Browsercam

Friday 2 May 2003

The hassle in changing the design of a site (or even the implementation of an existing design) is checking it out in all the browsers you care about. Who can track down all the different versions? BrowserCam to the rescue.

BrowserCam is a cool online service that will hit your URLs with a wide range of your choice of browsers and platforms, capture screenshots, and let you see how your site looks.

They have a free trial (only eight hours long! Don’t accidentally start it at 11PM like I did!), and the pricing is pretty cheap after that anyway. In my test, they had some difficulty with their Mac platforms (some tests had not been started even eight hours after I had requested them, and some showed crash boxes for other browsers, or in one case, for someone else’s site). I did learn some valuable things about my layout (mostly that the new one is a little better than the old one, and that Netscape 4 just can’t do anything).

One tip: what you get back is only a screen grab, so anything that doesn’t fit on one screen (1024×768 max) you won’t see. For example, this site is a long scroll, so I only saw about 2 blog entries. Next time, I’ll create a special test page that has all the interesting elements in one short page so I can see them all.

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