Why test your website?

To see if it works.

Remember that there are a variety of computing environments in which your pages may be viewed. While you can't test them all, it's good to check out some of the major platforms and see how your pages look.


Writing valid HTML is half the challenge. You can validate your code to make sure that it complies with the standard. The topic of validation is covered more fully in the Introduction to HTML seminar.

A Very Basic Testing Strategy

If you had unlimited time and resources, you could get every kind of computer that has ever been made and keep copies of each version of every browser. Then you could go from machine to machine and program to program and examine each page in your website.

A more realistic option: Keep a copy of a recent version of Netscape and Internet Explorer on your machine. Test your pages on both browsers.

If you're a Mac user, make friends with Windows users who have both browsers; ask to check your pages on their machines. If you're a Windows user, make friends with some Mac users and do the same. If you're a Unix/Linux user, you probably don't need this tutorial.

Don't forget to check your pages on a machine with a small, low-color screen.

Text-Only Browsers

If you really want to put your pages to the test, try accessing them via Lynx, the text-only Unix Web browser. A well-designed Web page should still be accessible through the Lynx interface. Here's an example of how a page looks in Lynx:

                                                               About the Center

   Center for the Advancement of Teaching

                               About the Center

   See also: Center staff

   The Center for the Advancement of Teaching...

     * coordinates faculty development initiatives at Xavier University.
     * is an interdisciplinary, collaborative academic unit that seeks to
       focus the University's efforts aimed at advancing the art of
       teaching at all levels.
     * creates opportunities for Xavier faculty to develop new teaching
       strategies and to incorporate the use of technology in
       educationally effective ways.
     * provides services and facilities which are available to all Xavier
       faculty and to three partner schools in the New Orleans Public
       Schools system: Mildred Osborne Elementary School, Thurgood
       Marshall Middle School, and McDonogh #35 Senior High School.
Commands: Use arrow keys to move, '?' for help, 'q' to quit, '<-' to go back.
  Arrow keys: Up and Down to move. Right to follow a link; Left to go back.
 H)elp O)ptions P)rint G)o M)ain screen Q)uit /=search [delete]=history list

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