Ensuring Browser Compatibility in Web Design

Ensuring Browser Compatibility in Web Design

Saturday, 09 April 2016
Web Design

It is true that major web browsers are typically uniform in their performance. The development and quality assurance teams of these web browsers have ensured that their platforms are able to accept multiple web technologies and designs. However, it is quite likely that there are still problems related to design incompatibility. This is something that we should try to avoid. This is particularly true when users open websites using mobile devices. These mini web browsers may have less than ideal levels of compatibility compared to their full-fledged, desktop-based variants.

Web browsers are connected indirectly to web servers through Internet gateway. Requests are sent through small modems inside mobile devices and requests are passed through to specific computer IP address. The requests will be sent to specific DNS or Domain Name Server. After the web page is connected, the web page contents will be sent to the mobile devices. The basic form of page sent to users is as HTML or HyperText Mark-up Language. The HTML and other codes are rendered by the web browsers, so users will be able to obtain proper webpage representation.

Here lies the common problem. It is possible that some browsers read HTML and others codes in a rather unusual fashion. Website owners simply don’t have control on how web browsers render their websites. When it happens, the interface could be improperly displayed. This is essentially something that we want to avoid. In some cases, the incompatibility problem is bad enough that much of the website components are not accessible. This is something that we surely want to avoid. We won’t be able to create a lasting first impression if our website fails to work properly.

The browser compatibility could also depend on the complexity of our website. If we use straightforward design and navigational elements, it is quite likely that our website will be displayed properly, even on an obscure mobile web browser. Our website should comply with common conventions, such as W3C validations and it can be scaled to different display resolutions; even for the smallest mobile resolution. By understanding this factor, we should be able to avoid much of the problems caused by browser incompatibility. Many things can be fixed if we have been fully prepared to deal with them.

One common practice is to focus on major web browsers, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and others. We should mention any possible compatibility problems when users are using mobile devices with our website. When testing our web browser on mobile devices, we could use the stock browser on Android and iOS. We could also install third party web browser apps to make sure that our website will work on them as well.

It is our moral obligation for both clients and users to deliver highly compatible website. Often, clients are not being specific about the type of browser that we should concentrate on. There are many tools that allow us to get a more compatible website. The most straightforward way is to ask multiple people to test the website on different browsers for a number of days.

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