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Browser Compatibility Checks

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by samantha, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. samantha

    samantha Junior Member

    I have a Mac so a major issue I have when working on web design projects is the difficulty checking a site's rendering across multiple browsers.

    I have been relying on: Check Browser Compatibility, Cross Platform Browser Test - Browsershots , which seems to be working out for me. However, a client recently contacted me concerned because someone was having trouble seeing the text on their site. I have since found out that they are using AOL on Windows XP, so I was curious as to if other designers even concern themselves with AOL or have any other testing solutions.


  2. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Sam,

    Firstly welcome to Design Forums :)
    That's a very good question! As I'm on PC I'm able to test on the leading browsers directly so Firefox, and using a setup called Multiple IEs I can test on IE5.5/6/7. In terms of the specific example you mentioned, I believe AOL is running their explorer on Microsoft IE, so if you've tested for IE it should be fine in AOL.

    Google Answers: What is the AOL browser based on?

  3. samantha

    samantha Junior Member

    Thanks for the info!

    I have checked in IE 6 & 7 on various PCs that I have gotten a hold of, and as I said everything is looking dandy through Browsershots. So this still is slightly puzzling, I suppose the user could have their font set smaller than standard.
  4. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Yes it could be just a user setting, if you want me to take quick look for you here and take some screenshots to e-mail you using IE5.5/6/7 just drop me a PM with the URL :)

  5. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    The text size looked fine in all versions of IE here Sam, have just sent you the screenshots, hope that helps. Greg
  6. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest


    I my experience a super cheap (or even second hand) Windows XP laptop is your best bet for checking across all the browsers. It might seem like expense but trust me it makes life a hundred times easier.

    As far as AOL goes, Greg's post is right about running on Internet Explorer Engine, but its so heavily hacked and edited that you can't trust it to work in the same way. I know some designers will cringe at this but I would tell the client to ignore it, if you've got Google Analytics on the site check to see how many visitors are using each browser, if its less that 4-5% of a small amout of visitors then its not worth dealing with.
  7. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Lee is right, in this case I think you'll find that the % of people using the AOL browser is soo small these days, it might help if you direct your client to the W3 Schools browser usage stats - Browser Statistics

    As you can see the last time AOL even made an appearance on the top 6 browsers was back in 2002 with just 5% share.

    EDIT- Having just posted that it dawned on me that 2002 was the last year of the AOL browser on its own :p so it's obviously considered to be IE now, you'll probably have trouble finding stats for AOL on its own now. It must be a text size/resolution size issue for your client?
  8. samantha

    samantha Junior Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I will be sure to use some of the information when talking about the issue with my client.

    I was planning on keeping my old PC laptop just for the purpose of testing when purchasing a Mac, unfortunately some air travel resulted in my 5 year old laptop going kaput pushing the Mac purchase up a few months earlier than expected.
  9. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Let us know how you get on with your client, it might be worth asking for your client to try and provide a screenshot (if they know how?).

    Another option could be in running a Windows OS like XP on your Mac, although I'm not sure how expensive that would be to do?
  10. AtiKuSDesign

    AtiKuSDesign Junior Member


    I run a mac OSX to and have recently purchased a ASUS netbook that runs windows XP. It's a relatively small expense but a huge help to develop for IE.

    I really don't have any cross browser issues now because I test as I build and can therefor identify the problems straight away.

    I'd really recommend putting one on your christmas list if you could

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