Friday, March 20, 2020

Web Browser Compatibility and Its Importance in Website Design

With the rapid growth of internet, there is a parallel growth in the number of browsers. So, this article explains the importance of web browser compatibility and why you should get your website made compatible with all major web browsers. With the rapid growth of the Internet there is a parallel growth in the number of modern browsers with various features. Browsers can be defined as software to view websites though modern browsers provide a lot more functionality than merely browsing websites. With the number of browsers available in the market, each having its own merits and demerits, there is a need for web site optimization so that your website will be displayed and functional equally well in all browsers.

Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari are among the most popular browsers. They cover about 98% of market share. Even within them, Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer cover nearly 92% of the browser market. So, it is very important that your website must be fully compatible and displays properly at least in these web browsers. Though all the browsers follow web standards set by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), certain HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) tags, properties and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) properties may not be supported properly by all the web browsers. This is the case where your web designer should think on browser compatibility before writing the code for the website.

It is evident that not all internet users are using the same browser and also there is possibility of them using different versions of different browsers. So, if your designer has not taken care of browser compatibility, this may result in different interpretation of your website as all the browsers and their different versions may not support the HTML, PHP and CSS properties used in your web site. And it may directly affect your business as it would mean customers would trust your website less as they cannot view it properly. For example, let us assume that you have an online store and it is not compatible with Google Chrome but the customer uses Google Chrome. In such a scenario, he might either not be able to shop at all if the shopping cart is not working properly or he might not trust your website well enough to purchase the product from your website. This would mean direct loss in business for you. This is why browser compatibility is an important factor to keep in mind when you design your website or get it created from someone else.

Very basic option available for a web developer is to go with the properties supported by all the major browsers. In your design code, it is wise to choose the design properties common to all major browsers. This may ask for compromise on look of the site and it may not work out well at times. So, in case it is impossible for the site to be made fully compatible with all browsers due to coding limitations, then the developer needs to know the various types and versions of web browsers used by the bulk of the website visitors. There are many techniques to get this information. You can use Javascript or PHP commands in your code to know about browser name and version. Depending on the browser, your designer can write different code snippets supported by various browsers.

Once your website is ready you can even test on various programs and websites available on internet for browser compatibility. These programs and websites show how your website will look in various popular browsers and list any major issues you may need to take care of. Depending on these suggestions you can fine tune your website to make it look perfect in all major browsers. I would advise you to make your websites compatible with all major web browsers but leave out outdated versions such as Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 1.5 as hardly anybody uses them anymore.

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