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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

How I cross-browser test my HTML and CSS.

Roger Johanssen recently posted an article in which he spoke about the order in which he tests browsers against his code. I thought I should chip in with my own method, which I feel makes life a bit easier than developing for one browser and then fixing it for umpteen others.

How I cross browser test the websites I build

I tend to test on all browsers as I go along. I find it’s much easier to fix things there and then, than spend an hour wondering which bit of my CSS is causing one or another version of IE to fall over.

If I leave cross browser testing till after I’m done with one browser, it’s much harder to nail what’s going wrong in another browser - especially with floats. Was it that the container width is getting calculated wrong, or the margin on the floated elements within it, or a bug with list padding, or something else? Too many possible causes for one symptom (a busted float layout). By testing on each browser as I make each change, I know exactly what it is that’s causing a broken layout, and I can fix it as soon as it happens, rather than waiting for a symptom later down the line that could be due to any number of causes.

It’s a method that I’ve found to save time in the long run, despite it meaning that ‘results’ seem to take longer. Doing it this way, you get to the finish point at the same time for every browser, rather than being able to finish with one, but then spend ages getting frustrated about other browsers not doing things right.

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