Web Site and Browser Compatibility

If you are viewing this article right now chances are you are using Microsoft’s bundled browser Internet Explorer on the other hand if you are the tiniest bit tech savvy and want to be a little bit different, then you’ll probably be staring at a little fox rapped around a globe in your top left hand corner which is of course the browser, Mozilla Firefox.

These two browsers are the biggest players in the Australian market, with Internet Explorer holding pole position and Mozilla Firefox gaining in popularity. Firefox is making ground on Microsoft’s flagship browser by including features like easy automatic updates and the integration of tabbed browsing long before Internet Explorer.

When viewing a webpage on these two browsers there will always be subtle differences. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) were invented to combat this browser compatibility problem. CSS is a language that all browsers can read and allow a uniformed style of formatting. When designing a webpage the designer uses these style sheets to determine everything from text size, to the opacity of a cell within a table. To put it simply the Cascade Style Sheets control exactly how the website will look.

If you have been using an Apple computer while reading this article you may feel left out, but do not fear Safari is used by almost every single Apple computer on the market. Surprisingly on business based websites Safari hold only around 2% of the browser market share. In front of Safari are browsers such as Opera and Netscape but collectively share only around 4% of website views.

Browser choice really has become a personal affair. Depending on what operating system you are using, how tech savvy you are and what features you feel are important determines what browser you will use. The safest bet is either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to ensure that every website you look at will be supported by the browser, and if designed well, will look great!

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