Cross Browser Compatibility Problems

A common website troubleshooting step is to check your website cross browser compatibility. Each browser parses the website code differently from each other. In other words, Internet Explorer will render a website Differently than FireFox or Safari. This leads to the common question “Why does my website not look good in Internet Explorer but fine in FireFox?

Fixing a browser compatibility problem can be difficult if you do not know what to look for. If you are developing your site code manually, you can check the website code through a validator. If you are using a theme for, say WordPress, you will want to contact the developer of the theme because the code is scripted in PHP and can be difficult to diagnose. The developer will want to fix the theme to provide a compatible theme for others using the theme.

What is a browser compatibility issue?

You know you have a cross browser compatibility problem when you receive complaints from your visitors that some of your website functions are not working. An example of this is when someone visits your site in say Internet Explorer and the layout of the site displays your content differently than when you are in a different browser. The cause of this is typically due to “unsupported” tags that are “deprecated” and are not recommended for use or you have Bad HTML, CSS or JavaScript code that was incorrectly written.

Reminder: Cross browser compatibility problems are not a server-side related. This is specific to how the website was coded.

How should I fix compatibility issue?

The first step in fixing a browser compatibility problem is to check the code to see if it passes “validation.” Code validation will show you where your website has incorrectly coded HTML tags, missing tags, non W3c compliant tags, and more. You can validate your website for free at the W3c site. See the following links on this.

Once you validate your HTML and have no errors on your site, you should see the presentation look more uniform. You will want to continue looking through your website code and fixing code problems until all browsers look the same. This process will require you to be able to check your website in each browser.

How can I test for browser compatibility?

There are different ways you can test your site for cross browser compatibility. You can install all the known browsers on your computer and then view your site in each browser as you develop it. The downfall to this is you will not be able to see what the older versions of a browser looks like, plus this is a very manual and cumbersome process.

Instead, consider web-based software that can scan, automate, and save time performing website and mobile tests. Below are links to industry-standard browser compatibility tools commonly used by web designers, digital agencies, medium and large businesses, and QA engineers.

LambdaTest allows developers and testers to perform both automated and manual cross browser testing on 2,000+ different browser-OS combinations. It helps to drastically cut down on testing cycles by running automated test scripts in parallel over a reliable, scalable, and secure online Selenium grid.

BrowserStack provides instant access to 2,000+ browsers and real iOS and Android devices for cross browser testing. Run hundreds of Selenium tests concurrently, and test websites on development environments or behind firewalls with zero setup or configuration. Debug using video recordings, automated screenshots of errors, text logs, console logs and network logs.

SmartBear’s Cross Browser Testing tool can run manual, visual, and Selenium tests in the cloud on 2,050+ real desktop and mobile browsers. Easily validate public or locally-hosted pages across multiple browsers for complete compatibility. Plus leverage native browser debugging tools and consoles, and debug behind your firewall or proxy with secure tunnel technology.

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