(This is an excerpt from my book “50 Biggest Website Mistakes”)
It’s so frustrating. You’ve worked your butt off creating a great looking website and you’re sitting back admiring your handiwork. You’re so excited about your great new look and feel that you immediately upload your new site and make it live.
You bring up your new site in your browser and it looks just wonderful. You’re so excited you call your friend up and ask him to take a look and the feedback is devastating. According to your friend you’ve got text running into other areas, you have to scroll side to side to read the entire page and it looks like something a rank amateur would do. What happened?
There are a lot of different browsers out there these days, with everyone seemingly trying to create the “perfect” web browser for their needs or operating system. Just to clarify: a web browser is the application through which you view web pages.
This is an application that runs on your computer and, depending on your operating system, (Windows™, Apple™, Linux™ etc) determines what your default browser is.
Of course, you can change your default browser easily enough and there are many to choose from, the most common being Internet Explorer (Now Edge), Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, and Opera.
You’re probably wondering why this makes a difference with your website. Well, fact is, that not all browser creators interpret your web page code exactly the same. Even though there is an organization called the W3 Consortium that has created a set of standards or guidelines each manufacturer interprets these in their own way or has their own preferences.
With these variations everything from your fonts, or any settings and widths can look different in each browser, as well as the same browser on a different operating system. These differences can even change how your page functions. For example, we’ve seen instances where a form on a page in one browser works fine, where in another browser you can’t even submit the form (click the button).
You should also check the page on a few different computers and computer screens as well, because colors can vary, as well as what is viewable on the screen. To some this seems like overkill but imagine if your order page was the example above where the web visitor couldn’t even click the submit button. There goes a sale.