Dealing With Web Browser Compatibility

Dealing With Web Browser Compatibility

One common problem website designers are trying to solve most of their time is the web browser compatibility issues. When you create a website, you make sure that it looks perfect in your default browser. However, when you open this website on a different browser, you notice that the appearance is not the same as in your own browser. Even if you use a third browser, there is always that bit of difference from the original browser.

All the browsers interpret the (X) HTML differently. (Websites are written on this code: (X) HTML). All browsers have their own form controls and internal style sheets. Hence, a website which was designed in one browser and opened in another can have a different look.

However it is a solvable issue, so there’s nothing to fret about it. You can deal with this problem through (1) the right tools (2) designing with web standards and (3) using conditional statements.

The Right Tools
Firefox is a compliant browser and it has vast tools that can help web designers to see the root of the problems and also debug the code quickly. The two best Firefox tools include the Web Developer’s Toolbar and Firebug. These tools will help you to a great extent while designing your website.

Designing With Web Standards
While using the codes for your website (X) HTML, use standard compliant codes. If you do this, it will give you the benefit of improved SEO or Search Engine Optimization, also the ability to have your site redesigned in the future by simply editing the style sheets.

You can avoid compatibility issues while styling your site by resetting the style in all the elements. Rendering issues are caused when browsers have different interpretations of the elements. One may put 10px of margin on a p tag and another may put 10px of padding. Start resetting and remove margin and padding on all elements with this rule: *(padding: 0; margin: 0).

With these first two steps, the compatibility issue is expected to become less. You can browse your website on Firefox, Safari, IE7 and IE6, and it will look the same on all these browsers. However, it still depends on how complex your website is. If there is still a noticeable difference, you go to the next step.

Conditional Statements
These are developed for Internet Explorer by Microsoft and allow the support of standard compliant (X) HTML and CSS. These statements are able to fix the issues on rendering in the different IE versions. Here’s the rule: < 1="" (if="" ie6)=""> (style sheet link) < 1="" (endif)="" -="">.

In a nutshell, dealing with web browser compatibility problems requires the right tools and use of standard compliant CSS and mark ups. If the issue still persists, you can use conditional statements. Now you know how to deal with rendering issues very easily whenever you encounter them in designing a website. Always remember to open your site in different browsers, so you can see if there are differences in its appearance.