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Cross-browser compatibility: the key points you should know

Google Chrome or Firefox, or do you use Safari browser? There are quite a lot of browsers and they display HTML and CSS in their own particular way. That means your website might work perfectly on Chrome but experience issues on Firefox or Internet Explorer.

For this reason, it is necessary to do a website browser test before launching the product, namely, check the cross-browser compatibility. Let’s figure out what cross browser compatibility stands for.

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What is cross-browser compatibility and why it's important

Crossbrowser compatibility can be defined as the ability of a site to be flawlessly viewed and functioned on multiple device-browser combinations. To ensure this, the website should be fully tested. That way users will get an equally great experience regardless of the browser they are using.

Numerous web browsers are currently used for web surfing, and they all have different standards.

So, to be compatible with all browsers is not an easy task for a website.

According to statistics, Google Chrome significantly dominates the market share worldwide. Even though Chrome is more popular, it does not mean you should neglect to optimize your site across other browsers. Most users prefer using Firefox, while others still consider Internet Explorer. Since each user has its own preferences, a website should run smoothly on any browser.

It goes without saying: the website should be cross-browser compatible. If you want to be successful online, a browser-friendly website is a must. Cross-browser compatibility is truly an important step in the website design and development process. Cross browser development will make your web page look and behave identically on different browsers and make sure your users get the most out of your product.

How to create a website compatible with different browsers

Now we can advise some practical things for making a cross-browser compatible website.

If you are developing a website, you should take care of some tips on how to make it cross-compatible. We have picked a few points for making your website suitable for different browsers:

  • Simple coding. When it comes to coding, use a qualitative approach instead of a quantitative one. The simple code will be both cross-browser friendly and easy to maintain.
  • Using libraries and frameworks. Use Javascript libraries and CSS frameworks like Foundation and Bootstrap. They provide code snippets that are compatible with most browsers and mobile devices and will significantly accelerate workflow and make it easy to design websites.
  • Code validating. Validate your CSS and HTML code for all browser compatibility to avoid any issues and make your code error-free. Use such code validating tools as the W3C HTML validator and CSS validator. Html Validator Firefox add-on can also be used to check web pages automatically.
  • Fixing IE issues with conditional comments. Link stylesheets with different browsers through conditional comments. Conditional comments help to avoid display issues in Internet Explorer.
  • Checking for the Doctype. All HTML documents start with a Doctype declaration. Doctype is the first line coding which explains the HTML that then will be used in your application. If you do not specify DOCTYPE, then your page may be displayed incorrectly.
  • Apply CSS Reset. Each browser sets its own default CSS rules. When it comes to cross browser, CSS of your website may appear differently depending on the browser. With the help of CSS reset you can neutralize this difference to ensure cross-browser.
  • Get ready for differences. A website may not be fully cross-browser compatible. Details like indents, fonts, shadow blur will still be different. The main thing is that the site is user-friendly, all important elements and functions are visible and accessible.

What are cross-browser compatibility issues and how to find them

There are various reasons why cross browser compatibility issues occur. One of the reasons you can encounter bugs is that each browser has its own technologies and parses website code differently. And every front-end developer may come across an issue of different displaying of css for different browsers. Hence, it is crucial to provide cross browser support for users.

If after running cross browser tests, you notice that your website is not working as intended, it’s time to fix bugs in the code.

Common issues with Firefox

Some notes concerning Firefox browser compatibility.

Although Firefox supports the latest technologies, Firefox browsers do not cover the following elements: Web SQL Database, Filesystem & FileWriter API, EOT fonts. In case of using them, cross-browser compatibility issues may take place.

Common issues with Safari browser

Some notes concerning Safari browser compatibility.

If you use CSS overflow-anchor, Shared Web Workers, Web Authentication APIs, the site will not work as intended in Safari browsers. As a result, it will lead to cross-browser compatibility issues. It should be noted that Safari partially supports HTML5 forms and CSS masks.

How to run cross-browser compatibility testing

Use Comparium to check the cross-browser compatibility of your website in a few steps.

Cross-browser compatibility is a full-fledged performance of the site in any browser or application under any operating system. And it is of great importance to provide a consistent and high-quality user experience across all combinations.

That’s why your product should be thoroughly tested. Comparium is perfect for these purposes, as it refers to one of the most comprehensive tools and allows testing performance in a variety of operating systems, screen sizes, browsers and their versions. It helps to solve the most common compatibility testing issues.

Although Comparium is a powerful assistant, the process of cross-browser testing is straightforward. You just need to enter the website URL, choose the browser and OS, hit the test button and the tool checks your website instantly.

Comparium comes with 4 comparison modes including “side-by-side”, “slider”, “overlay”, “find differences” that allow revealing incompatibilities and differences fast and easy, as well as provides Live Testing. Using this feature, you can test the website in real-time and feel the interaction with users.

Comparium has quickly grown to be the favorite tool for many users worldwide. We believe that you will also find the features of this tool useful and get an amazing user experience as well. Thanks to Comparium, checking the performance and layout of your products will be time and effort-saving.


Sometimes it happens that the same website looks as intended in one browser, but in another one, displays and works with issues. Therefore, the website should be cross-browser compatible. Take care of this at the development phase and do not forget to run cross browser tests to make sure your site runs smoothly on any browser and operating system.

FAQs concerning cross-browser compatibility

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