Cross-Browser Testing: A Detailed Review Of Tools And Services

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As you probably know, cross-browser testing is an important part of any developer’s routine. As the number of browsers increase, and they certainly have in recent years, the need for automatic tools that can assist us in the process becomes ever greater. In this article, we present an overview of different cross-browser testing applications and services. Surely, you are already familiar with some of them, and you may have even stumbled across another overview article, but this one takes a different approach.

This is not just a list of available tools, but rather a comprehensive analysis based on my experience with each of them. For the impatient among you, a summary table is at the end summarizing key metrics and unique features for each service. But if you’re interested in my personal experience with these tools, then read on.

Probably the most important metric of these services is the capture delay, which I measured for the URL stackoverflow1, with the following browsers enabled: Firefox, IE, Chrome and Safari.

BrowserShots Link

BrowserShots2 is the oldest and best known free online multi-browser screenshot service. It supports the largest number of browsers: a total of 61 different browser versions and operating systems, which is great, but I can hardly imagine anyone wanting to test their website under Kazahakase 0.5 running on BSD Unix. Feature-wise, it allows you to enable and disable Javascript, Java and Flash and change the screen size. I find the latter very useful, especially nowadays when one has to take into account smartphone browsers with non-standard resolutions.

Screenshot3

The interface is not very user-friendly. Selecting the browsers and options you want takes time, and because it is a Web service you have to do it over every time you want to take a screenshot. When (and if) you finally get your screenshots, there is no easy way to compare different captures in order to find rendering inconsistencies. HTTP redirect is not fully automated: BrowserShots displays the URL you are being redirected to, but you have to start the screenshot again manually.

The biggest disadvantage of BrowserShots—which, in my opinion, makes it practically unusable for a professional developer — is the response time. In our test scenario, it was more than 45 minutes. Note that a screenshot expires in 30 minutes, unless you manually extend it. As you can see from the shot below, BrowserShots has serious bugs with scrolling (see MSIE 8.0 screenshot) and at least one browser screenshot failed, even though it said the operation was successful.

4

Conclusion Link

Unless you need only a single test on a particular browser, this service is not for you. Even then, by the way, it would probably take less time to install that browser, test the page and then uninstall it.

Unique features: None.

Disadvantages: Painfully slow.

BrowserCam Link

BrowserCam5 is another well-known screenshot service. Unlike BrowserShots, this is a commercial service. The cheapest plan cost $159.80 a year and provides access for five users. The interface is nice. It allows you to create a project and specify the URL and browsers you want to capture, so that you do not have to do it all over again to re-test the page. But because it is a non-AJAX Web-based interface, its response time is not comparable to that of a native application, which is a bit annoying.

Screenshot6

Browser support is slightly more limited than that of BrowserShots, but it is good enough for practical purposes; it supports multiple versions of IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, as well as some older browsers on OS X, Linux and multiple versions of Windows. Capture speed is decent: it took about two minutes to take a screenshot of our test scenario.

BrowserCam supports multiple resolutions and has window and full-page capture, which means scroll bar support. Another nice feature is mobile device capture: it supports Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile devices. Note that mobile capture support is not part of the browser capture plan and costs $999.95 extra annually. It also has an email capture service, which in my opinion is of limited use, and remote access, which can be useful for troubleshooting rendering inconsistencies that are detected from a screen capture. Both services cost extra. The screenshot below is of a BrowserCam results window.

Remote access packages allow you to connect using VNC to your choice of Linux, Windows and Mac machines with different browser versions. This can be a good option for debugging on hardware that you do not have, such as Mac. But the price of $499.95 a year is not far from the price of Mac mini, and because the VNC protocol is not terribly efficient, extensive remote debugging via VNC can be daunting.

7

Conclusion Link

A very good professional service with advanced features and thoughtful interface.

Unique features: Mobile device support, remote access.

Disadvantages: Expensive.

Adobe BrowserLab Link

BrowserLab8 is a new offering from Adobe and was previously known as Meer-Meer. It is written in Flash and as such has the advantage of being cross-platform compatible and of having the look, feel and (most importantly) response time of an application. It is currently offered free of charge in preview mode while Adobe “is monitoring the performance.” Because it will monitor it for more than one year, one wonders whether it has other reasons for this. According to Adobe, it will charge $10 to $20 per month for this service starting in 2011.

