Cross-browser testing, as well as assuring our site compatibility with various environments is very important. We can never achieve 100% cross-browser compatibility, that’s unrealistic. Depending on our time, budget or skills, we should focus our efforts to make sure that our sites are behaving and looking within reasonable parameters (if not the same) at least on the major browsers.
When I work on a site, I do it starting from Firefox. At the same time, I try to make sure sure the site is ok in Chrome and IE, the other highly used browsers. You won’t see me banging my head against the wall to solve any compatibility issues with IE7 or IE6 though…
But there’s more we can do to improve our cross-browser compatibility and the overall performance of the site.
A few years ago, I used a free cross-browser testing tool to check my sites for compatibility issues with various browser/OS combinations. I remembered it now and used it for Adrian’s Hub. It’s called BrowserShots.
It should take up to 15min (depending on your selections) to take your browser shots, and it includes a comprehensive list of browsers and platforms to choose from, including legacy versions of the browsers.
Don’t expect that your site will look perfect in every environment. In fact, it is likely some will produce errors, some are limited browsers and can’t show everything you have on the page and sometimes the page doesn’t have time to load before the browser shot is taken. If the last part happens on several environments, you might want to consider some techniques to speed up your site or simply make it less “heavy” (less videos, pictures, flash etc. – or smaller).
If you are a webmaster and want a more in-depth analysis of your site’s compatibility issues, there are several subscription-based sites that offer a wider range of services.
While researching for this topic, I stumbled upon this article which should provide a more technical (and detailed) presentation of cross-browser testing tools (including the subscription-based ones).