As web developers we know all to well the challenges of getting our web sites to look and function the same across browsers. I use Browsershots to grab visual snapshots of a page in multiple browsers, but this doesn’t help test functionality, or view a screen that occurs after a user has caused an event.

There’s no getting around needing to test in multiple browsers. Thankfully, you can do this on your computer fairly easily. I am currently able to test, on my MacBook Pro, with the following browsers:

  • Firefox 2 and 3 on Win and Mac
  • Safari on Win and Mac
  • IE 5.5, 6 and 7 on Win

This gives me a good percentage of the browsers in use out there. I do my Windows testing by running VMWare Fusion, and installing IE 5.5 – 7, Firefox and Safari on there.

You’ll need a little help with running multiple Internet Explorer versions and Firefox versions.

Running Multiple Internet Explorers
To run multiple version of Internet Explorers there is a nice installer to help you out. I upgraded my IE to 7, and then ran this installer, which can install any IEs you want from 3 to 6.

Running Firefox 2 and 3
Chu Yeow has posted a nice tutorial on running Firefox 2 and 3. You first need to create a new Firefox profile to ensure that when you run Firefox 3 it doesn’t overwrite your default profile. The mozilla web site has some information on Managing Your Firefox Profiles. Now you can download and install Firefox three and follow Chu’s instructions for running it. If you are on a Mac, Andy Croll describes how to use AppleScript for easy launching.

Now you have no excuse for not testing in multiple browsers. Happy testing!