Also, allowing users to rate these tools would be helpful ( to an extent ).

    Thanks again,

    Auri Biswas [ http://Art-of-Innovation.com ]

  81. February 17, 2010

    Having a new list is a good idea as there are indeed many new services which are not currently mentioned.

    Making a formal comparison is a great idea as well, however free vs. paid is not the only criteria – speed and features are no less important.

  82. Darby
    April 5, 2010

    I use http://cross-browser.appspot.com which runs on Google appengine. It seems fast (got 7 screenshots in < 30 seconds), free, and no email info required (at least not yet :))

  83. April 11, 2010

    Hi Steven,

    If you do decide to do a refreshed list, I’d love to hear what you think of http://mogotest.com/. We’re taking a different approach to the problem of dealing with cross browser rendering and Web development that we think is a bit friendlier for devs and business people alike.

  84. May 29, 2010

    Great List thank you. I hate IE 6 such a pain

  85. June 7, 2010

    i use the chrome , it’s so fast

  86. June 14, 2010

    An excellent list ,

  87. June 22, 2010

    Useful Stuff, Thanks Steven

  88. June 30, 2010

    An excellent list ,

  89. June 30, 2010

    Having a new list is a good idea as there are indeed many new services which are not currently mentioned.

  90. July 5, 2010

    Very cool, I swear by IEtester for really giving me a good idea for what those poor poor IE surfers are seeing.

  91. July 8, 2010

    nice ~~

  92. July 16, 2010

    https://browserlab.adobe.com/index.html check here… It’s Adobe’s online browser testing tool (free membership)

  93. July 16, 2010

    I like it….

  94. July 17, 2010

    I use IE Tester but I really need something for mac because I had it with Windows so we are changing to mac very soon

  95. August 9, 2010

    great!I had it with Windows so we are changing to mac very soon

  96. August 11, 2010

    TKS,

  97. August 11, 2010

    TKS

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  99. August 13, 2010

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  101. August 15, 2010

    it is obvious that i have got new knowledges from above 10 suggestions.
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  102. August 21, 2010

    I have been reading your posts during my afternoon break, and I must admit the whole article has been very useful and very well written. I thought I would let you know that for some reason this blog does not display well in Internet Explorer 8. I wish Microsoft would stop changing their software. I have a question for you. Do you mind exchanging blog roll links? That would be really cool!

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  107. October 22, 2010

    Great stuff, a great read.

    Will be looking to investigate further the link for iPhone – am sure it will become useful in weeks to come.

    Thanks again!

  108. Rick
    November 5, 2010

    Started using BrowserSeal recently which one of the commenters recommended – it is a very nice tool indeed.

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  115. February 2, 2011

    iecapture.com is not working. InetRender is a great tool.

  116. February 5, 2011

    Fantastic list, thank you so much!

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  118. March 29, 2011

    Adobe Browserlab is the way to go for cross compatibility testing anymore.

  119. March 30, 2011

    Great list, some new tools I wasn’t aware of. Thanks for the heads up.

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  125. June 22, 2011

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  126. June 23, 2011

    IE NetRenderer it’s fastest solution for IE browsers, but I’m thinking to get browser seal and test from my home machine.

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