A website developer often is faced with a big challenge. With a single computer at his/her disposal, s/he may never get to see what is on those “other” browsers or how websites appear on a completely different operating system browser. Essentially, s/he is stuck until a client says, “Hey, this site looks awful in Safari!”
Thankfully, there is a new resource on the ‘net that will solve that problem. Browsershots is a free service that enables you to see how your website appears on all of these supported browsers (more being added daily):
Here’s how it works:
- You submit your page URL to their system and select the browsers you want to view your site on. You also have the ability to choose your screen resolution, desired colors, additional media plugins/scripts, and your wait time. The maximum wait time enables you to specify how long the messages will be waiting in the queue before a screenshot is processed.
- Submit the job – and just wait!
While the queue is running, your site will appear in the request queue among the others being processed. You can check on this site during the time and see how many minutes are left on the job. Once the maximum time is exceeded, your site leaves the queue but you will be able to access the screenshots for hours thereafter.
- Since multiple websites are being “browsershot” at the same time, it’s preferable that you only select the appropriate browsers that you need to check against, since the system can get overloaded. These are most notably Firefox 1.5 and 2.0, MSIE 6.0 and 7.0, Opera, and Safari. (The majority of your site users are likely coming from MSIE.)
- You may not necessarily get the results you want within the specified time. Instead of queuing up the job for 4 hours (the maximum wait time), you should try again later if it is absolutely necessary.
Of course, you can always ask the person who says there’s an issue to email you with a screenshot, but this way isn’t too shabby either.