Why Bother With Other Browsers
Wednesday, 23rd July 2008
It's a more of a statement than a question and I hear it on a daily basis. People design a web page and test it in their browser of choice and then consider the job is done. Here are some of the reasons used to justify mono-browser developments...
- [A made up number] percent of people use this browser anyway.
- It might look a bit different, but it will all still work
- We only need to support corporations, so we know what browser they use
- We're busy doing more important things, we can't waste time on browser compatibility
But, of course, all these reasons are rubbish!
Here's the reason you should aim for browser compatibility (and it's not based on the number of people who use different browsers nor an attempt to make you use a particular one!)...
If something works in one of the major browsers, but not in another, it's probably got a mistake in it.
Yes, there are plenty of quirks, one way or another, that mean on rare occasions you can't satisfy everyone, but most of the time you'll find that issues discovered during browser compatibility tests are actually a problem in all browsers that you've only noticed because you've tried it in a few different ones.
Here are some more reasons to aim for browser compatibility...
- You can brag about it when you're promoting your products and services
- It proves that you have a professional attention to detail
- It doesn't take much time
In a few years, the issue will most likely calm down as browsers are moving towards a standards compliant rendering method. However, until we're all rendering from the same W3 standards sheet, it's worth bearing in mind that people who use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Konquerer (or whatever) are all just as valid as each other as customers!