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Building a Website- Cross-Browser Compatibility

responsive websitesWhen you have everything in place for your website and are preparing to go live, there are several things that need to be checked first. 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 (June 2015 - July 2016) can be seen at http://gs.statcounter.com/.  As you'll see, Google Chrome has the majority of market share, but others like FireFox and Internet Explorer have a decent market share.

Tips for Ensuring Cross Browser Compatibility

Make sure that your web developer follows the following tips for cross browser compatibility.

  1. Define Valid Doctype

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.

  1. CSS Reset

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, are quite readily available on the internet and you can easily find one online.

  1. Conditional Comments

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 this. Through these conditional comments, you will be able to link different style sheets with different browsers.

  1. CSS Frameworks

CSS Frameworks are style sheets which offer easier and convenient methods of web designing, as they are mostly cross-browser compatible. Additionally, they will generally contain a grid to allow for responsive design.

  1. Validate

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.

  1. Testing

Now, when you have assured 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 most every combination possible, including mobile devices like iOS and Android.

 

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