Remember back in the old days when people just used Internet Explorer? Or the older old days when they used Netscape? Today, we have far more options at our disposal, including IE, Chrome, Firefox, and mobile options like Safari or Opera. Those of us with different internet-capable devices tend to use multiple browsers as well. It’s convenient for users but somewhat of a headache to website owners! Your website needs to be compatible across these browsers. Is a Firefox user getting the same experience as an IE user? Does your site work on Safari? Website compatibility is a big issue.
You could install each type of browser on your computer and check your sites manually. While you’re at it, install each version of each type of browser to get a sense how your site behaves. We’re assuming you have a life, or at least other SEO things to do, so let’s do something a bit easier.
There are tools available that can check compatibility across browsers. Let’s take a look at a few.
- Browser Shots. On this site, you simply enter in the URL of your site and select the browsers against which you’d like to check. The list includes dozens, with multiple versions of popular options like Firefox. The tool takes a screenshot of your site as it appears to each browser. It is, by design, limited, but it is also free. It’s a good place to start. Also, you can upgrade to a paid version.
- Cross Browser Testing. This is a paid service that includes a host of helpful features, including screenshots, live testing, local testing, debugging tools, and more. You can get a free trial and then choose a level of membership to continue using the features.
These are just a few of the options available, and you’ll notice that they are not just emulators. They show you actual images, through screenshots, of how your site appears in various browsers. You’ve got to look good from all angles, and these tools will help.