Useful tools for cross browser compatibility testing
In cross-browser compatibility testing, it is necessary to have several environments set. Although having virtual machines is a good choice, it often becomes a hassle to switch between environments. There are some helpful tools that can reduce all this configuration work.
Netrenderer is a tool that allows you to check how a site is rendered in different versions of Internet Explorer. You don’t need to have an account or download a program. Just type in the URL to be tested, select the Internet Explorer version and the page will be rendered. This tool is recommended for testing specific sections of a page.
• It avoids the necessity of having a virtual machine to install the desired browser version
• Rendering takes seconds to be executed
• It lets you compare between browser versions (IE6 – IE7)
• Renders only one page at a time
• It doesn’t show the complete page, making it necessary to add a vertical offset value to see the content
• Incompatible with internal network sites
• There are a wide variety of browsers to choose from
• It is possible to choose the screen resolution and enable other options
• Only supports Windows XP screenshots
• Sometimes sessions expire and some screenshots are missing
• The results are slow if you compare a lot of different browsers
• Very few options for Mac OS
• Easy to use. Instant access from the web browser.
• Lets you record the testing.
• Generates reports of screenshots and stress tests.
• Makes it possible to set up connection to test local files not yet uploaded to a server or internal websites behind a firewall.
• Payment required
Browsera is an online tool that analyzes a site completely and simultaneously in many browsers while identifying errors instead of just taking screenshots. When creating a new account, you will be prompted to add a project name, the baseline browser (the browser that you test most often), the URLs to be tested and the additional pages linked from the inserted URLs.
• It shows errors found in each browser
• Creates a report of the results via an URL that can be shared.
• Takes screenshots of linked pages.
• It is not possible to choose operating systems or devices; you can only choose the broswer.
• It doesn’t have the latest browsers versions (i.e. Chrome is only available until version
5. Microsoft Expression Web SuperView
• You can see and compare all Internet Explorer versions
• It has the “remote browsers” option to test in uninstalled browsers
• It doesn’t support Linux platforms (In remote browsers)
These tools can help provide very useful information in your compatibility testing, depending on the testing platforms and the environments needed. Most of them offer screenshots, reports and results that are helpful to the process.