Test your website on several browsers

October 2016

Every good webmaster should check the compatibility of their site with browsers. But it is possible, depending on your operating system, you're having trouble try one or the other browsers. Here are some solutions.

Online Verification

Some websites offer for you to make screenshots of your site in different browsers. This allows not to install multiple browsers on your machine. However, a disadvantage is that you can not test your changes in real time. Indeed, it takes some time before your application is accepted, depending on the number of users of the service.

Local Verification

The most common browsers can be installed without difficulty on Windows:
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • But other problems arise. There are different versions of Internet Explorer. And although these browsers are all made-by Microsoft, there are major problems of compatibility with different versions and operating systems.
  • If you're running GNU/Linux, browsers such as Firefox or Konqueror are not a problem. You can also use Google Chrome and Opera under most distributions.
  • For Safari, there are no solution, but in general what works under Chrome also works in Safari because they both use the same WebKit core to render pages.
  • The problem is Internet Explorer. It can not be installed (easy) for Linux and the solution is obviously a virtual machine of Windows (which has IE), see below ..

Windows XP users

  • If you are using IE6:
    • I urge you to upgrade to IE7, especially for security reasons. Anyway, you can use a standalone IE7.
      • Note: this method is not supported by microsoft. To perform at your own risk.
  • If you are already in IE7:

Windows Vista users

  • Solution 1 [official Microsoft]:
    • Virtualizing a system with XP IE6 (image to download for free HERE). For virtualization, Microsoft Virtual PC advice, but personally I recommend VirtualBox.
  • Solution 2 [official Microsoft]:
    • Use "User Agent String Utility" (free download HERE). This is a utility that opens an IE7 window, but pretending to be IE6.

XP and Vista users with IE7

  • Use this software: IEtester.
  • This is an application that allows to launch within the same application form tabs IE7, 6 and 5.5. The development is in its infancy, but it is promising.

Windows Users

  • Use: Xenocode
  • These applications require no installation, they are launched from a "virtual engine". This allows to test different browsers, different versions, without problems of incompatibility.
  • Note that it: Takes (much) more disk space than the "normal" browser.

Other tools

There are other utilities, some free, that can simultaneously view the rendering of your site in several browsers. It shows in real time in a single window, the effect of your changes.

Related :

This document entitled « Test your website on several browsers » from CCM (ccm.net) is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.