When you have everything in place on your website and are ready to go live, there are several things that need to be checked before you launch. One of those is cross-browser compatibility.
There are many options for users to surf websites, including different operating systems, different devices, and different types of browsers. It is your responsibility to ensure that your website is compatible with all major browsers available today, as you don’t want to lose any of your visitors just because your website does not work well on their browser.
The most commonly-used browsers over the past year can be seen at http://gs.statcounter.com/. As you'll see, Google Chrome has the majority of market share, but others like Safari share a decent bit of traffic. Your target audience could also impact what browsers are most commonly used to view your website.
Make sure that your web developer follows the following tips for cross-browser compatibility.
The Doctype tells the browser the type of rules you use in your code. If not specified, the browser will start the guessing game, which will not end well for your website. Different browsers will make different guesses.
All browsers behave according to their default CSS rules. In order to have the same behavior on all browsers, you need to define consistent CSS rules. CSS resets force browsers to reset their default rules to null. These tools are quite readily available, and you can easily find one online.
Conditional comments are used to help overcome display issues with early versions of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer has long been the bane of website developers, with its inconsistent display model. It is a recommended practice to use conditional comments to take care of these issues with the browser. Through these conditional comments, you will be able to link different style sheets with different browsers.
CSS Frameworks are style sheets that offer easier and more convenient methods of web designing, as they are mostly cross-browser compatible. Additionally, they will generally contain a grid to allow for responsive design.
Utilize the W3C Validation Service to make sure that your versions of XHTML and HTML are error-free. Debugging errors shown in the validator will address many common display issues so that you can work to have a perfect website.
Now, when you have assured cross-browser compatibility, it is time for testing. Test your website in different browsers to see that it works on all of them.
Alternately, you can use a testing tool like browserstack.com. This can be a lot easier than trying to assemble every operating system, device, and screen resolution. Browserstack and similar tools allow you to check against almost every possible combination, including mobile devices like iOS and Android.
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