How does your site look in any of the major browsers? Not everyone is using Internet Explorer to surf the Internet these days or even their desktop computer.
Are you prepared to loose visitors because your site uses proprietory coding or just doesn’t render properly in all browsers? Can you afford the lost sales?
Is Your Site Cross-Browser Compatible?
Definition of cross-browser compatible:
- Cross-browser compatible
- Compatible with all major browsers available
Major Desktop Browsers Available
These are the major desktop browsers available:
- Internet Explorer
- Google Chrome
- Text based browsers for Lynx operating system or the visually impaired
How does your site look in any of the browsers listed above? What about mobile devices?
Battle of the Browsers
The battle of the browsers has gone on since the start of the internet. We use to have just Internet Explorer and Netscape to contend with now there tonnes of ways one can access your site.
See this note on Browser News’ site:
Caution : browser stats are of limited use to designers. First, stats will vary from site to site, so it is only the stats for your sites which matter. Second, stats can be skewed by many factors, so the true numbers may be higher or lower than the numbers reported. Third, and most important, browser stats are really only useful to designers when deciding which browsers are so little used that they need no longer be supported: it may be entertaining to know, for example, how well Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are competing with Internet Explorer, but so long as the numbers are large enough that the browsers must be supported, the exact numbers are irrelevant to the design.
In case you missed it: it is only the stats for your sites which matter.
You can surf the net looking for stats on which browser(s) are popular but keep in mind that these stats are based on the site’s own visitors plus the sites where you find these stats tend to be visited by tech savvy people, not your average computer user.
Browser News Recommendations are:
“A good way to ensure that sites will work for as many users as possible is to (a) design sites to the HTML, CSS, DOM, and other standards, (b) to test sites with common browsers that implement these standards well, and (c) to tweak the sites so that they work well enough for antique browsers still in common use.”
Reference: Browser News – Browser Trends
So what this means is:
- Design your website to the standards.
The web standards are created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- Test your website in multiple browsers.
See the list at the beginning of this post.
- Build your website so it degrades well.
Build the website so if someone with one of the older browsers visits the website is not broken.
Read more about building a Cross-Browser Compatibility site or blog.
Some Designers Do Not Believe in Cross-Browser Compatibility
There are designers and developers out there that have a real hate on for Internet Explorer. They put coding in their pages that send up messages to the users of IE like “get a modern browser”.
If your designer/developer is one of those, put your foot down that the site/blog must be cross-browser compatible. Why? Because not everyone is a techy person. They don’t keep up with the trends. a) they don’t care and b) they could be scared to upgrade for fear of breaking their machine and c) their chosen browser works just fine thank you very much for what they do on the net.
You want your site to work for your target audience. If they are not the tech type, the latest greatest “features” of the net may not work for them. Sometimes those of us on the net forget about what it was like way back when we too were new to the net and scared to do stuff or experiment.
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