Screenshot9

The interface is attractive, polished and easy to use, as you can see from the screenshot below. You can inspect captures one by one or view two captures side by side, which is more useful. The much lauded “onion skin” option is not very practical: most of the time, browsers will not render a page identically pixel by pixel, but the page might still look the same.

Browser support is modest compared to the competition. At the time of writing, BrowserLab supports only Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari: a total of 12 browsers and OS version combinations. But it looks like the quality of the product is still at beta level; in two captures, it actually cut the image horizontally. Scroll bar support is buggy, too.

Screenshot speed is very good. Our test scenario did it in less than one minute.

10

Conclusion Link

A very nice interface, and free till the end of 2010.

Unique features: None.

Disadvantages: Modest browser support, minor bugs.

Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview Link

SuperPreview3411 is a new addition to Microsoft’s Expression Web WYSIWYG development environment. This is the standalone version, limited to Internet Explorer and available for download free of charge. Browser support is limited. The standalone version supports only IE 6, 7 and 8, while the full version has support for Firefox and Safari. The user experience, on the other hand, is very impressive.

Screenshot12

Because it is an application that runs on your PC, the response time and screenshot delay are among the best in class. In our test scenario, it loaded the website in a matter of seconds. Please note, though, that because SuperPreview works with only two browsers at a time and does not support Chrome, this test was not identical to that of other services.

SuperPreview cannot be purchased without the Expression Web, whose retail price is $149.

13

Conclusion Link

The interface is extremely easy to use, and the speed is incredible. But browser support is very limited, and being part of the Expression Web package, it’s almost unusable.

Unique features: None.

Disadvantages: Limited browser support, expensive.

BrowserSeal Link

BrowserSeal14 is a new tool. Similar to SuperPreview, it is an application rather than a Web service, and as such its capture speed is very good. BrowserSeal finished our test case in less than one minute. Browser support is quite broad. With multiple versions of IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, it pretty much covers every browser anyone would want to test. It has two good features that set it apart from the competition: standalone browser support and a command-line interface for automation scripting.

Screenshot15

All browsers supported by BrowserSeal can be launched manually, which means that once you’ve found a rendering inconsistency in a browser, you can actually run the problem browser and troubleshoot the issue. This is something most other services do not offer.

The price is very competitive, too: the standard version sells for $49. There is also an automation version with a command-line interface that lets you capture multiple URLs from a script or batch file. The interface is attractive and easy to use. The optional tabbed interface makes it easy to spot even the slightest rendering difference when switching from one capture to another.

16

Conclusion Link

A very nice tool, with comprehensive browser support. The interface is easy to use, the capture speed is great, and the price is competitive.

Unique features:: Comes with standalone versions for all major browsers; has command-line mode for automation scripts.

Disadvantages:: Runs on Windows only.

Litmus Link

Litmus3617 is another Web-based screenshot service. Its browser support is impressive, with 23 browser versions and operating system combinations, including IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Flock, Camino, SeaMonkey and Netscape. Capture speed is okay but not comparable to that of native applications: our test took five minutes.

Screenshot18

The interface is clear and simple but lacks some features. For instance, there is no easy way to compare capture results. All you can do is view them one by one or download them to your PC. The app, though, does support projects, so you don’t have to enter URLs and change browser settings every time you want to take a screenshot, but this is pretty much all it does.

Litmus does not support scrolling; that is, it captures only the top of long pages, which is a major drawback. The price is a bit high for a service that has such basic features: a single-user license costs $588 annually.

19

Conclusion Link

Good browser support, and average capture speed, which is probably good enough for most users. But very few features.

Unique features:: None.

Disadvantages: Does not support scrolling, and lacks other standard features found in competing products.

Multi-Browser Viewer Link

Multi-Browser Viewer20 is an application but relies on a server farm for browser rendering; in other words, the application is just a graphical interface, so it is as easy to use as an application but suffers the delays of a typical Web-based service.

Screenshot21

One interesting feature is that it comes with standalone browsers that can be used for debugging. But note that these are not the same browsers used for screen capture. Multi-Browser Viewer has standalone browsers that can be used for debugging, and it has a rendering farm with many more browsers that can be used for screen capture.

Browser support is impressive, with 54 browser and OS version combinations (out of which 17 are available in standalone versions), including IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Camino, Konqueror. The price is reasonable: a single-user license costs $129.95 annually.

Feature-wise, it does lag significantly behind the competition: there is no support for authentication or capture delay. Scroll bar support is buggy; in our test case, it worked for IE, Firefox and Safari, but not for Opera.

