10 Great Tools for Testing Your Website on Mobile Devices

Smartphones and other handheld devices contribute substantially to the overall viewership of any website. Latest estimates show that it is not long before the mobile Internet users are slated to have more stake in the website usage from their desktop and laptop counterparts.

In such a scenario it would be a cardinal sin to ignore the mobile users when it comes to development of a website. Thus one of the most important stages is making a website mobile friendly is to test it for different smartphone platforms and other handheld devices. Let us take a look the importance of mobile phone emulators when it comes to designing websites.

  1. A mobile phone emulator allows you to check the responsiveness and functionality of the mobile websites across different mobile platforms such as iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, iPad etc.
  2. Mobile emulators pinpoint the problems and issues concerning the website and allow you to take corrective measures to make the website visually appealing and functional on smartphones and other hand held devices.
  3. A mobile emulator eases the process of website testing and does away with the technique of testing the website on different devices. The developers can test the website on a virtual mobile interface with all the functionalities available on a device.
  4. Testing through mobile emulators works perfectly on touch based phones and the traditional QWERTY based smartphones.

There are a number of mobile phone emulators available in the market and here we’ll take a look at some of the most popular among them.

01. iPhone Tester

As the name suggests, this is one of the most popular mobile emulators which is used for checking the compatibility of a website on the iPhones. All that you need to do is enter the URL of your website into the search box and get a real-time preview of how it would appear on an iPhone.

02. iPhoney

Another great tool for checking the compatibility of a website on iPhones, iPhoney isn’t only an emulator but allows you to create iPhone compatible websites. You can also test the images and codes along with all the functionality of the website in an iPhone environment using this tool.

03. Mobile Phone Emulator

This is surely one of the most popular mobile phone emulators that is being used by a large number of developers. The greatest advantage with this tool is that it tests the compatibility of the website across a large number of platforms including Samsung, iPhone, BlackBerry etc.

04. iPad Peek

iPad is surely the most acclaimed tablet available in the market and to ensure that your website is compatible with iPads you can try out iPad Peek. It will replicate the appearance and functionality of your website on an iPad.

05. Gomez

 

This doesn’t only check the compatibility of the website on mobile devices but also gives scores to help you judge its potential. It checks the mobile readiness of the website and assigns a score between 1 and 5 based on 30 different parameters including stylesheet use, media queries, caching techniques etc

06. Opera Mini Simulator

Opera Mini is surely one of the most popular mobile web browsers and thus it is important to check the compatibility of the website using Opera Mini Simulator. Using this you can take corrective measures on your website if any major errors exist.

07. Responsivepx

 

Responsive web design today needs no introduction and this tool helps is checking out the responsiveness/adaptability of the design of a website. You can choose between multiple screen sizes and check the appearance and the functionality of a website across different devices.

08. MobiReady

This works similar to Gomez and allows you to enter the URL of your website and test the website along different parameters including Page Test, Markup Test and Site Test. What makes it even more powerful than Gomez is the fact that it checks many other parameters such as dotMobi compliance and W3C mobile compliance, offering detailed error reports. It also has a comprehensive code checker which comes in handy.

09. Screenfly

This is one of the best preview tools as it allows you to see how the website would be rendered by a number of mobile devices apart from the traditional desktops and laptops. You can customize it the way you would like to test your website under various categories. This is a must have emulation tool due to its wide coverage of platforms.

10. ProtoFluid

Similar to Screenfly, this tool is a greay way to test many different resolutions to cover some of the less common devices. It has a terrific UI, but isn’t 100% free, since you will need to buy a £5 license to use it more than 10 times. Still, it’s an excellent deal for a solid and very helpful tool.

Most of he aforementioned phone emulators come absolutely free and it is extremely easy to test your website using these. Remember the future is mobile and under no circumstance can you afford to miss out on any of the smartphone platforms when it comes to building a website which reaches out to all your targeted customers.

Do you have experience with any of these tools, or know of any other good alternatives? Please share!

Written By Rohit Singal

Rohit Singhal is an emarketer working with PixelCrayons, a web development company. The company specializes in CMS and Ecommerce Development solutions.

21 Comments

  1. Jeff

    December 5th, 2012 at 04:10 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but those iPhone sites are simulators NOT emulators.

    All it does is show your web site using iPhone screen size. This is not even close to testing on iOS.

