Why Does my Website Look Different in Another Browser?

Your web site may look slightly (or considerably) different on different web browsers, different Operating Systems, and/or different screen resolutions. There are literally hundreds of web browsers out there and each of them have different versions available. Getting your web site to look good on all browsers is as much a science as it is an art and generally involves modifying your HTML and CSS code. Here are some pointers that will help you make things right:

  1. Validate all your HTML and CSS code using the W3C validator to make sure there are no errors in your code, and fix them if there are. This is the most important cause of inconsistencies amongst browsers.
  2. Try to ensure that your site displays correctly with the latest versions of major web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. A great web site to help you test this quickly is http://browsershots.org/
  3. Advanced features on certain web sites will often not be compatible with older browsers. While this is unfortunate for those using these older browsers, you may find that attempting to make your site compatible for, say, the 1% of users using them is actually not worth your time and money, and you would probably be right. You may instead choose to instruct your visitors to upgrade their browser to the latest version, and you would probably be doing everyone a favor!
  4. Note that restricting your web site to ONLY one type browser (for example Internet Explorer) is the equivalent of telling those users that use a different browser that they are not welcome on your site. Unless you're OK with losing their business, this type of approach is strongly discouraged.


Article ID: #HC6001

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