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Effective Cross Browser & Platform Testing


Every web developer has their way of properly testing their websites so they operate in the popular browsers and platforms.

My Testing Technique

I have an effective one computer solution that has been tried and true for me, for years now.

The secret ingredient that makes my workflow very efficient is Parallels Desktop. I test all modern browsers;

Mac: Safari, Firefox, Chrome.

PC: Firefox: IE7, IE8, Chrome, Opera.

I base my testing on the browsers shown at W3Schools Browser Stats: View Recent browser stats

Everyone knows that to get a TRUE IE check you should have a native install. What i have done is created two virtual machines with Parallels but the trick that i have found is that you only need one Windows serial/disk. Windows will allow you to install as many instances of itself on one Parallels machine. This makes it great for me, I created one machine for IE7 only (just a short while back i also had another one for IE6 but I have recently dropped it from my QA testing) and another one that does the rest of the PC browsers, FireFox, IE8, Chrome and Opera.

I design and develop on the mac and start testing with Firefox and Safari then jump over to each virtual machine to check that the code that i am doing is working the same. I do this progressively throughout each project doing small chunks of the site and testing as I go to make sure i dont get too far ahead with some buggy code.

Hope this makes it easier for your website testings.