Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Awesome Email Client testing with litmusapp

Working on a mac as a ‘web designer/developer’ can have it’s pitfalls when it comes to testing the websites you’ve built cross browser and fixing bugs (yes, I mean you Internet Explorer).

There are a few options if your using a Intel mac you can install ‘parallels‘ allowing you to run windows alongside OSX, but do we really want to poison our beautiful macs with windows… no, not really. There are other alternatives such as browser shots which I sometimes use but you’ll always get some bugs that you really need to be able to test quickly, quicker than uploading files again, requesting another screenshot etc, so at work I often use a testing PC.

When it comes to testing across email clients for HTML emails things become even worse, regardless of which platform you use (windows or mac) there are do many email clients to test all with their own qwirks – lotus notes, outlook 2000/2003/2007/2010 (yeap they all work differently), hotmail, yahoo, gmail and the list goes on, and on, and on…

But. There is a light at the end of the Tunnel. Thanks to Phil Joyce (whom I’ve recently been working alongside) I’ve found litmusapp, which is BY FAR the best email client testing system I’ve come across!

Select the email clients (pretty much al the clients i can think of are covered) you want to test, Send an email (or upload html) to your account and within minutes (often seconds) you’ll get the screenshots you require. Somethings up? re-test, simple.

Obviously a good grounding in the bugs to avoid will save you time and frustration and there’s no shortcuts for that.

The ‘awesomeness’ doesn’t stop there either. Once your happy with the results you can ‘publish’ them, litmusapp will provide you a link and you can then share that with your client thus proofing them your pixel perfect email across all the required clients putting their mind at rest prior to sending to their, often huge, mailing list!

So why did I start off banging on about Internet explorer and web pages at the beginning of this post. Well because it deals with that too!

You can test your webpages among all major clients, ‘publish’ and proof to your clients in the same way.

They also do loads of crazy email tracking and analytics (much more advanced thank your usual stuff) but I’m yet to check out.

Brilliant, ay? go check them it out at litmusapp. The accounts start at approx £30 per month but when you sign up you get a 14 day free trial before you are charged AND they send you a friendly 2 day reminder prior to that incase you wish to cancel.

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