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Cross Browser Compatibility

So why is cross browser compatibility important and what steps does Saxon Websites™ take to ensure that your new business website looks attractive across the entire spectrum of available browsers? Although Google Chrome and Safari have the lions share of users, they are not the only browsers on the market and failing to ensure your website looks and performs well in the others, will, damage your company reputation and result in a loss of business – it’s as simple as that. Imagine if a potential client clicks to view your company website and the page doesn’t parse properly? Imagine if all the headings are incorrectly aligned and elements of your page overlap each other … it wouldn’t give a very good impression would it? And more importantly, you’ll have just lost a customer for sure. Cross browser compatibility is a process that we undertake with all new website designs, irrespective of type or size – we will maximize your audience and make sure that your website doesn’t let you down. At the end of the day, your website is a reflection on us and our capabilities as well – we understand this.

Our cross browser compatibility process will include us checking the new website design, before release, not only in 5 of the latest versions of Google Chrome – but also in 10 of the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, 6 versions of Internet Explorer, 4 of the latest versions of Safari as well as Opera and Edge. There are many browsers out there and it would not be feasible or practical to test your new design against every one unfortunately– but, the browsers that we do test against accounts for over 99% of the entire market. It should be noted that the remaining 1% share of the browser market consists mainly of older browsers used solely in the domestic markets and generally these are not really suitable for, or indeed used by business. Some companies will provide cross browser compatibility as a chargeable extra – we provide a cross browser compatibility service to ensure our work is right and of course, it’s free if it’s our website design that we’re checking.

Cross Browser Compatibility - Best Practice

Web applications (normally websites) are accessed via various platforms and various browsers. The most common platform would be a Windows PC, but, it could just as easily be a Mac PC or hand-held mobile device. All of these platforms will have browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome etc …) designed to work specifically for it … the problem is that each one of these browsers will have its own HTML rendering engine - which will interpret your HTML slightly different. This will result in your website or application appearing different, depending on the setup it’s being viewed with. Cross Browser Compatibility is the process that website designers undergo to ensure that the website looks good and performs in all (or most) environments. It is important because your web page can look horribly wrong in certain browsers without checking and making the necessary adjustments. If your web pages look amateurish and you haven’t performed a cross browser compatibility check – your company reputation could suffer … and you wouldn’t even know why.

Performing a cross browser compatibility check is good, standard practiceThe process of attaining cross browser compatibility can be lengthy and time consuming if the website was not originally coded with compatibility in mind, this is why not all website design companies will do it, or if they do – will charge you heavily for the service. Invariably, the owner of the website is the last person to know that his/her website is ‘falling-over’ because the website was cleverly designed to look good with the owner’s setup – they are often horrified when they see the website as some of their customers do … on a different setup. Cross Browser Compatibility, it’s important!

Saxon Websites™ will perform a cross browser compatibility check on any design it undertakes prior to release – as standard. We think this is good practice and will not let our customer’s reputation suffer because we haven’t done our job properly. Firstly, we will design your business website with cross browser compatibility in mind, ensuring that if we do need to make any adjustments at the end – they will be minimal. Secondly, before the website is ‘signed-off’ by ourselves, we will provide proof that the website is indeed fit for purpose across multiple platforms by supplying you with screenshots of your website standing proud in the environments that we said it would. Make sure that your website design company shows you proof of cross browser compatibility, they should do as standard – we do.

Cross Browser Compatibility - Main Issues

Your page layout may appear different in differing web browsers if you do not do a cross-browser auditYour web page may well look different depending on the browser through which you view it – these discrepancies may be small, or on occasion, ruin the look of the entire page. Common irregularities will often include borders, headings, image attributes (such as corners or shadows), backgrounds and text alignment. One of the main problems you are likely to come across when dealing with Cross Browser Compatibility is that each browser will have its own set of defaults, and if you do not define exactly what you want – it will apply its own default or even apply nothing if it has nothing as a reserve condition.

To ensure a uniform look across different browsers, make sure your web designer performs a cross browser checkIt is often said that Cross Browser Compatibility issues are a websites ‘silent killer’ because the owner in a lot of cases is not aware of the problem(s) – but his/her customers are – unfortunately they formulate their impressions according to what they see and not what the website owner sees, often disappearing, never to return. Cross Browser Compatibility is a design stage that you cannot afford to skip. We have included 12 basic steps (next tab), that if followed, will safeguard against being confronted with the bulk of Cross Browser Compatibility issues.

Cross Browser Compatibility - Check List

  • CSS validation
  • HTML or XHTML validation
  • Validation with/without JavaScript enabled
  • Ajax and JQuery functionality
  • Page layout in different resolutions
  • Font size validation
  • Zoom-in and zoom-out functionality
  • Header and footer sections
  • Content alignment to center, LHS or RHS
  • Date formats
  • HTML 'Special Character' encoding
  • All images and alignment