September 30, 2019 11:00 am

Announcing the webhint v1 browser extension for Microsoft Edge

By / Program Manager, Microsoft Edge DevTools

We are thrilled to announce that the webhint browser extension has moved from beta to its v1 release and is now available for Insider builds of Microsoft Edge, as well as for Chrome and Firefox!

The webhint browser extension allows you to easily scan a website and get feedback on accessibility, browser compatibility, security, performance, and more within the browser DevTools. Read more at https://webhint.io/.

Try the webhint browser extension

Once you’ve installed the extension for your browser, simply open DevTools and select the Hints tab. From here, you’ll be able to run a customizable site scan. You can select what browsers are relevant to you by using the browserslist syntax. (browserslist is the defacto standard for creating browser support matrix, and it’s used by tools such as autoprefixer.) You can also ignore certain cross-origin resources in your scan, letting you focus on the code you care about most.

Screenshot of the Hints tab in the Microsoft Edge DevTools

What’s new for v1

Since announcing the beta in July, we’ve made a number of bug fixes, improvements, performance enhancements, and all-new features to the browser extension based on your feedback. Here are a few of the highlights.

Improvements to cross-browser compatibility hints

Making sure your website works in all the browsers you care about is a difficult task. webhint’s compat-api uses MDN’s browser compat data to help you identify possible gaps in your browser support matrix.

In v1, we added suggestions for missing vendor prefixes. These hints are especially helpful for testing cross-browser compatibility. We also improved the way in which browser versions are listed in compatibility hints, as shown in the before and after screenshots below.

Screenshot of a hint in the previous version of webhint

Browser versions were shortened in prior versions of webhint

Screenshot of a hint in the webhint v1 extension, with an improved layout

In webhint v1, compatibility hints will display browser versions more clearly, and provide tips to get better cross-browser support

Grouping of similar hints

Previously, if a hint affected numerous elements on a webpage, it could produce an overwhelming number of recommendations. We’ve improved this experience by grouping similar hints together.

Screen capture showing similar hints grouped together

Similar hints are now grouped together

More insights on accessibility

Previously, the browser extension surfaced color contrast hints but did not display the current color contrast ratio. In v1, this information has been added to color contrast hints.

We’ve also made more granular category breakdowns for accessibility to help you quickly sort through recommendations.

Screenshot of category breakdowns and new accessibility insights

…and more!

webhint now uses axe-core version 3.3.2, giving us a great performance boost. Browser extension scans now take and average of 9 seconds. We’ve also added hints for inline SVG styles, bug fixes, and more! You can see the full changelog here.

webhint open source

Illustration of the webhint mascot, "Nellie the narwhal," at a computer

webhint is built in then open as an OpenJS foundation project, and has benefited from the contributions of about 30 unique contributors active on our GitHub repo since our last browser extension announcement at the end of July. Thank you all for being part of the webhint community!

If you have feedback or would like to get involved in the future development of webhint, please find us on GitHubGitter, or Twitter.

Rachel Weil, Program Manager, Microsoft Edge DevTools

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