Your Web Site vs. The Other Browser: Cross-browser Compliance

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Your website looks great.  You have a spectacular graphic design, you spent weeks planning and building, and you’ve gotten tons of positive feedback from your colleagues.  One question:  have you looked at your Web site in all of those other Web browsers?  If you haven’t, you may want to.  And you may be shocked by what you find.

“I looked at my Web site in Internet Explorer, and it looks perfect.  Internet Explorer’s the only browser I ever use.  What other browsers could their be?  It can’t look different on another operating system, can it?  What are you talking about?”

Believe it or not, there are a ton of Web browsers out there…more than what comes installed with Windows.  And they all read and display a Web site differently.  Believe me, they do…I’ve fought with all of them for almost 10 years.  As a Web Designer, I’ve seen a Web site that I’ve built look perfect in Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), but be completely broken in Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).  Even though they’re made by the same company (Microsoft), they act completely different.  Or it may look great in FF3 on a PC, but look terrible in FF3 on a Mac.  Even the exact same browser version can look different on different operating systems.

So how many browsers are we talking about?  Beacon Technologies supports nine different browsers spread across both PCs and Macs.  We code for all of them, and it’s challenging…just ask anybody on my team.  They’ll tell you how much easier our professional lives would be if we just coded Web sites for one browser.  But there is such a diverse user base out there, using all sorts of browsers.  Why should a Safari user on a Mac get short-changed when they visit your site?  We don’t believe they should.

How do we know what browsers are being used out there?  We closely monitor the W3Schools Browser Statistics site, which lists all current browsers in use and what percentage of Web surfers use them, updated monthly.  For example, you’ll notice that a total of 47.1% of users use IE, but within that, 26.9% use IE7 and 20.2% user IE6.  44% of users surf with Firefox (Fx).  Chrome, Safari (S) and Opera (O) have a small market share, but they still exist, and Chrome is coming on strong.

So what does this all mean?  At Beacon, we firmly believe in equal opportunity Web browsing:  you should have a perfect browsing experience on sites that we build, no matter what browser or operating system you’re using.  The technical term for it is “cross-browser compliance”.  So we strive to make your Web site look great in all current browsers.  We have servers dedicated to just testing Web sites in all of the browsers.  Our developers and testers can log into these servers, and they have all of the browsers installed on them.  If something doesn’t look right, we’ll fix it.  Yes, it takes extra time, but it’s worth it to Beacon to produce a quality product.

If you have any questions about cross-browser compliance, feel free to leave a comment for me below.

Just another way that Beacon goes the extra mile!