Website Compatibility Testing

February 13, 2009

If you’re putting up a new website, it’s common practice to test your website with older versions of popular web browsers and your “required software” (e.g., Flash, Java, etc.) to make sure it is backward compatible. Even if your website is fully compliant to the latest W3C and CSS standards, it still may look very different in different browser/operating system configurations. For example, if you’ve just put up a new website, you may want to try it out using an old version of Internet Explorer or Firefox, maybe Flash 7 or 8, or an old version of Java. Only one problem – where do you find old versions of the software to install?

If you’re looking for older versions of web browser, try the Evolt Browser Archive. Started in 1999, the Evolt Archive has a large variety of older browsers (including little known ones like Cyberdog and iCab) and older versions of many popular browsers (including Internet Explorer all the way back to 1.0).

You can also find older Windows versions of web browsers and other software (including the Microsoft Java VM and Adobe Flash) at If you’re trying to find out what most people are using today, you can visit the Browser Statistics from W3C for the latest browsers, operating systems, display depths, etc.

And rather than trashing your current desktop installation of MSIE or Firefox, grab a copy of VirtualBox and create your own virtual machines to test different web browsers.

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