Browser Compatability

Millions of new websites are emerging on the Web on daily basis.  Having a website is great as you are defining your own web space and making a mark on the World Wide Web.  Will your website be viewable by all your visitors regardless of the type of  browser they are using to view your website?  Well, most people that aren’t aware of the browser compatibility issues across different browsers will tell you right away, “My website looks just fine in Internet Explorer 8” or perhaps “I don’t need to optimize my website for any other browser except Internet Explorer”.

Those website owners that have a website malfunctioning in alternative browsers will most likely suffer loss of traffic and visitors.   Each visitor that comes to your website expects to be able to browse quickly and efficiently thru each page without stumbling across code errors or awkward looking images.  The average time that a user spends on your website is around 30 seconds or less.  Depending on how good of a website layout you have will determine how long the visitor will most likely continue browsing thru.  Website layout and structure is not the only reason that a visitor will navigate away from your website although for the sake of this post and subject we will keep it that way.

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Most Popular Browsers Used Today

The goal of each listed browser below is to display your website as true as possible.  This means that it should interpret the code of your website in the same fashion.  One of the main reasons why certain browsers fail to display a website properly is due to the way they are designed to interpret certain languages in which a website is built.  Certain code such as HTML, JavaScript, PHP, ASP, Action Script, and others will be interpreted by each browser differently.

  • Internet Explorer 8.0 – the mighty browsing application beast, yet another creation by Microsoft that didn’t receive too many positive reviews although remains the #1 used web browser in the World.
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 – the emerging of this version of Internet Explorer put an end to all the miseries Windows Operating System users were experiencing in Version 6.0 that was simply a nightmare to browse a website with.  IE 7.0 remains a #2 contender in the browser compatibility schema.
  • Mozilla FireFox – dubbed to be the next best browser on the Web it slowly continues to rise up in the ranks.  Many users are turning to Mozilla’s FireFox on daily basis as it has far more functionality and stability in website viewing than Internet Explorer ever had.  While it sticks like a Post-It at #3 spot I believe that it will slowly but sure become the #2 or #1 Globally used web browser in the coming days.
  • Safari – since the launch of the BETA version of Safari for Windows Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s FireFox were in a tight corner.  Tests proved that Safari for Windows was the fastest website loading browser available on the market.  Just because it was fast didn’t mean that it offered the most functionality.  This is why it has stuck at the #4 position due to the lack of customization and Add-Ons that the “above average user” demands.
  • Google Chrome – the mighty giant couldn’t fall behind by not releasing yet another application of their own.  Once Google Chrome bloomed into the Web it quickly gained attention.  While it has quick loading of websites functionality and an overall great compatibility it suffers in its “Gears” Department and modification “Under the Hood”.  One other known issue with this browser is that it suffers in properly caching certain website pages as well.  Since it’s still imperfect an “In the Garage” for further tweaking it unfortunately sits at the #5 position based on user demand.
  • Opera – it grabbed the Mobile market first by introducing the first HTML based browser for mobile phones.  In particular and currently widely used on the BlackBerry phones.  That’s as far as this browser went when it came to perfection and fine tuning of their application.  The web version of Opera for Windows Operating Systems is quite frankly worthless and has continuous issues in attempting to load most pages correctly.  Based on user demand it simply sits at the bottom of the food chain and probably one of the least favorite browsers used so far.

Testing Your Website for Multiple Browsers

One way to find out how your website is viewed by users that use other browsers is to check out the Browser Shots website.  Here you can choose which browsers you want to test your website with and also which operating system.  The process is free and once complete a snapshot of your website from each individual browser will be displayed for you to review.  A good rule of thumb in this process is to only select the individual browsers that you want to test your website with.  The more browsers you select to test your website the longer the testing process with take.

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