We receive this question all the time. Often it starts with the line, "I checked the website from home and ______ was different..."
Good web designers and developers do a considerable amount of testing before launching a new website -- using tools to simulate the view of the website on different computers (various resolutions), different Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera etc.), and different devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile).
Here we'd like to share a few of the FREE tools we recommend for those who would like to simulate the view of your website as others see it:
TEST AT DIFFERENT RESOLUTIONS <- Viewlike.us is an online application that enables you to quickly test your website in different resolutions. Simply enter your website URL in the provided field and click "Submit." Once the webpage loads, click different resolution tabs to view how the site looks on computers of several resolutions.
TEST IN DIFFERENT WEB BROWSERS <- A link to a strong list of cross browser testing tools. We recommend Adobe BrowserLab (the first on this list), but wanted to include this full list of recommendations, as BrowserLab will switch to un-free shortly.
TEST DIFFERENT MOBILE/TABLET DEVICES <- A link to a strong list of device "emulators" as they're often called. Your best bet is to simply research which are the top 5 or 10 mobile and tablet devices at the time of your website/project launch, and download the individual emulator specifically catered to those tools. (Emulators that claim to match the view at several different devices typically do not work.)
Testing is important and (shhh -- don't tell!) can actually be fun. Remember to also test the view of social media campaigns, such as your Twitter profile and Facebook landing pages. Happy testing!