It all started when 30 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee from CERN, pioneered the very first browser in the world; the World Wide Web browser. The motivation behind this was envision of Berners-Lee to find a way for the public to access the Internet. The World Wide Web was later renamed as the Nexus to differentiate it from the knowledge base it was a gateway to. So far so good.
However, its premiere highlighted a setback; only NEXT computer owners can get the benefits of Nexus. So the browser had to be rewritten by a troupe of Berners-Lee’s workmates (aided mainly by intern Nicola Pellow), for it to have a larger audience. It was renamed as Line Mode Browser.
However, the Line Mode Browser was confined to just text. Henceforth it got quickly replaced by the NCSA’s Mosaic, a browser for both graphics and text. Mosaic played a huge role in popularizing the internet and even though it had its fair share of clashes with Cello, it emerged as the champion.
Mosaic found its successor when its inventors, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, came up with Mosaic Netscape 0.9, later retitled as Netscape. The Netscape Navigator swiftly swooped the whole market and ruled over it throughout the 1990s.
And in 1995, Internet Explorer was born. Microsoft rolled out the Internet Explorer with Microsoft Plus when the Windows Operating System became the most favoured OS. This move proved to be of huge benefit for the organization as now they’ve an upper hand in terms of browsers as well.
The IE was the one true king of the software market till 2003. By the late 90s, Netscape (now owned by AOL) had publicized its source code which became the inspiration for the Mozilla project. Mozilla 1.0 was launched in 2002, followed by Firefox 1.0 in 2004.
The search for something fresh never stops. This stands true for browsers too. After all these browsers had their newfound fame, it was time for Google to contribute to this league. The year 2008 brought Google Chrome. And we all know for a fact how popular Chrome now is, even though its initial sluggish rollout wouldn’t have predicted this.
There’s more to add to the list. The technophilic OS maker Apple, released its own browser, Safari in 2003 for all the Mac users around the globe. Safari got its required appreciation in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone.
This was the brief history of browsers. Modern times have seen some more revolutions and variations. For instance, Microsoft has a new descendant called Edge, which is replacing Internet Explorer. With the birth of smartphones, came mobile applications as the rivals of the browsers. Also, there are plenty of options available for people with special needs.
When the market is flooded with such platforms, every digital product has to be versatile in its rendition. Obviously, it is not enough to be the champ on just a handful of browsers. No business can risk disappointing its visitors. The happier the audience, the larger is the clientele.
To cater to each type of user preferences, all you need is a simple practice: Cross Browser Compatibility. When your software performs homogeneously and accurately on every browser it encounters, it said to be cross-browser compatible; basically scalable to any browser.
Change of the platform must never affect your project. Testing your website’s compatibility should be an integral and vital step in your planning process. Never commit the mistake of bypassing this step pertaining to time constraints.
It is understandable if your website can’t acquire a perfect compatibility score due to its complexity. The best you could do is to maintain its consistency.
Here’s a catalogue of the main causes of cross-browser compatibility issues:
- The diversity in the capabilities of the operating system handling the browser.
- The wide range of distinct screen sizes, (desktop and mobile devices) presenting a number of variables that can influence the feel and demeanour of your website.
These are basic reasons for website scalability issues in a nutshell. But what are the things to keep in mind? What are the mistakes the developers can make that leads to the web product losing its appeal? What can be done to prevent these blunders? Let’s find out everything that can go wrong during web development and how to prevent slip-ups.
- Faults in HTML/CSS codes:
You wrote the code and created the software. Now it’s time for its rendition against the array of browsers you have. The most important thing to keep in mind is that different browsers execute the code differently. The inherent property of code rendition varies from one browser to another. And any software developer is familiar with the fact that even the tiniest of errors can sometimes cause the program to suffer. For example, you may have forgotten to close one tag. And when this code is interpreted by Internet Explorer, an error occurs without even giving a hint about the reason. Now, you have to dig in the swamp of code to look for the bug. However, if the same code is executed on Chrome, this minute error would be autocorrected.
This issue is actually pretty simple to resolve. Just get your hands on any code validating tool powered by W3C for HTML and CSS as per your needs.