22

Conclusion Link

A good interface and impressive browser support.

Unique features: Standalone versions of some (but not all) browsers.

Disadvantages: Lacks many features of competing products, buggy scroll bar support, runs on Windows only.

Browsera Link

Browsera3823 is a Web-based screenshot service. Browser support is limited compared to that of most competitors: only IE, Firefox and Safari are supported. The standard plan costs $588 annually. The interface is attractive, fast and clean. You can conveniently organize your screenshot sessions into projects.

Screenshot24

Browsera supports authentication, scroll bars and page crawling (i.e. you can ask Browsera to crawl your website recursively and take a screenshot of every page). The screenshot response time is very fast for a Web-based service; it completed our test in three minutes.

25

Conclusion Link

A professional service with a good interface and interesting features, but limited browser support.

Unique features: Recursive website crawling.

Disadvantages: Limited browser support, expensive.

Browser Packs Link

If all you need is to test your website in specific browsers with and you are willing to perform the tests manually, there are a few free services and applications that could help:

At first glance, Spoon looks convenient because it is a Web service, which relieves you from having to install many browsers locally. But I had some stability problems with this service.

Meanwhile, both the IE Collection and BrowserSeal.BrowserPack (offered free of charge, separate from the BrowserSeal commercial screenshot service) work very reliably. I did not have any issues with browsers installed by these packs. The IE Collection has every IE version you could think of. BrowserSeal.BrowserPack, which relies on the IE Collection for IE support, also supports two Firefox, three Opera and two Safari versions.

Conclusion Link

The following table summarizes services that were tested and analyzed in the article. You can use the separate page for the full table30 for a better overview. I have included some metrics for each service to make it easier for you to choose the best one based on price, features and performance trade-offs.

Supported Browsers Capture speed Price (1 year) Interface Authentication Capture delay Scroll bars Special features
BrowserShots31 IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Dilo, SeaMonkey, Minefield, Epiphany, Flock, Galeon, Konqueror, K-Meleon, Avant, Netscape, Shireteko, Kazehakase, Iceweasel 45 mins Free Bad No No No None
BrowserCam32 IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, Camino, Netscape, AOL 2 mins $999.95 Good Yes Yes Yes Mobile browsers support, remote access service
BrowserLab33 IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari 1 min Free (till end of 2010) Good No Yes Buggy None
SuperPreview3411 IE, Firefox and Safari 1 min $149 Good No No Yes None
BrowserSeal35 IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari 1 min $49 Good Yes Yes Yes Standalone browser versions, support for automation scripts
Litmus3617 IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Flock, Camino, SeaMonkey, Netscape 5 mins $588 Basic Yes No No None
Multi Browser Viewer37 IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Flock, SeaMonkey, Netscape, K-Meleon, Camino, Konqueror, Epiphany, Kazehakase 2 mins $129.95 Good No No Buggy Standalone browser versions
Browsera3823 IE, Firefox, Safari 3 mins $588 Good Yes No Yes Recursive crawling

Obviously, we have no clear winner. Each service has its advantages and disadvantages, and you are left to decide what is the best trade-off for your case. Professional developers would likely not use BrowserShots because of the unreasonably long response time. SuperPreview and Browsera are probably also impractical because of their very limited browser support.

BrowserLab will probably remain popular as long as it is free. Once Adobe starts charging about $20 per month for it, one would hardly have reason to use it, unless you worked in Dreamweaver, which has a BrowserLab extension, because there are much better alternatives.

When choosing a tool, one of the most important factors in your decision will be whether to use a Web service or application. Some people prefer Web-based tools because they do not require installation. Personally, I prefer applications, at least for the development tools that I use frequently. They generally have a better interface and faster response time; they never have outages, and they can be used to debug locally (i.e. on my hard drive or company intranet — although some Web-based services offer a workaround for this issue).

BrowserCam, BrowserSeal, Litmus and Multi-Browser Viewer are all very good choices. But they do vary significantly in price. If you need to test mobile browsers, BrowserCam is probably your only option. For everyone else, I would recommend either BrowserSeal or Multi-Browser Viewer; both come with standalone browser versions that are extremely important for testing. Unfortunately, both of them are Windows only, so Mac users will probably have to go with BrowserLab or BrowserCam. If automatic testing is important to you, then the BrowserSeal automation edition is your best bet.

