IE NetRenderer takes a rest
The owners of the NetRenderer, a website that allows web developers to test their websites in Internet Explorer versions, 5.5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 has been taken offline for 72 hours pending a possible permanent closure.
The site’s owners claim that donations have not been sufficient to cover even basic server maintenance costs and that a review is currently taking place to determine whether the project is worth funding further. The site has also been subject to virus infections, vandalism and exploit attacks.
There are many websites that provide simulated rendering services. Similar features can also be found in software such as Microsoft Expression Web’s SuperPreview. Nevertheless, this was the only one that was free and provided such a reliable and accurate rendering service.
A letter on their website reads in part:
… as donations and advertisement revenue don’t even cover our basic server maintenance cost, we are about to review our financing policy because we cannot justify to put (sic) even more money into this project.
There have been numerous suggestions for making NetRenderer a paid service, but we are skeptical whether this would work out. We would strongly prefer to find another solution that would allow us to continue as a free service.
So we decided to make a 72 hour break until Thursday, September 22nd 2011. We want to use this break to listen to your opinions about IE NetRenderer, looking for sponsors and possibly getting new ideas for financing or raising some donations.
Update (22 September 2011):
Following strong feedback, the owners of the NetRenderer decided to restore the service. Some changes will follow, but the site says it will remain “basically free”. Excellent news!