After all, a page can display differently in Internet Explorer than it does in Chrome. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does happen, it’s pretty noticeable.
So why doesn’t every computer programmer make a page that’s compatible with every browser?
There are a lot of reasons. The three below are the most important.
Reason 1. They don’t make financial sense
In a nutshell, programmers don’t accommodate every browser because it just doesn’t make financial sense. The programmer would spend way more time on a project than they’d need, and the client (you) would pay way more money for that time.
Then, you probably wouldn’t make any money back on that investment. If you were lucky, maybe you’d get 1%.
This is the same reason why home improvement contractors don’t market to people who live in apartments — there’s just no profit there.
Why? Because browsers are made with different strengths. They’re all good at handling different parts of the online experience, but they have their shortcomings too.
Today, programmers make websites for popular browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. These browsers are good “all-arounders” that can do pretty much everything well online.
After all, that’s why they’re popular. Google and Mozilla make great products, and their users appreciate that.
There are many other browsers that perform the same basic functions, and work just as well – as long as users have the most updated versions. Fortunately, most of them do, and the majority of Internet users today navigate online with up-to-date versions of their preferred browsers.
This means that from a financial standpoint, it’s in your best interest to build your site to suit the needs of that majority – and not spend time and resources worrying about the few still using outdated browsers.
If a website looks good on outdated browsers, then that’s an added bonus — but it’d cost too much to go out of your way to make them look good.
That’d be like asking Leonardo da Vinci to repaint the Mona Lisa on sand. It might be cool, but it wouldn’t look good and it wouldn’t get any attention. That wouldn’t be da Vinci’s fault, either. Everyone would go see the version on canvas because canvas is the better medium.
In other words, if a modern website doesn’t display properly in an outdated browser, it’s not the programmer’s fault for making something too complex. It’s actually the browser’s fault for falling behind.
Reason 2. Newer browsers are capable of displaying modern websites
As you saw above, Chrome and Firefox are two of the most popular web browsers in the world. They’ve earned this distinction by giving users a fast product with a simple interface.
Internet Explorer is another popular browser, but there are many different versions available today. The current version, 11, was released in 2013 and offers much of the same functionality as its competitors.
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However, the older versions simply don’t have the processing power or user-friendliness of other browsers available to users today.
Over the past few years, there have been some major developments in the web design industry. Today, designers can create sites with advanced functionality and interactive elements that help companies communicate with their customers more effectively than ever before.
Browsers have adapted to these changes, and all of the more common ones have rolled out updated versions to keep up with them.
That’s why you’ll sometimes hear about websites or website elements looking great in most browsers— but they just don’t display correctly in Internet Explorer 7 & 8.
In other words, newer browsers are also the most capable. They can handle most modern websites and design elements, while outdated versions simply can’t.
Reason 3. Bad browsers can get hacked
One of the dangers of the Internet is hacking. Anything connected online can be hacked — including web browsers and the information you store on them.
Modern browsers constantly update their security standards to make sure their users are safe when they browse. But older, outdated browsers don’t always have that same luxury.
Even older versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (like 7 & 8) have security issues with malware, trojans, keyloggers, and other digital threats.
A lot of critics will point out that getting viruses online has to do with a user’s behavior — not the security parameters of a web browser. But that’s not a completely accurate statement.
Browsing online can be like getting honey from a beehive. You could get what you want by just walking up to the hive and taking it, but you could also get stung.
Wouldn’t it be better if you put on a protective suit before you went to collect the honey?
Current browsers provide that protective suit. They even have plugins that you can use to reinforce it and protect you even more.
Other browsers either don’t provide a suit at all, or hand you a bedsheet and say “good luck.”
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