Cross-Browser Blog: Is Yours Compatible?
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What’s your favorite browser? I used to be a big Firefox fan until their last upgrade. Recently I’ve been using Google Chrome because it seems to load faster. But there are still billions of people out there who use Internet Explorer, or any of 120-plus other browsers. And I bet you didn’t know that your blog looks different in some browsers than it does in others. Yeah. That’s right. You just think you put the finishing touches on your design. You’re not done yet.
These days, most websites use CSS coding (Cascading Style Sheet) to control the site. It’s a cleaner code and easier to work with than html. However, not all browsers interpret CSS coding in the same way. Your fonts might appear larger or images might be mis-aligned. Entire sidebars or sections can be missing from your blog.
So what, you say? It looks good in your browser so nothing else matters, right? Well, let’s say you’re using Firefox. There are at least 16 known versions of Firefox, each a little different than the others. Or maybe you use Internet Explorer, still the most popular browser on the Web. There are at least 7 operating versions of IE, each a little different than the others. There are 5 versions of SeaMonkey, 4 versions of Avant, and at least 23 operating versions of Google Chrome.
You may be using Firefox, but most of the people who visit your blog are going to be using something else. Which means there’s also a good possibility they’ll be seeing something else, too, when they hit the homepage of your blog.
What’s a poor little blogger like you to do? Well, you could get yourself an Apple and a Mac, and then download every browser available to both machines. Of course, then you won’t be able to use those computers for much else because you’ll have used up all the memory. But, after you download all the different versions of all those operating systems, then you can go look at your blog – in every single one.
Or, you could just take the easy way out, like I do, and go plug your URL into BrowserShot.org and let them do all the work. In about 30 minutes to an hour they’ll test your blog’s layout, graphics and code against every known browser and operating system combination and give you a screenshot from each one so you can see what your blog looks like to everyone, all over the world. BrowserShot.org even allows you to test different screen resolutions.
If you’re using Internet Explorer you might not think it’s really necessary to worry about how your blog looks in other browsers but you’re wrong. Yes, IE is still the most popular browser, but if your blog doesn’t appear well in other browsers you’re essentially locking those other users out. They can’t read your content. Not to mention the fact that your blog doesn’t look very professional with all the words bouncing around the page and the sidebars stretching over into the blog posts.
You really can’t afford to ignore 30% to 50% of the traffic that comes to your blog. Run your URL through BrowswerShot.org and make sure all your visitors are seeing what you want them to see.