There has been a tremendous increase in the number of websites created. In 1998 there were just 2.4 million websites
Today, there are around 1.8 billion websites on the Internet. Every day, thousands of new websites are created. People visit these websites on a variety of different devices. This is where one of the biggest challenge comes in.
With more than 3,000 different types of Web enabled devices. You will want every visitor to see your Website just exactly as you would like them to see. The question is; How each User sees your website? This is why Cross Browser Compatibility is important.
Cross-browser compatibility refers to the situation where a website displays in the same manner, in all web-enabled devices, no matter what their type is. All technologies are not built the same. As a result, some technologies are not mutually compatible with each other. For instance, a website may end up being compatible with a Mac browser version and at the same time not compatible with a PC web browser version. This provides a great need for website owners to ensure that their websites are compatible with all web enabled devices.
Is cross-browser compatibility really important? The answer is Yes! Browser Compatibility is very important. If your website is not browser compatible, it could cost you your customers. This is because whenever users encounter problems on a website, most opt to leave the site and will not return. After all, why would a user return to your website if it does not view properly in their Browser. Cross-browser compatibility is essential if you are to keep your customers. If not, you will be losing customers, and at the same time enriching your competitors.
Each website developer or content writer has that specific browser version that they love. They develop their content and debug the entire products on that specific browser.
This is a huge mistake on their part. Always remember that you as the website developer are not the "user". Your users will be on a different browser than the one you prefer.
Developing your website to fit only one browser version will only serve to negatively affect your product. You may end up losing potential customers just because they use a different browser than the one that you prefer. Ensure that your browser is compatible with all browser versions.
How can we make sure that our website gives a smooth and seamless user experience across all browsers that your target audience will be using?
The following points highlight simple ways that you can make your website compatible.
Keep pace with the latest technologies on web development, updates in libraries, development tools, and frameworks. This will be a benefit to you as you implement these technologies into your website. As a result, your website will perform on even the latest released browsers and their versions.
Focus on the quality of code and not the quantity. Simple coding is normally more cross-browser friendly. And such a code can be easily maintained when debugging is necessary or when adjusting it for compatibility.
Each web browser follows particular default CSS rules. You can consider adding one of these as the first style sheet to reset. You can, of course, forgo doing this if you use a framework that already has one.
The DOCTYPE refers to the very first line in your code. It describes the HTML which will be used in your web application. Each browser version has its own standards and rules. Therefore, you need to first define the doc-type of your web application. Otherwise, the rendering engine will guess it for you; leading to bugging and other inconsistencies. Examples could look like this:
After you have taken care of all the coding precautions. You should validate your website using an HTML - CSS validator. This normally will find any coding mistakes you might have made. This will help in many areas including page speed and even Goggle will rank your pages better without errors.
To validate the HTML and CSS of your website, we have listed a few free online website code validation tools
The W3C provides multiple tools that conform to and validate against the W3C’s latest recommended standards for CSS, HTML, XHTML, HTML5, and 508 accessibility.
W3C Markup Validator
This validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc.
W3C Link Checker
This Link Checker looks for issues in links, anchors and referenced objects in a Web page, CSS style sheet, or recursively on a whole Website.
W3C CSS Validator
a free software created by the W3C to help Web designers and Web developers check Cascading Style Sheets.
W3C Log Validator
Log Validator is a web server log analysis tool with focus on the quality of Web documents.
W3C Unicorn Unified Validator
Unicorn - W3C's Unified Validator will improve the quality of the Website. Nu HTML Checker is now the default, for markup other than HTML5.
CSS Portal CSS Validator
find errors and warnings that may need to be fixed in your CSS file.
eliminate browser compatibility issues and allow web games to be played cross-platform by mobile, PC, Mac, and Linux users.
Validator.nu Living Validator
Validator.nu has two facets: generic (complex UI) and (X)HTML5 (simple UI).
WebAim WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
Comply with international legislation & standards: ADA, WCAG 2.1, Section 508 & EN 301549.
AChecker Accessibility Validator
checks single HTML pages for conformance with accessibility standards.
Even with these tips, your website may end up still not being cross browser compatible. This could be due to other reasons, such as coding that doesn't work on all browsers. So, don't assume! You need to check that your website actually works on every available browser.
You can use a Cross Browser Testing Tool which provides you with multiple tests. We have compiled a list of the more popular online testing sites. Some are free and some are paid.
Automated Browser, Compatibility Testing, Tests and reports cross browser layout differences and scripting errors on your website.
Browser Compatibility Check for Microsoft's Internet Explorer Versions from 5.5 to 11.
Interactive testing on over 2000 browser types and real devices instantly.
Was built on a unique idea of allowing people to volunteer computers to be the processing power. Currently, it has over 65, what they call “screenshot factories”.
TestingBot is an automated and manual cross browser testing tool. Running one of the largest Selenium Grids on the web.
A live interactive cross browser testing tool started in 2010. Focus is all about testing fast.
A cross browser testing service that launched in 2008. Test your website in dozens of browsers and real devices, with instant results. Over one thousand combinations of browsers, OS platforms, and devices. They use real physical devices for all tests.
IE NetRenderer is another screenshot service that has been around. It allows you to see how a website is displayed by the numerous versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Older versions of Microsoft’s Web browsers are known for their sometimes unexpected behavior and failure to comply with W3C Internet standards. This online tool is ideally suited for web designers working on Macs and Linux.
Another popular cross browser testing tool among developers and features Selenium testing, mobile testing, and JS unit testing. Some of their customers include brands such as Zendesk, Lyft, Yahoo, Intuit, OpenDNS and HP.
BrowseEmAll is another cross browser testing tool which focuses on live testing, screenshots and code analytics on your local machine. Users include brands such as Blue Cross, Bank of Cardiff, Ohio State University and University of Newcastle.
Automated cross browser testing with Selenium and Appium tests on 1,000+ browser types, versions, and operating systems.
Easily automate browser testing to check for cross browser compatibility across multiple devices and operating systems. Test in parallel across more than 1500 real test environments.
Perform Automated and Live Interactive Cross Browser Testing on 2000+ Real Browsers and Operating Systems Online.
Using an artificial intelligence and the fact that if you set up tests for one browser, there’s no need to recode tests for others.
If you would like your website to be among the Top Rated Websites, or just to help your ranking with the Search Engines? It all starts with your website's cross-browser compatibility.
Also, do not forget about the importance of a Mobile Friendly "Responsive" Website.
Your blog is really nice, I like the way you explain the different browsers, Thanks.
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