Web Design and Development Standardization

Category: PHP, MySQL
Reviewed by: miketogle   
Reviewed on: Oct 09 2003

The Famous Browsers... Or Are They?

"Why doesn't my site work on this browser?" This is a familiar situation that you, and almost every other designer, has been in when they are testing their site out. After validating the code using the different validators that can be found on w3c, you'd think that the site that you developed would work on every high-ranking browser. This is in fact a misconception brought about different stat sites that enumerate the different browsers that are famous or "widely-used." The problem lies in the faulty stats returned by these sites, although their intentions are highly noble. What you see in most of these sites are results of a tally of browser types that have visited sites that they are affiliated with. Unfortunately, the statistics that they provide are not scientifically obtained through random sampling and population determination, which usually leads to data that would eventually lead you into trouble. Basically, you have to try to go beyond these statistics and find a way to breach the barrier between the browser wars.

To give you a glimpse of what these stat sites usually show you, I decided to go through some of them and give you a summary of the results:

  • Internet Explorer - 50%
  • Netscape Navigator - 32 %
  • Mozilla - 8 %
  • Opera - 2 %
  • Other browsers - 8 %

Now, if you are going to take those results and say, "I think I'll make one based on Internet Explorer's attributes," then you are basically endangering your site to problems for the other browsers that you did not take into consideration. So, why take the risk of losing the hits that you want so much? The answer is, you don't have to, which is why standards have been set and are constantly being updated to guarantee cross-browser compatibility.