(al)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.stackoverflow.com
  2. 2 http://www.browsershots.org
  3. 3 http://www.browsershots.org
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/browsershots1.jpg
  5. 5 http://www.browsercam.com
  6. 6 http://www.browsercam.com
  7. 7 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/browsercam.jpg
  8. 8 http://browserlab.adobe.com
  9. 9 http://browserlab.adobe.com
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/browserlab1.jpg
  11. 11 http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/cc136529.aspx
  12. 12 http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/cc136529.aspx
  13. 13 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/superpreview1.jpg
  14. 14 http://www.browserseal.com
  15. 15 http://www.browserseal.com
  16. 16 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/browserseal1.jpg
  17. 17 http://litmusapp.com/
  18. 18 http://litmusapp.com/
  19. 19 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/litmusapp1.jpg
  20. 20 http://www.multibrowserviewer.com
  21. 21 http://www.multibrowserviewer.com
  22. 22 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/multibrowserviewer1.jpg
  23. 23 http://www.browsera.com/
  24. 24 http://www.browsera.com/
  25. 25 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/browsera1.jpg
  26. 26 http://spoon.net/browsers/
  27. 27 http://www.browserseal.com/?option=com_content&view=article&id=35
  28. 28 http://utilu.com/IECollection/
  29. 29 http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage
  30. 30 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/cross-browser-testing-table.html
  31. 31 http://www.browsershots.org/
  32. 32 http://www.browsercam.com/
  33. 33 http://browserlab.adobe.com/
  34. 34 http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/cc136529.aspx
  35. 35 http://www.browserseal.com/
  36. 36 http://litmusapp.com/
  37. 37 http://www.multibrowserviewer.com/
  38. 38 http://www.browsera.com/

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Demiurg is a web developer, consultant and author with over 10 years' experience, currently working on a new stealth-mode internet project.

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  1. 1

    Very Useful! Thanks…

    1
  2. 2

    Excellent collection!

    I personally found BrowserShots to be the best :)

    The advantage with it is that I can actually leave it over for sometime and carry on with other things till the time they get processed.

    0
  3. 3

    I am more interested in the application type services than the web based services. Too often I am working locally or on restricted servers and do not have the opportunity to move it to a public server just for testing. Looks like browser seal is one of my few options.

    0
  4. 4

    Fernando de Sá

    June 4, 2010 4:55 am

    great post, thank you very much

    0
  5. 5

    Nice round-up! For a non-dedicated application approach, I use Safari, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and IE8 installed on Windows 7, and run IE7 and IE6 embedded in Virtual PC’s (which means I can run that browser without the VPC).
    Pro – native apps, fast
    Con – no legacy version of non-IE browsers

    0
  6. 6

    What about Lunascape (http://www.lunascape.tv/) – it does not have such variety of browsers but got 3 engines (Trident, Gecko and Webkit) and can display webpages in splitted windows in every of those 3 browser engines.

    0
  7. 7

    You don’t mention that Litmus (I have no affiliation, I’m just a satisfied customer) also lets you email it and then screen-caps the rendered email in all the popular email providers / browsers.

    This service is really useful for email design and why, perhaps, it’s more expensive than some of the other services.

    They also provide Alkaline, a OS X desktop app that integrates with their web app for windows browser testing.

    0
  8. 8

    I have had a lot of success with the Spoon.net browser sandbox, It has virtualized versions of several browser versions and lets me interact with the pages to test my javascript and jquery functionality.

    http://spoon.net/Browsers/

    0
  9. 9

    If it can be free, It will be more beneficial for our poor developers .. lolzz.. :P

    0
  10. 10

    The only sure fire way to ensure that the design is fit for each browser is to install each browser and then open your website in each.

    Firefox and others provide a repository of older versions of the browser which you can install on your machine side by side, and the same is available for IE. In some instances you may need to run Virtual PC for multiple IE installations but it is possible to run separate installations alongside one another.

    Not only is this free, it isn’t browser emulation.

    1
  11. 11

    right

    0
  12. 12

    Almost all of these services only let you “see” how a page looks in another browser – but they don’t let you “test” the website properly – e.g. Javascript etc.

    I use Virtual PC to test IE.

    0
  13. 13

    big omission here: http://ipinfo.info/netrenderer/

    free IE testing, works great.

