We have done several posts when it comes to testing websites in other browsers, and this post pretty much sums up our findings. One of my favorite services mentioned in that article is the one called Total Validator. With it you can validate a site or take a screenshot from many different browsers, and if you’re looking for convenience then you’ll find it with their free desktop software or Firefox extension.
Sometimes the screenshots can take a few minutes though, and while that doesn’t seem like that long it really can be. Typically what happens in web development is that a site will be tested in a browser, and if an error is found the developer will try to fix it and then retest it. If you are constantly re-testing a site it can take forever if you have to wait a few minutes to see a screenshot each time (if you’re using BrowserShots it could take hours depending on how long the queue is).
That’s where IE NetRenderer comes into play. It will let you see what your site looks like in IE 7, IE 6, and IE 5.5 within a matter of seconds. Just enter in the URL and it should popup in no time at all, depending of course on how fast the entire page loads. For example, I had a screenshot of Google.com up in under 2 seconds but our site took between 10 and 17 seconds since there is more content displayed.
There is one small catch about this service though. It only takes a screenshot of what’s visible without needing to scroll on a 1024 x 768 resolution browser window. Other screenshot services will normally scroll the page so that you can see what the entire page looks like. That’s a little bit of a bummer, but the “instant” results make the tradeoff worth it.