  2. Daniel Herken

    December 6th, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Nice list, but I would like to add:

    http://www.perfectomobile.com/
    Remote access to a lot of real devices, good for testing websites and apps. Unfortunately not that cheap.

    http://www.browseemall.com
    Local simulators for many devices, good only for website testing. It’s only available for windows :-(

    Greetings
    Daniel

  3. Nick Parsons

    December 6th, 2012 at 04:29 pm

    @Jeff: You bring up a really good point.

    Opera Mini is the only true “emulator” on this list. Numbers 3 and 9 (MobilePhoneEmulator and Screenfly) are pseudo-emulators – they at least retrieve the page you’re testing using all of the headers that would be sent by the actual device you’re testing for.

    So, there will be some rendering differences by not testing on the actual device and it’s up to each developer exactly how far they will go with their testing, but I would say that testing a site in multiple browsers using these tools will get you close enough for most projects (the differences between desktop Safari in a small viewport and mobile Safari are really not that substantial in my experience). It would simply be cost prohibitive to test actual devices with how many are out there on the market, and true emulators are just not that widely available (although of course they do exist for Android and iOS if you download their SDK’s).

    This article was meant introduce some easier ways to do that testing (and without needing lots of time/money or a special setup, like the required Mac for the iOS emulator, or PC for BrowseEmAll like Daniel mentioned). You are correct on the phrasing, though – 9 of these technically aren’t “emulators” :)

    @Daniel – Thanks for mentioning those! Perfecto and BrowseEmAll are definitely some good options for testing if you need to step your testing fidelity up a little bit and have the resources to do so.

  4. njenney

    December 10th, 2012 at 04:37 pm

    I recently discovered this nice little Firefox add-on which has extensive mobile device support.

    User Agent Switcher

    The User Agent Switcher extension adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of a browser.

    http://chrispederick.com/work/user-agent-switcher/

  5. aditia

    January 2nd, 2013 at 08:31 pm

    add ripple emulator for google chrome, it is nice with variety of device simulator (BB, Android, iPhone)

  6. Jason

    January 12th, 2013 at 06:57 am

    I have used opera mini simulator to test the mobile apps. So I would add this sites to verify each URL I develop to check for mobile compatibility,

  7. Travis

    January 15th, 2013 at 09:20 pm

    We do a good amount of mobile testing with https://forwardhq.com, it’s great for quickly making changes and seeing them without deploying to a staging site. It’s also a great combo to use Forward with the sites listed above, as it gives you a publicly viewable url to your local dev server that you can plug into the simulator/preview apps.

    Disclosure: I’m a developer at Forward

  8. Nuno

    April 4th, 2013 at 08:50 am

    We also do a lot of testing with http://www.viewlike.us, it’s fast, simple and easy, but I wish they had a way to resize the window, as sometimes comes in handy.

  9. Best web design in Campbell

    April 8th, 2013 at 04:18 am

    I believe that it does make it pretty easy to test the websites using such tools on mobiles. I have tried few of them and they work fine.

  10. Sandra Smith

    April 14th, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Since the number of smartphone users are on the rise, we simply can’t ignore the importance of having a mobile version of our website. And this collection of awesome tools is certainly going to help those who are trying to create an awesome presence in this sphere. Great effort! Keep it up.

  11. Surrey Web Design

    May 22nd, 2013 at 06:49 am

    After designing and developing, the testing of websites is the most important factor. After the inclusion of different Androids and iPhone, the importance of mobile websites is uplifted. So, as much you refine your website’s interface, you will get more response from audience.

  12. Ben Jeffery

    June 7th, 2013 at 06:46 am

    This site is really great as you can test against loads of mobile phone models (not everyone uses iPhone!), and get a free trial http://www.browserstack.com

  13. DreamWorth

    October 25th, 2013 at 06:29 am

    sharing easier ways to do website testing,It is useful for us.thanks for sharing

  14. HNL Appplications

    November 14th, 2013 at 03:04 am

    A great post. Thank you for sharing.

    HNL Applications specializes in Web and Mobile development.
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  15. Major

    November 26th, 2013 at 09:06 am

    Thanks for the wonderful share

  16. Shawna Frost

    December 20th, 2013 at 06:10 am

    Very helpful for me. You I can use your tips to save my time. Thanks for sharing this great post.

  17. Marian

    March 6th, 2014 at 01:08 am

    Having a mobile version of your site is very important. More and more people now are using their smartphone to browse the internet. If your site don’t have a mobile version, traffic will be wasted.

  18. enterprise mobile app development

    March 14th, 2014 at 06:35 am

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