    0
  14. 14

    Awesome, thanks! Your articles are always timed so perfectly for me; I was just looking for tools like this yesterday. It’s like you’re reading my mind… o_O

    0
  15. 15

    @Ben .. wrong
    I use spoon all the time and it runs the browser for you so you can test live. It’s just like a browser installed on your machine.
    In my opinion it is much better than the web based tools, because you don’t have to wait for screenshots to be processed..

    I strongly recommend checkin it out:)

    0
  16. 16

    This would have been great yesterday, though I ended up going for BrowserLabs :)

    One tool that has not been mentioned is Lunascape. It is a browser that gives access to Trident, Gecko and Webkit engines. Very useful!

    0
  17. 17

    Tomáš Kapler

    June 4, 2010 5:51 am

    Hey, SmashingMagazine, stop sniffing my e-mail and work.
    Yesterday: working on our eshop with maps with map on the homepage (http://www.freytagberndt.cz/), you have published article about Lithuania with main image with homepage with a map
    Then I have been working on my jewellery eshop (http://www.darkyluxus.cz/) built on Magento and you have published free Magento theme, which perfecly fit, so i have imediately used it
    Now I am trying to solve some bug with IE 6 on that http://www.freytagberndt.cz/ web and you have published list of browser tester.
    I’m woried what you will be writing tomorrow ;)

    0
  18. 18

    Very nice collection. I’ve speny a lot of time look for tool like these. The only ones I found worth using in the past were browser shots and IE tester. Looking forward to giving some of these a try.

    0
  19. 19

    I’ve found browsercam to be the best in the business. As mentioned in the article they have; bulk URL testing, email testing, remote access, mobile testing, waterfall charts, and a good array of browsers to test in.

    I have yet to find another service offer the same features for such a low price.

    You can get the full browsercam plan which includes everything for $25 a year; check out their Premium plan at http://www.browsercam.com/Default2.aspx. This includes all the bells and whistles, and has been the same price for the last 3-4 years I have been using it. Feel free to message me if you want an invitation to this plan (you need at least 25 users to get the price break).

    0
  20. 20

    Good list. I just checked out the Adobe Labs and it’s pretty nice. If you have dual screen monitors, you can see two browser comparisons at once full size.

    Bummer they are going to start charging for it in 2011.

    0
  21. 21

    As a Mac user with Win XP on a virtual machine, I use http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE to test IE6. I have IE7 installed and it lets me ALSO install any other previous versions of IE.

    Works great!

    0
  22. 22

    If you’re on a PC, use Spoon’s browser sandbox: http://www.spoon.net/browser/. It’s free and will run IE 6, 7, and 8, Firefox 2.5, 3, and 3.5, Chrome, Opera 9 and 10, and Safari 3 and 4, all as a firefox plugin.

    0
  23. 23

    I have been a customer of CrossBrowserTesting.com for almost a year and it’s GREAT for testing multiple versions AND multiple OS via VNC! Very affordable and extremely useful, I would recommend it above any other service

    1
  24. 24

    I’m with Stefan: Spoon is great because you work with the site in the actual browser. You can even make changes to a site and try again and again until things look right (or in the case of IE6, acceptable).

    It is slow (especially on a Mac when run via VMWare Fusion), but IMHO it’s a LOT faster than a service when used as a development tool.

    0
  25. 25

    Must take so long to do cross browser testing if you have to make amendments based on screenshots; refreshing the image request every time!

    I would recommend virtual machines (VMware (fusion for OSX)) as the only way to experience your website in other browsers is if you can actually use the page as the user would.

    0
  26. 26

    Spoon looks very promising…but it is Windoze only at the moment. What is the closest thing to Spoon for us Mac Fanboys?

    0
  27. 27

    http://finalbuilds.edskes.net/iecollection.htm is what you want to use to run multiple IE versions at the same time.

    0
  28. 28

    I’d agree. You can see a screenshot, but what about functionality? JavaScript, ajax, jQuery, etc.

    Btw Virtual PC still exists?? I thought it died off when Fusion and Parallels took over.

    0
  29. 29

    Thanks for the list. I hope Adobe doesn’t charge an arm & leg for Browser Lab next year, as it’s certainly my fave.

    At first glance, some of these seem absurdly expensive. One could almost justify buying/installing an assortment of operating systems, licenses, and browsers for some of the pricier options (providing the added advantage of actual in-browser testing). Then again, a service that loads, screen caps, and compiles designs from a bevy of browsers is a somewhat intensive process…and this is arguably one of the more important tests designers/developers perform.

