Posted by Nixon
30 June, 2011

We get asked certain questions regarding our web process frequently. So in response to these popular questions we are starting a series of blog posts that address these questions. These posts will explain what we do, why we do it that way and how we achieve it, hopefully giving you a greater insight into your website and why it’s been built the way it has.

Why does my website look different in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari?

Sometimes clients are confused as to why various web browsers display websites differently.

Designing for a screen is very different from designing for print. When a user views your website there are many variables that can be different from one user to the next. Users have a variety of web browsers to choose from and the device from which they view your site impacts on how they see it, each device and web browser displays websites in a different way. In print you can ensure that each user sees the same product, online this just isn’t the case.

For too long web developers and designers have forced web browsers to display their websites in the same way. By accepting that the web is a different delivery platform a number of benefits can be gained. Here at Nixon we like to consider ourselves as forward thinkers. We like to develop web sites that are built for the future and this means that the creative team designs for modern browsers, which in turn means that older browsers may often display these designs slightly differently.

This does not mean that your users will have a lesser experience, mostly they will never know the difference. With a Nixon website all of your users will receive the same functionality, however users operating older browsers will see slight differences.

Why don’t my designs accommodate older browsers?

Modern browsers allow us to achieve certain visual design elements, such as drop shadows, rounded corners and gradients without the need for images. These effects can be time consuming and expensive to create in older browsers such as Internet Explorer 7 & 8.

This time is often better spent on understanding your business and creating a web site that truly understands your audience. Spending time designing for older browsers is counter productive as newer browsers are released to market, we prefer spending money on supporting the next generation of browsers rather than supporting a shrinking market. By building for the future we free up our designers to create for the next generation of web browsers.

Achieving better SEO

Getting a website to display exactly the same in all browsers involves adding a lot more images to your site and adding considerably more code. This will slow your site down. Google knows that users want fast sites. That is why they have started using page size in their search algorithms. If your website downloads fast it will, in time, rank better in search engines. Including bloated code to accommodate older browsers will undermine this.

In summary, we focus on the largest win for you and believe it’s imperative to future proof your site.

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