- Forgetting CSS resetting :
If your website lacks its own CSS styling, the browsers will mould its appearance as per their native, internal CSS framework. To establish your site’s unique layout, all it needs is to override the browsers default style.
To rule out this hitch, use any resourceful CSS reset style sheets. There are plenty available in the market like the Github based Normalize.css, HTML5Reset, and Eric Meyer’s CSS Reset. Employ these to help avoid the occurrence of framework issues.
- Inconsistency of design :
The work done by the HTML editor and/or the CSS reset style sheets often adds or omits certain parts of the code which ultimately results in browser incompatibility. When developers replace default elements with their own suitable components, the final design may not adhere to some specific browsers or their versions. Web designers and developers should look out for editors and reset styles sheets that do not pose the threat of browser discordancy.
Use floats that are supported by a greater number of browsers, especially the popular ones. Additionally, utilize tools like CSS grids and Flexbox. These are assisted by all modern browsers.
- The DOCTYPE mishap :
There are two modes of browser operation:
- The Strict Mode: Every nook and cranny of the code is inspected rigorously to ensure it abides by the W3C specifications.
- The Quirks Mode: Lenient scanning of the code with backward compatibility to outdated browser versions.
These browser modes render the websites differently. A browser detects the HTML version of any site with the help of the DOCTYPE. That’s why it should be the priority. It must appear in the first and foremost line of your HTML code. Absence of a DOCTYPE tag results in switching to the Quirks mode. This will impact the performance of your website as the tags might become non-responsive on some browsers, thus making the webpage look faulty.
But worry not; it is actually easy-breezy to tackle this snag. Simply add a single line at the start of the codebase:
Now, achieve an effortless rendition of your website.
- Vendor explicit CSS functionality :
Whenever a developer introduces a new feature, it is done by using a distinct CSS code in accordance with the browser for which the functionality is being created. This makes the code browser friendly.
However, one essential tip is to add the function without any prefix to avoid the possibility of any flaws when running the code on other browsers.
- Those out-of-date browsers :
- Unauthentic Cross-Browser libraries :
Third-party libraries and frameworks are part of the majority of websites out there. They aid the built, dependability, and adaptability of the website. But unreliable libraries and frameworks do more harm than good. They risk the security of the website, make the addition or removal of libraries tough, and also give rise to browser compatibility issues like the crashing the framework.
To make your web application cross-browser compatible, always go for authorized and credible frameworks like Angular JS and React JS (development frameworks), JQuery (scripting library), and Bootstrap and Animate (scripting library), etc.
- Missing out on reality checks :
The perfect way to make your website user-friendly is to test it like a real user. A website may perform brilliantly in a virtual environment but the chances of it falling on the user’s system are highly plausible. So the best way to steer clear of any such setback is to test on actual browsers and devices.
You can either build a whole device lab consisting of as many browsers and their versions, as possible. Or choose the more economical option of getting your hands on a cloud-based platform that presents you with an all-inclusive collection of browsers. LambdaTest brings forth an updated, real device cloud that can be utilized to check the responsiveness of any website across a plethora of browsers. With an impressive assemblage of 2000+ browsers and OSs, you can deploy and scale faster. Sign up for free and explore a whole new world of efficient testing resources. Book a demo today.
- Not studying your target audience :
The expansion of your brand depends upon its reach. Your business website must amaze users all around the world. And for this, it is crucial to be well informed about all the locations your website is getting launched in.
Try LambdaTest’s geolocation testing feature. Evaluate your websites so that every user is delivered the originally intended picture-perfect content. Examine your website as per the standards of 27+ countries for features like language translation, currency change, time zone changes etc. And the Geo-Blocking feature lets you check whether your restricted content is blocked in various geolocations as well. Ensure your website’s flawless functioning across all timelines and reach new heights of success.
- Keeping the tricky browsers for the end :
Always handle complicated browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox at the beginning. If these browsers get pushed till the end, this will lead to complex issues being piled up. Hence, it is best to attend to them first as this way the cross-browser issues are caught up quickly.
A comprehensive approach is a must for a successful website. It is not that difficult to manoeuvre the process of website designing, provided that you are informed about the web development standards and guidelines. Keep yourself updated about any glitches you can face and also take advice from experienced web professionals to fabricate a strong web presence.