Habit often ruin many things in life and same goes for habits related to web designing. Every single month we see new versions of browsers. Technology is changing rapidly and so comes the website compatibility issue. With latest web technologies like CSS3, AJAX, JQuery and HTML5, more brilliant designs are emerging which look outstanding and can't easily be resisted unless you apply them to your web design. Keeping your blog or site clean in design is a good thing but if you are viewing your website in major browsers after every new design change that you make, then you are on a safe side else you may be unknowingly loosing half of your website visitors due to Browser support technical problems.
What is Browser Compatibility Issue?
Compatibility means whether or not the web design looks the same on all browsers or if your website is loading fine on all browsers or not. There are four widely used browsers which are
- Internet Explorer (IE)
- Safari (Macintosh)
- Opera (MOBILE)
Browsers which users prefer using on their desktop computers are the first 4 and the Opera is normally preferred on handsets like NOKIA for fast browsing ability. All these browsers are different in their algorithms because they belong to separate corporations and developers. What looks fine and neat on Mozilla can look horrible on IE9. What looks good in Mozilla can look distorted in Opera. IE sucks big time for many reasons. Versions older than IE8 didn't support PNG image format as a result the image background would look dull and ugly. Latest CSS3 and HTML5 don't work as efficiently with IE8 as it does with Chrome and Mozilla. You can not create rounded borders or add box shadow effect in IE8 as you can in other browsers.
How can it Effect traffic?
Web traffic for each site differs. The widely used world browsers are Mozilla and Internet Explorer. Since the biggest operating system is Windows by Microsoft therefore majority of computer users have IE installed by default and majority users are too lazy to upgrade to a better Browser.
Following is the chart displaying annual report of our visitors who view this blog using different browsers.
You can view clearly that around 16% visitors use Internet Explorer to view MBT. Suppose if our blog did not load quickly or neatly then we could have lost precious amount of our daily traffic. 16% loss means loss of precious Page Impressions and hence AdSense Revenue.
In May 2011, this blog was loosing 30% of its traffic from IE8 due to a "Website Abortion Error". I had installed a search box form lijit on this blog and it worked just fine in Mozilla and chrome but I did not had the habit of checking it in IE. At the end of the month when I check my analytics, I was shocked when I found out that we were receiving no traffic from IE. I opened IE to see what's wrong and found that the blog did not load at all. It would give an error and then the browser would crash. It took me around 2 days to find out the cause of this error. You can read in detail in that post how we debugged our blog template and removed the widget which was causing the entire blog to crash on IE.
How To Ensure your blog is Browser Compatible?
The best way to do this is to keep the tips I shared on IE Abortion Error Solved and these new precautions:
- View your Blog in Mozilla, Chrome and then IE8
- If it looked good in Mozilla and Chrome but not in IE, then use CSS conditional classes.
- Always view your blog in IE after making a change to your blogspot template
- If it showed a problem in loading then its better to avoid that widget
Apply these tips along with the detailed version on my previous posts to stay safe and maintain receiving traffic from all major browsers without loosing a single visitor. No need to use W3C validators because they will never tell you that you did well rather they will always show errors on errors.
Hope this may prove helpful in better understanding why your traffic from some browsers like IE is low. Do let me know if you needed some technical help in making your stylesheet compatible with conditional ID statements. Peace pals. :)
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