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Cross Browser Compatibility Checking Is A Must For Websites

Posted on Sep 02, 2010 by Infoway

Before we start a little discussion on cross browser compatibility, we must clearly know what does the phrase 'cross browser compatibility testing' actually mean! And then we will come to the point why to check compatibility. Does browser compatibility mean - a webpage is capable of being seen on different web browsers, irrespective of versions or it is about web pages available to view on certain versions of web browsers?

If cross browser compatibility refers to be availability in all browsers, what is then the term multi- browser? Previously cross browser meant compliance with different versions of the same browser and multi browser means available and fitting to different browsers. Nowadays the two terms are considered alike. However, to get best compatible web pages or websites, you need to get service of a web development company like Infoway.

Now why this discussion or why is it must to check compatibility or have a compatibility testing? Let us see the things

  • There are some applications which a few browsers or the lower versions of those do not support. For example the JavaScripts, Ajax, DHTML are developed recently and these are not supported on internet explorer (6, and lower versions), and other few browsers. So you have to check compatibility.

  • The combination of HTML, rather XHTML, and CSS has to match or blank pages or few blank spaces may be seen in some browsers. This is nothing but little careless approach of the developers and the designers who do not check compatibility of those developments. They can easily use CSS reset and other tools to get rid of these.

  • Webpage Layouts seen distorted in several resolutions (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 etc.) and special characters appear in the web pages. These are also but lack of efforts of the designers and the developers to check compatibility of those on browser. Naturally different browsers show pages differently.

  • In few pages we see blocks instead of the texts as fonts are not available in particular browsers. It also happens for user-operating system (windows, Mac, Linux) difference. With a careful approach this can be avoided with cross browser compatibility testing with OS difference in mind.

  • Mobile phone browsers are now in tremendous use with the advent of smart phone, iphone, blackberry and others. People do not see the web pages in their probable look and functionality. This problem is for exclusion of mobile browser compatibility testing and nothing else.

  • Scripting with non-standard software or forgetting to provide alt tag and title tag for images can render pages with blank spaces in some browsers. This is simply lack of professionalism to make a site live without cross browser compatibility testing.

  • You must check compatibility of a website or web pages when using any third party software application. For example the shopping carts or the payment gateways are sometimes found not supported with different browser and or their lower versions. If anybody avoids test, loss of money and time is evident.

So you can see the above situations can really occur for any website and that is only for sites made live before any cross browser compatibility testing. There are many free and paid services available to check compatibility. So what is in need is professional approach towards website development. Again there may be a very interesting and viable question - is it possible to check compatibility against all the browsers? Are there some solutions to this problem?

Developers apply a trick to make the pages available to any lowers version of any browser with shift to gracefully degraded functionality. It allows the view of the web pages with limited functionality. We can also see the careful separation of some functionality to avoid nasty result of cross browser compatibility testing. Using multiple codes for different browsers or inclusion of third party application programming interface with libraries hides complexities that occur through cross browser compatibility testing.

Finally, we may say that cross browser compatibility testing or to check compatibility has there cannot be any excuse. If we avoid this, sites become faulty. Never forget to check compatibility testing of the websites before making it live!


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