Make Cross-Browser Compatible Web Pages

How To Make Cross-Browser Compatible Web Pages

As people embrace and become more supportive of technology and the internet of things, the industries have grown to become core social, educative and business platforms. Technology and the internet are intertwined; you need a computer or mobile device to access the internet and the use of different devices translates into more platforms and ways of accessing websites. In light of this, website developers, blog owners and internet entrepreneurs alike must develop cross-browser compatible web pages.

Make Cross-Browser Compatible Web Pages

Different web pages load differently depending on the environment and the platform. Therefore, it is never correct to assume that your web page will work perfectly on everyone’s device because it does so on your device. A cross-browser compatible web page is designed to prevent such misfortunes by applying multi-browser coding to ensure that pages remain consistent across different browsers. Though there is no sure way of developing cross-browser compatible web pages, there are a few crucial development tips and tricks that enhance performance –

Do Not Apply Browser Quirks Mode

Most browsers support quirks mode that acts similarly to an older and buggier browser version. Its purpose is to allow old websites to load and perform on modern browsers without re-coding. However, they are said to cause mishaps when applied to modern and standard compliant websites. This is because browsers with the quirks mode feature will display your website in their own non-standard and unique way. Browsers switch to quirks mode if web pages lack the document type declaration (DOCTYPE). Therefore, to avoid quirks mode, ensure that every page on your website includes a valid DOCTYPE.

Develop In Firefox

It is a norm for web developers to test their websites on one browser as they code and on other browsers once it is complete. Hence, it is highly recommended to test your website on Firefox and later on other browsers like the Internet Explorer in order to fix compatibility issues. Firefox is standards-compliant and supports a wide range of add-ons that make it developer friendly. Moreover, if your website performs well on Firefox, it will perform equally well on Safari and Opera. Note that, despite writing standards-compliant CSS and HTML, a Firefox tested website will have issues on Internet Explorer and needs some special tactics and attention to perform as expected.

Apply CSS Reset Rules

To maintain independence, most browser engines have different default values for fine website details like padding around elements and line heights. Unfortunately, these default values affect other crucial CSS rules. Hence, it is advisable to apply core CSS reset rules on a separate file or at the start of your CSS file. This eliminates the need to keep adding reset features like

for every CSS rule you code. CSS reset rules that trigger web browsers to reset their default rules to null and accommodate your code are readily available on the internet.

Maintain Simplicity

Simplicity is the key to a flawless website functionality and developing cross-browser compatible web pages. If you make use of complex CSS and mark-up, you risk having numerous compatibility issues that may be hard to fix. Therefore, it is advisable to keep your websites layout simple right from the design stage. A header, a footer and, a few side-by-side columns are sufficient to design and develop a functional and appealing website. Avoid many nested elements in the markup like a series of <p> elements or tables. Instead, use light elements like <ul> and <li> to develop a menu. Note that, HTML is ideal for content while CSS is ideal for visual formatting.

Code Validation

Ensure that you run CSS and HTML code through validators before uploading on your website. Though valid codes do not boost website performance, it helps to know that your code is error free. Also, debugging errors indicated on an HTML or CSS validator helps in addressing common browser display issues to ensure that you have a perfect and functional website. Moreover, invalid HTML or CSS code can cause numerous and hard to debug issues. Utilize browser plugins like Firefox add-ons to check code validation automatically as you view them in the browser.

Conditional Comments

Conditional comments are applied to fix issues with earlier Internet Explorer versions. Despite trying really hard, it is almost impossible to get your website to work effectively on Internet Explorer without applying some serious JavaScript and CSS hacks. Internet Explorer has inconsistent display models that can only be corrected using conditional comments. The conditional comments make linking different style sheets with different browsers easier. Alternatively, you can include IE-only markup with conditional comments and use additional CSS, JavaScript or HTML.

Testing

It is easy to write a code that may not work in one browser but work in another. Therefore, it is advisable to test your website on different browsers before uploading it. It may not be possible to test on all web browsers but it is highly recommended to test your website on Firefox, different Internet Explorer versions, Opera and Safari. Make use of different online testing services that allow you to capture screenshots of your website on different web browsers and operating systems.

LambdaTest is one such tool that can help you a lot while developing cross-browser compatible web pages. It is a cross-browser testing tool on cloud and gives you a real-time access to more than 2000+ browsers and operating systems online. This live interactive cross-browser testing tool allows you to test public or locally hosted web pages easily and even lets you capture automated screenshots for accelerated web layout testing. The tool is quite effective and can make your life a lot easier as a single click will let you test responsiveness of your website or application across a lot of platforms. Say hello to seamless user experience with LambdaTest!

Code By Hand

Most people who are not conversant with HTML prefer to use WYSIWYG editors because they get the job done in less time and hassle. However, creating elegant, flexible and cross-browser compatible web pages requires artistic styling that page editors do not offer. Hence, it is advisable to code CSS, HTML and, XHTML by hand to ensure that you are in control of your work and you can easily alter the code as required in order for the website to work effectively on different web browsers.

Transparent PNGs

Transparent PNG images offer up to 256 image transparency levels. Meaning that you can apply different tricks that fine-tune your images such as smooth borders and translucency on different backgrounds. Note that however, Internet Explorer 6 may not display transparent PNG images by default. Instead, it displays differently shaped boxes in places where the transparent PNG images should be. Fortunately, you can apply a few tweaks to ensure that transparent PNGs work effectively on Internet Explorer 6 without making major changes to CSS and markup.

Though it is impossible to have flawless cross-browser compatible web pages, it is important to have a consistent user experience across numerous browsers. It all starts with understanding the importance of a cross-browser compatible website in order to invest additional time and resources to ensure that your web application is available to almost every internet user. This way, you increase your audience and keep them happy by offering an impeccable web experience.

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