Web Browser Compatibility and Its Importance in Website Design

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Web browser compatibility is an issue that all web designers have to deal with and it is not always an easy task. Creating websites that are compatible to the plethora of available browsers is incredibly important in website design because each browser will render a website differently. What good is a website if it renders beautifully in one browser but not in another? Creating websites which render consistently in the myriad of different web browsers can be frustrating. Add in the fact that Web Browser Compatibility and Its Importance in Website Designbrowsers are constantly rolling out new versions and it is easy to see that achieving web browser compatibility can be a bit overwhelming. In addition, more people are using their mobile telephones and tablets to surf the internet and make purchases. Making sure mobile versions of your website render consistently on all mobile platforms is also a concern for web developers and their clients.

While the issue of browser compatibility have gotten extremely difficult to navigate, there are solutions which make the issues much easier to master. The latest solutions are software applications which can track bugs and issues, present live web based browser testing, check multiple coding languages and  render your website on multiple browsers and on mobile.

Here Are 5 Such Applications.

WebBrowserCompatibilityTables.com is a free website which offers compatibility tables that show front end technologies in web browsers. They only test browsers that have 1% or more of the browser market share. The site is basic and because of that it is easy to use.

Web Browser Compatibility and Its Importance in Website DesignBroswerShots.org is a free open source website which will render screenshots for any url. It features 17 browsers, excluding Safari, Internet Explorer and Netscape. However it includes lesser known browsers, i.e. Midair, Lynx and SeaMonkey. It can take a few minutes because you are added to a queue to use the resource but generally the screenshots can be seen in around 20 minutes.

BrowserStack.com is not free but for the services they provide it is well worth the $35-40 you’ll spend each month for their least expensive plan. What is huge about their service is that they emulate on a slew (I couldn’t count them all) of mobile devices. They also offer local and live testing. This service also offers live debugging and support for multiple languages and CIs. BrowserShots does not

SauceLabs.com charges $12+ per month for their manual and automated services. It boasts secure and fast cloud testing. You can test your website on over 500 browsers  and operating systems and emulates mobile service on many platforms. They offer a debugging service as well. They include testing reports and video of testing sessions.

Ghostlab (vanamco.com/ghostlab/) also charges for their browser compatibility service. For $49 per month you will be able to connect to any number of devices and browse them synchronously. They offer development tools which allow you to inspect, debug and update code as you browse. All of this and more can be done securely so that no one has access to your project.

The landscape for browser compatibility tools has grown tremendously, making compatibility across multiple clients more feasible and less frustrating. The hacks and multiple CSS files used to create browser compatibility are nearly obsolete. Some of the tools available even make it seem fun.

Chris is a father of 4 and works full time as a network engineer. He loves The Office, P & R, brewing (and drinking) beer, and of course Web Design and SEO.

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