    0
  30. 30

    The same article a few days ago? -> http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/complete-guide-to-cross-browser-compatibility-check/

    Those sites listed, you cannot do actual testing – you can only see screenshots.

    Just use Virtualbox or Virtual PC. Install different OS and browsers and that’s what you call cross-browser testing.

    This one is just cross-browser seeing…

    0
  31. 31

    There’s also Lunascape (http://www.lunascape.tv/) which renders pages with either the Trident, Gecko and/or Webkit engines. It looked promising when I checked it out, but I don’t want to see engine names, I want to see what browser versions those engines translate to.

    It would also be awesome to have multiple IEs in this (IE 6/7/8). I had sent feedback to the company that made the app, received a nice reply, but not really implying that they were planning on anything like this. I think it has the potential to be a killer testing app, but wasn’t really there when I checked it out.

    0
  32. 32

    Personally, i go on the website http://spoon.net/browsers/ to test my website on many browsers live.

    I don’t like snapshop system since i want render of the interactive reaction on each browsers.

    Since i am on a Mac, i use parallel to run this in it

    0
  33. 33

    browsershots.org is my poison, I think like many others it makes the process very easy as you can just leave it and get back to it later.

    0
  34. 34

    Good post! Thanks for that. Although using VMs can help a bit, I would rather not do that. I like local apps that can test pages located on my local testing server, versus browser screenshot apps, that usually require the page to be out on the general internet. I have been using IETester from DeBugBar http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage, its not the greatest, so I’ll be checking out some of the other apps here too.

    0
  35. 35

    PerryCollective

    June 4, 2010 9:22 am

    Many of these only work for pages that are live on the ‘net! I’d like to see another column which lets us know which support viewing test pages from our local (or other internal/intranet) boxes.

    Another distinguishing feature would be, as a few people have mentioned above, support for js/dom testing & other interactivity (keyboard support, etc.).

    I do appreciate the artcicle, though, and will use this to find a better solution. I think my company even has an Expression license, so I may try that first.

    0
  36. 36

    I do this too. A screenshot just isn’t good enough to test interactivity.

    0
  37. 37

    IETESTER is a nice tool for testing multiple versions of IE.

    0
  38. 38

    I would not use Microsoft expression. Last time I used it the screenshot of IE6 did *not* look like the output of an actual installation of IE6.

    0
  39. 39

    David Hucklesby

    June 4, 2010 9:56 am

    The big pain in the arms I have right now is IE 7–the zoom feature seems completely borked, yet I have clients who love it! Do any of these services test at other than default browser settings?
    Very useful article. Thank you.

    0
  40. 40

    I prefer to buy new/old hardware, it’s almost the same price.

    0
  41. 41

    Good list, although most of these take a screenshot, you can test how HTML renders, but what about DHTML or javascript. Proper browser testing should also validate that.

    I recommend installing at least:
    IE Tester: http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage
    Firefox and Chrome.
    And I’m still not sure if Safari on Windows runs the same as Mac, I really don’t think so.

    This also works most of the times:
    http://spoon.net/browsers/

    0
  42. 42

    You are right in that these tools do not allow to test functionality. For this you will need a different kind of tool such as Selenium or Watir.

    However, the functionality you intend to test is not too complex, at least two of these apps (BrowserSeal and Multi Browser Viewer) come with standalone versions of all major browsers which you can use to test your Javascript, etc

    0
  43. 43

    One of the points I was trying to make is that if you are using a PC you don’t have to install virtual machines anymore.

    0
  44. 44

    Fantastic post, thank you so much!

    0
  45. 45

    BrowserLab can test intranet sites if configured correctly. BrowserSeal and Multi Browser Viewer, being an app, can test both intranet sites and html pages from you local hard disk.

    0
  46. 46

    Very useful!

    0
  47. 47

    IE tester all the way! Other than that, just check in the friggin browser itself! ;)

    0
  48. 48

    Incredible how expensive those utils can be… $588 and more to get some screenshots taken???

    0
  49. 49

    I used to use Litmus at a previous company and it deffinately does have full page screen capturing, and isn’t limited to top-of-the-page.

    From what I recall (sorry I no longer have my login) when you’re viewing a grab there’s a button to flick between top-half and full page.

    Apart from that, very useful article :)

    :: Ed

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  50. 50

    Very useful, thanks!

    Just a tip: there are so many “conclusions” on the document…

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