cross browser compatibility testing
Have you ever visited a site that seems to have issues, such as content that is out of alignment?
Have you ever wondered exactly why, and if the site owner knows?
Sites that do not display perfectly are probably not "cross-browser compatible." And, no, the developer probably was not aware. A good website developer will use standards that should not lead to web browser display issues, and use tools to determine how sites show in other browser/OS versions; and then additionally, if the source coding that is used seems to need to remain for certain browser versions, then using browser-detects to give different pages to different users based on if there are known issues with a particular browser/OS configuration is the last option.
Here are some things to consider: http://seattlenewmedia.com/faq/why-does-my-website-look-different-on-one-computer-verses-another
So, for example, if you know that you use a technology that does not display well to users of Safari or Internet Explorer or other browser and/or particular OS, then you can decide to either update code to fix issues, or show different pages to those visitors. We do that at Seattle New Media.
But no one is perfect. Because no developer can ever know for sure, it is always recommended to utilize tools to test browser compatibility issues, and then if issues are detected to loop back and make updates.
Methods that can be used to deal with browser compatibility issues:
- a site feedback form can gain data from users
- viewing site statistics can give hints as to what happens on some pages and for users of certain browsers/OSs
- there are websites or applications that can display a website as it will on other systems
Note: there is not really such a thing as developing sites that are always 100% cross-browser compatible, but best practices can get one close most of the time.
The reason that even if perfect standards are used that a user can see issues is that this user could have installed on his/her computer new applications, or performs other updates, then the browser/OS or other environments change from the factory default. For example, if a user installs some third-party toolbar, then there is also the potential of pages displaying incorrectly for no reason of the developer or the browser used.
Basically, the short of this subject is that those looking to have sites developed should heed the advice to always use the more simple, old-school HTML, rather than the newer technologies *IF* one is concerned; and from a developer's perspective, if we see a particular configuration that browsers do not support well, then we can only troubleshoot that, learn from it, and implement fixes or workarounds for that site.
The latest version of browsers can be found to download for FREE here (in order of popularity):
- microsoft.com/ie (64.64% of users use this browser)
- mozilla.com/firefox (25.30%)
- apple.com/safari (4.30%)
- google.com/chrome (3.19%)
- opera.com/download (1.50%)
- Other (1.12%)
IE for example is also broken down even further into:
(1) IE 8 12.8%, (2) IE 7 14.1%, and (3) IE 6 10.6%
-these numbers are a little out of date now.
check cross browser compatibility