Do you see on your screen what your customers see on theirs?
Internet Explorer. Firefox. Google Chrome. Safari. Opera. How many of those web browsers do you use on a regular basis?
Perhaps you use your browser because you feel it’s more secure than alternatives? Maybe it’s faster? Does it give you more flexibility to suit how you use the internet? Or do you simply just use it out of familiarity? Whatever the reason, pretty much everybody has a preferred web browser, whether they realise it or not.
Nearly a decade ago, Internet Explorer used to dominate the browser market, with 95% of people using it as their web browser. Over the last few years however, the Internet Explorer’s domination has become less apparent as more and more surfers change to a browser other than Internet Explorer (IE)
Take a look at the statistics for the last couple of years from StatCounter.
It’s not hard to spot the general trends here – IE’s market share is falling, and Firefox and Google Chrome’s share are slowly increasing.
“Why is any of this important?” you might rightly ask.
The problem is that not all web browsers will display web content in the same way. There are frequently differences in the way, for example, Internet Explorer and Firefox display the exact same web page. If you only use one web browser, how do you know what users of a different browser are really seeing?
For example, if 30% of those who look at your site in Firefox encounter an error meaning they can’t go through your checkout process, you might be missing out on a huge amount of sales. They may give up and simply go elsewhere.
As a user, it’s easy to stick with the same browser all the time. Most people will be guilty of that. As a website owner however, you’d be wise to test in as many as you can.
Ideally, you’d install multiple browsers on your computer to allow you to test your site fully. Online tools such as browsershots.org can also be incredibly helpful when you really can’t access a particular browser.
So, in summary:
Make sure you look at and use your own website in multiple web browsers and make sure your visitors are all receiving the intended browsing experience. Who knows, you might find that with a reasonably small amount of work, you could massively increase your sales. With the fast emergence of the ‘mobile’ web, it’ll only become more important to check how your website performs.
If you need a website designing that works across all browsers then contact us!