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In what browsers do you test your websites?

I'm in the process of setting up 3 windows xp virtual machines for IE6, 7 and 8. Have ie9 on my win7 host machine.

Which versions of FF, Chrome and maybe Safari? should I consider also installing?

P.S. Would be great if you could recommend a website that would help me test my websites on Macs(I don't own a mac and installing OSX on a VM is illegal and way too much to handle for me)... I bieleve I should be concerned how fonts would be rendered and any layout changes that might result from this.

  • Yeah, Thanks John Conde... That question was asked more than a year ago... don't you think there have been released a few new versions of browsers since then? Don't you think the marked share might have changed in the last year? lol.....
    – sdadffdfd
    Dec 19 '11 at 15:32

What platforms you test on should be based on your demographic not on other webmasters' preferences or subjective opinions.

If your target audience lives in a country that still has widespread IE6 usage, or the client has specifically asked for IE6 support, then you'll need to support IE6. But for many sites out there, explicit support for IE6 is no longer important as it's currently used by less than 5% of the overall market, and in some segments its usage is pretty much non-existent.

Similarly, some sites will need to have greater support for mobile browsers or specific mobile browsers than others. Other sites might not need to support any mobile devices that can't render a desktop version of the site. Still others will need to be specifically designed around screen readers or for linux users or for touchscreen devices, etc.

You should do some market research or look up the browser usage statistics in the demographic you're targeting. If you have access to server logs of a site with a similar demographic, that would probably be the most accurate.

  • Let's say I'm designing a WP theme to be shared and used by different users. I guess, the target audience would be US. Do you know if there are any, somehow accurate, or any at all, statistics I could use to see what I'm dealing with?
    – sdadffdfd
    Dec 19 '11 at 15:37
  • @vzait: In that case, you'll need to make a subjective decision. Your potential buyers could have very different target demographics (maybe even non-US users). The best bet is to support the widest range of browsers you practically can--weighing the cost of supporting them vs. the potential benefits. You could also take a hint from sites targeting the general population, e.g. Google. Or you can get global stats from sites like StatCounter. Dec 19 '11 at 16:23

Actually with IE it's a bit easier because it let's you run it in compatibility mode for IE 7 and 8 and well as default 9. Just go to "Tools > F12 Developer Tools > Browser Mode" and select the version of IE you wish to run IE 9 under. I wouldn't recommend supporting IE 6 because even Microsoft is trying to get rid of it.

As far as other browsers, I recommend FireFox 8, Chrome 16 as well as Safari 5.1, and Opera 11.60 at the very least. But you don't necessarily have to setup separate VM to test compatibility.

As far as Mac, you can install Apple Safari Browser on windows 7, and it will render the same exact way it renders website's on a Mac.

  • 1
    I very much doubt that Safari for Windows will render exactly the same as it does on OS X. In fact, I've run into problems with this exact problem since I do run Safari for Windows, and yet my clients' Macs and also Adobe Browser Lab both showed a rendering glitch in the OS X version that didn't show up on my computer. Dec 19 '11 at 5:30

Firefox 3.6,4, Chrome 10 and 11. I am not sure about safari.

  • Thanks. Could you please explain why did you mention those versions?
    – sdadffdfd
    Dec 19 '11 at 3:09

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