While designing your Website, you should understand the fact that your visitors might try to get access by using one of the many different browsers used throughout the globe. Hence, a vital part of your effort focuses on ensuring that your Website performs satisfactorily when accessed by any browser. If your Website is not accessible or does not run smoothly with certain browsers, then you might lose those visitors and potential clients to your competitors.
Various operating systems use different browsers. Therefore, even as Windows users prefer to use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or even Opera – Linux users could be accessing your site by using Konqueror while Mac users could visit via Safari.
The best way to design and test your Website would be to design it for use with Internet Explorer and then test it with the other browsers.
Use HTML 4.01 or even XHTML as your code.
Another simple point that results in irritating errors is the proper encoding of specific characters. While some browsers can automatically correct character errors, other browsers that understand only encoding might result in display or execution problems. Thus, it is important to encode all characters other than alphabets or numbers in their hexadecimal forms.
Another common problem that afflicts some visitors is the incorrect use of colours on the Website.
Your images, graphics, animations, and text especially should be viewable and readable by all users irrespective of the browser or resolution setting.
Many visitors would enter your Website with high colour settings; there are still quite a few web users whose computers have a setting of 256 colors.
Ensure that your Website does not have any dithering issues for visitors whose monitors have different colour settings. Thus, your font and background colours should be in sufficient contrast so that all your visitors can easily read your web pages irrespective of their browser or colour settings.
Instead of directly using the colour names, ensure that you use the matching hexadecimal codes to allocate the colours on your site.
Your graphic format should also be easily accessible by different browsers. Images can be stored and transported under various formats. The more common ones are JPEG, GIF, and PNG.
Some GIF users have run into patent problems and have thus shifted to PNG or JPEG formats. There are various other graphic formats but since most work only with a limited number of browsers, it is better to stick to a format that the maximum number of browsers can access.
If possible, try to ensure that all the browsers load the text on your Website so that your visitors can browse over the content of your site as your graphics load on to the page. This will prevent your visitors from leaving your site if the graphics or animations take a longer time in loading.
Thus, in order to cater to a wide variety of visitors from various corners of the world, it is necessary to design your Website in a format that can satisfy the maximum number of visitors irrespective of their operating systems or their browsers.
By designing and testing your Website with various browsers, you can detect and remove any flaws and thus ensure that your Website loads smoothly on to your visitor’s machine.