It ultimately has very little to do with what a website looks like, and a lot more to do with how it functions. The unique challenge of achieving this goal lies in the nature itself. An issue faced by web designers and developers while creating websites. Its major goal is that a website can be used by the largest possible audience with minimal variation in the user-experience.
If you are really building a global web product this is the most importartant checkList to increase your sales. As because global product must fit on all devices & browsers.
So what is Cross-Browser Compatibility?
Cross-browser means web application works with all versions of all browsers. To claim cross-browser compatibility, the website is expected to support browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari in addition to Internet Explorer and Netscape.
It mainly explains multiple user-agent compatibility than the browsers itself. The term 'compatibility' in cross-browser compatibility refers mainly to "equivalent performance under alternative conditions". Equivalent that it will be helpful to obtain similar information and use functions of the site to the same actions as it is in other browsers.
Creating a website might sound easy, but developing and designing one that looks the same on all browsers can be tough; and for many years browser compatibility has been one of the hardest parts of web development.
A good way to ensure that a website will work for as many users as possible is to -
- Design sites to HTML, CSS, DOM and other standards
- To test sites with common browsers that implement these standards well, and
- To build your website well so that it degrades well to user convenience.
Why Cross-Browser testing is Essential?
One of the things that make a website really successful is its ability to run without problems on more than one type of browser. It is defined as the ability of a website, client-side script or web application to run in different environments that are able to sustain it and undergo degradation when features are not supported. This feature may also be referred to as cross-browser compatibility and it is the ability of the website not that of the browser to support it.
Testing the cross-browser compatibility of your website is something each website owner should do. At times your website visitors may not be using the same preferred web browser as yours. But if, while designing a new website you have done your target audience research, you will have a list of the most common browsers your website visitors usually make use of. In which case, a safe policy is to have an idea of each webpage that is viewable in as many browsers as possible.
So while creating a cross-browser compatible website makes sure:
- You use only standard complaint coding
- Not to use browser specific HTML tags and features, and
- Make sure to validate your webpages at all times.
Cross-Browser Compatibility is something that makes a website great when it is compatible in multiple browsers, regardless of its version. It’s basically the ability for a website, web application and HTML construct or client-side script to support all web browsers. When you identify the many common browsers your clients/visitors use, you need to make sure the different browsers display websites which are one and the same.
But it's almost impossible to install all the different browsers in one machine; but there are some ways - such as web services and tools - that help you find how these websites look in other browsers if possible.
Few tools are:
1. Browser shots - a free and most popular cross platform multiple-browser compatibility test used by web designers,
2. Browser Sandbox - allows you to run different browsers from your browser, and
3. Brows cramp - tests compatibility of design with Mac OS X browsers.
It’s always a web designer/developer's goal to give their website visitors better experience on viewing their site. A consistent look on every browser leaves with any visitor a good impression of the site. And cross-browser compatibility's major guiding line too appears to be in its immediate appearance for most developers and designers; because completely disregarding what we may know about the behavior of a site, clients tend to be very visually oriented. But the absolute key to cross-browser compatibility is simply functionality. A lack of cross-browser compatibility doesn't mean that something looks different; it just means that it "doesn't work".
So here are some significant Styling Tips and Tricks to make your website development and designing easier -
- To Use CSS Reset:
Some browsers have different interpretations towards values for styles like margin and padding; so to fix this issue adding a CSS reset at the start of your style sheet helps you reset all CSS elements giving you complete control to your style sheet.
- Validate Your HTML and CSS:
Using W3C HTML Validator and CSS Validator or your own tools that work better for you is helpful in designing and development.
- Use Vendor Prefixes:
Using vendor prefixes saves you a lot of time without worrying if browser supports your CSS; its good to know certain drawbacks if a browser supports particular CSS property.
- Always Test Your Website Using Different Browsers:
Using an emulator as spoon-plugin might save you sometime but it is highly recommended if you test your certain website directly on the actual browser itself.
- Use Simple Coding Techniques:
Coding simply makes the whole workflow easier and faster; using simple elements in building up your website makes browser's task a lot easier to read your site.