When creating a new website from scratch there’s one step that above all others should take precedence. You see, you can spend hours upon hours fine-tuning the design, maximizing the effect of the code, and generally hammering your design to bits, but at the end of the day, the only name to the game is user experience. In other words, you need to make sure your website is compatible across multiple browsers.
If your website doesn’t play well with other browsers user experience will suffer. Why? This means less viewership, less traffic, and ultimately less conversions. Obviously, not something you want.
How do you test a site for compatibility? I’ve spelled it out below, including the best ways to ensure that user experience is fluid across the board. So without any further ado, let’s go ahead and begin. Here is where to start to test your website for compatibility before making it live for online world.
Don’t Forget About Mobile
Mobile is only getting bigger and more and more people are searching for products and services with their mobile phones. Responsive design is a good option to think about when creating your website because mobile browsers and devices come in such a wide variety.
With this in mind, here’s what you should do. First of all, make sure to create a site that looks good at a smaller resolution. This is fairly simple to do: Just make graphics that look good at very large resolutions, that way they scale down spectacularly.
Next, use a proven framework or wire frame to base your design on, such as Twitter Bootstrap. This will give you a stronger website as you are using code that has been combed over and refined.
During all of this, notice what works out-of-the-box and what does not. What can you tweak to create an easy fix? What makes no sense at all? Log these changes down, and then dive into them for further review. It’s much easier to do this from your desktop with the code in front of you, so just note the changes then return to home base.
It’s best if you have an Android phone and an iPhone on hand to test compatibility, same goes for a tablet, but you can always use web apps that offer free mockups across multiple devices. This gives you an easy and efficient way to test your website without actually having the devices. If you are a beginner in this field you can check out web testing tips and tools for beginners here.
Check Your Site With All Browsers
Thankfully, testing for this is slightly easier. First off the bat, be sure to have as many browsers on your computer as you possibly can. This means Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera and any others you can name. Why the ones you can name? Because these are the ones people know and use, which makes them a priority. You can always check your Google Analytics data to see the main types of User Agents that access your site.
With that done, follow these steps:
Essentially, the only differences between desktop computers are the screen resolutions and the browsers. This means you can, with a multitude of browsers installed, do all the work from your single machine. How is rather easy: Just get a browser extension for each that resizes the window to match common screen resolutions. This is a convenient and practical way to view your site at a ton of different angles, so to speak. Again, notice what works at what resolutions, and at what point the whole site tends to fall apart.
If you’ve created a fluid or dynamic site, don’t be afraid to grab that browser window and huck it around the place. Does the site resize automatically? You have to assume that your viewers will not be timid with your production, which means you’ll need to make it as solid as possible. To find that perfect happy medium, you’ll really need to do a lot of testing.
You can also use the best tools to check the browser compatibility.
A Quick Note about Internet Explorer…
It was once the titan of web browsers. Now, it’s wildly unpopular. Lack of development, security flaws, and poor user experience caused IE to fall from grace.. In other words, the few people that still use it likely do this because their company has since the beginning of time.
Should you code for it? In short, yes. While the browser has fallen out of popularity it is still used by some, and you’re better off having a compatible website, than one that is not.
Stacy Miller is an avid photographer who loves to share her thoughts through blogging. She is currently studying cyber security and also blogs about DDoS protection.