One cool Web design tool

While browsing some of my favorite sites looking for quirks in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) that I needed to be aware of for Web design, I came across one of the most helpful design tools I've seen in a long time. Caleb Gilbert recommended at Drupal.org a site called Browsershots. His recommendation was prompted on the need for non-IE7 users such as Mac users to actually see what their sites would look like in IE7. This is a design tool not only useful for those designing themes for Drupal, but about any other content management system or Web page you may get your hands on.

Browsershots is a "free online platform where you can test your web design in different browsers." You just submit your web address along with which browsers you would like Browsershots to view the site with and in several minutes you'll find screenshots of your requested site. Browsershots not only offers screenshots using various browsers such as IE, Firefox, and Opera but also through more than one platform. Currently the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms are being offered.

What I like about Browsershots is that not only could I render screenshots of a site as it is viewed in IE7, but also in other versions of Internet Explorer such as IE5 (which surprisingly renders CSS sites well). Several versions of Firefox are also offered but only one version of the Mac's Safari and other less used browsers (Dilo, Phoenix, Netscape Navigator 4.8, etc.) are offered.

Browsershots is still an online platform early in the early development process. In fact at the time of this post the site was only at version 0.3 alpha 2. Depending on how many requests are on queue, it can also take a few hours hours before your requested screenshots are rendered. All in all though, I found the needed rendering time well worth the wait. I can't wait to see what Browsershots will have to offer once it reaches version 1.0.