Cross-Browser Compatibility

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How can I design pages that work on any browser?

Cross-Browser Compatibility

A couple of years ago, it seemed that Internet Explorer had won the browser wars. Many designers figured that if their Web design jobs worked OK in Explorer, they didn't need to worry too much about the small percentage of users who visited with Netscape or other browsers.

Today that has changed. Mozilla-based browsers such as Opera and Firefox have surged in popularity, in part because they have proven less vulnerable to viruses while offering easy ways to eliminate such annoyances as pop-up ads. Browser expert Chuck Upsdell estimates that about 15 percent of Web users are using something other than Internet Explorer -- a number that should be significant enough to attract a designer's attention.

Tips for designing cross-browser compatible sites:

  • It's not worth the time it takes to get your site to look exactly the same in all browsers. Instead, strive to have it look good in all common browsers.
  • Design your site to be resolution-independent, resizing its elements automatically depending on the screen size the user has chosen.
  • There are free sites (Browser Cam is perhaps the best known) that will let you see how your page looks on Mac and PC, in the more popular browsers.
  • Cascading style sheets (CSS) are wonderful tools, but also the source of a great many cross-browser issues. The more you use style sheets, the more important it is to test and retest your pages.



8/9/2011 5:09:21 PM
Joseph said:

Opera is not Mozilla-based. It was actually developed before IE and Firefox. It uses it's own closed-source rendering engine.


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