One of the things that you need to make sure as a webmaster is support for various screen resolutions. The rise of mobile browsing, especially on smartphones but also on low resolution devices like tablet and netbook PCs, has made this step even more important. A website that is not offering optimized contents for popular devices and resolutions could lose a lot of visitors because of this.
If you run a CSM or platform like WordPress, you can utilize plugins to create automatic and custom mobile versions of your website. You still need to test those resolutions to make sure that the sites display correctly on the devices.
Most webmasters do not own all of the devices that they need to support. The only available option to test screen resolutions and mobile compatibility is to use emulation.
Screenfly is an online service that can display a given website in predefined resolutions. Webmasters are asked to enter a web address into the form on the homepage.
This website is then displayed in one of the available resolutions. Semi-transparent buttons on the left side are provided to switch the resolution or device group. Available for selection are desktop, tablet, mobile and television devices, each with several subdevice listings.
The desktop group ranges from 10" netbook resolutions of 1024x600 all the way up to 1920x1200, the native resolution of a 24" monitor.
Tablet support is available for Apple's iPad and four Android tablets including the Samsung Galaxy and the Motorola Xoom.
The mobile device category includes two Android smartphones, the Apple iPhone 3 and 4, the Asus Galaxy 7 Windows 7 phone, the Blackberry 8300 and two Motorola RAZR phones.
Television finally displays the website in a 480p, 720p and 1080p screen resolution on screen.
Switching to another device or resolution is a fluent process that happens without a reload of the page.
One interesting feature of Screenfly is the ability to detect mobile versions of a website. The service will automatically use the mobile version of a site if available and supported by the emulated device. This detection can be used to test a site's mobile version thoroughly.
The one thing that is missing is an option to test a custom screen resolution. Webmasters who want that feature can try Simures, which supports custom screen resolutions.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.