How Does My Web Site Look to You?

The bummer about designing web sites is that the design must always take into account the fact that not every visitor is viewing their web site from the same browser, operating platform, screen resolution, or even from the same kind of device. This creates challenges for designers because regardless of the varying combinations of factors, the web site should look and function consistently. Out of all of the factors that affect the rendering of a web page, browser compatibility usually presents the most significant challenge.

Because of these challenges, it is important to add a “Browser Check” step to your testing and prelaunch checklist. A Browser Check will help you to quickly identify problems with your web sites and flag them so that your designer/developer can address them before the site goes live.

There are a few tools out there that will enable you to preview or take screenshots of your web page on various operating platforms, browsers, and screen resolutions.

Below are a few to consider:

www.browsercam.com - A great service that offers both screen captures and remote access to different devices and operating platforms. Free trial is available.

www.crossbrowsertesting.com - This one is cool because you can usually use the service free for 5 minutes at a time. You select the operating platform that you would like to test and then have the option to launch several different browsers to test.

NetMechanic Browser Photo - The Browser Photo tool by NetMechanic is a good solution if you don’t want to get too technical. The application runs a report that grabs screenshots from 24 different pre-defined computer and browser combinations.