All About Building Cross-Browser Compatible Websites

Your website may be optimized for different screen sizes. But does it look and work great on different browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer?

Users use different browsers to surf the web according to their preference. Just because your web page looks and works great on  your machine, it doesn’t mean it will do so on others’ machines too.

It may not be possible to make your website design look exactly identical on every browser that users use. However, there are a few ways that can help you provide a consistent user experience across browsers. Go through these few tips for better website cross-browser compatibility:

Make sure your code is simple

Less is always more when it comes to coding. If you can create a feature through three lines of coding, you don’t have to dedicate ten lines to it. Simple codes are more cross-browser friendly. They are also easier to maintain if you ever have to adjust or debug your website for compatibility.

Make use of Frameworks

There are many CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation that give you style code to help you achieve better cross-browser compatibility.

However, you have to familiarize yourself with its features if you want to build a responsive web application in a faster and easier way. By doing so, you can ensure that your application looks, feels, and behaves, appropriately, irrespective of the type of browser that is used.

Be careful while defining Doctype

The standards and the rules always vary from one browser to the other. So, if you don’t define your Doctype properly, the rendering engine will end up guessing it for you, leading to unnecessary bugs and inconsistencies.

You can avoid all this by defining a valid Doctype. Although this is not exactly an HTML tag, it will tell your web browser what version of HTML you have used to write the page.

Use CSS Reset

Every browser has its own set of CSS rules that it uses to style the different HTML elements of a website. This is why you come across variations in font sizes, table borders, and the colors that are used to identify links.

Also, this is exactly why your Submit buttons look different on every browser. If you want your website to look good on every browser you will have to use CSS Reset.

This will reset the styling of all the HTML elements of your website and bring them to a consistent baseline. If you have used frameworks however, you may not have to worry about CSS reset.

If you still face any of the design challenges, you can use conditional comments to link style sheets for various browsers.

Validate your HTML and CSS

If you want to avoid problems with your website performance you will have to validate your HTML and CSS. You can use CSS validator or W3C HTML validator to make sure there are no errors in  your code. If there are any, the validator will fix it for you.

Prepare for the differences

You can’t expect a design to look exactly identical on every browser unless you have chosen an extremely basic design for your website. There will always be differences in typography and details of forms, irrespective of what rules you follow.

You’ll have to accept these differences, but you can still take steps to make sure none of your elements are out of place and all functions are accessible to all across all browsers.

Use a Cross-Browser testing tool

No matter how careful you are, it is impossible to be perfect every time you write code for your website. However, you can make sure your site works well on various browsers before you launch it online.

A Cross-Browser testing tool will help you test this across 1,500 browsers so that you know your users are seeing what you want them to see, whenever they visit your website, irrespective of the browser they use.

Ensuring cross-browser compatibility is one of the important ways to improve your website’s performance. One other way is to ensure your website follows the rules as per Section 508 compliance standards

A well-designed and super-performing website is the dream of every business. You may not get it right the first time, but by taking the right steps you can improve its SEO structure and increase its visibility at any time.