You belong to the web development field? Then, you must have come across the term – ‘cross browser compatibility’ many times. Let me ask you a question? When do you hear about it often? I suppose, you hear about it when people or you yourself are facing problems after your website design gets ready or launched, and fails to win the hearts of enough audience. Then you get comments like-“You surely might not have tested your website’s compatibility with all the web browsers!!”
It hurts, I know!! We can’t witness our efforts ruining. But don’t worry!! Rather than commenting, I will help you to resolve the issues.
I believe that “full compatibility” doesn’t necessarily mean 100% compatibility with all existing web browsers. But, you should ensure compatibility on the most used and popular ones like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, safari, chrome and others. Moreover, you should keep in mind; that the website should run with the same and excellent efficiency on all of these browsers. But the question is -there are so many different options in the queue, each running their own rendering engine, how do you make sure that your web design or application work on each of them?
For this, first of all, you need to understand, that, not only does the website have to follow and familiarize with different browsers, but also, has to get accustomed to the various versions of the same browser introduced at the same point of time. With this in mind, let’s get started with what essential steps you need to take:
1. Avoid complexity
This does not mean that your website should be very simple. An attractive website is necessary to win visitors. But don’t make it complex.
2. Inclusion of DOCTYPE
This should be necessarily included in your web pages, as, it restricts many browsers from switching to the ‘quirks mode’ – which leaves your page in a non standard format and gives ways to various compatibility obstacles. And since, we are trying to solve these complexities, we need to include DOCTYPE.
3. Testing on different browsers
One very simple approach to do this is to check the website completely on any one browser and then test it across the other browsers. This way you will be able to resolve any compatibility issues for your website.
4. Code validation
Wondering how this will help you? Have you ever thought of eliminating the invalid codes? Doing this can have a very good impact on your browser compatibility. I have tried it .I run my codes through validator and this eliminates the invalid codes, thereby, washing out all the complications arising. I will suggest you to use the various online services to validate the codes. Some of them, which you can trust, are W3C Validator, HTML Validator add-on in Firefox, etc.
5. Hand written code
Hand written code is always preferable than the system generated code. Try to learn and write all the code from the scratch.
6. CSS Style Sheets
Though style sheets do not cause problems, at times, your page might not be clear. Now the question is where does the problem lie? It’s in the major positioning. Not many browsers support this major positioning and so the problem arises.
7. Avoid using tables to structure data
( one of our previous article about tables Dump The Tables for Layout Designing )
8. Web Analytics
keep track and analyze the trend of the visitors or target audience and their favorite browsers. This practice will help you list the browsers, for which, you should optimize your website. In other words, less efforts and easy work!! And moreover, your website is dedicated to the visitors, and, ignoring their choice is not a wise thing to do!! So web analytics becomes necessary.
These tips can help you fix the compatibility issues to a great extent and cross-browser compatibility plays an important role in increasing your reach to the audience.