Cross Browser Compatibility

The further into the internet age we get, it seems as though the more freedom we are given. You can access the internet through a variety of devices, and also through many different browsers. In the beginning there was simply Internet Explorer, but today we have Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and still Internet Explorer. Because no two of these browsers are alike, a website may display a certain way on one browser, and a completely different way on another. Making sure a website works properly on all browsers is what we call cross browser compatibility.


Browser Variety


The fact that there are so many different browsers out there can be difficult to deal with, but it gets even more complicated than that. Some people still have some very outdated versions of browsers they are running on their computers, which is why it’s so important that you know your audience. In most cases you do not really have to worry about designing for outdated browsers because the majority of people know to update their browser to help experience the best the web has to offer. However, if you were to be designing a website that would target for instance, an elderly demographic, you will want to take this into consideration. Some people just do not understand computers and software well enough to grasp that they should update or do not do so out of fear of causing harm to their computer. The existence of viruses, malware and the like make many people afraid to download things even if they appear to be trustworthy.


Remember the User


To maintain a properly functioning, great-looking website, you have to be aware of cross-browser compatibility and also with responsive design. You have likely encountered websites that don’t display properly on your browser, and this can take away from your overall experience. When designing with cross browser compatibility in mind it is just like any other aspect of design, you must think of the end user, what their needs are, and how to meet them. If you adhere to these guidelines then you will set yourself up for success in every project you take part in.


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About Fred Schall

Fred Schall is the co-founder of Schall Creative. He has been designing and developing websites since 1997. You can find him on Twitter @mrfredschall.