When making changes to my website I always take the time to view them live on the web before closing up my editing software and patting myself on the back in self-satisfaction of a job well done. Even with minor changes, I like to view them one last time to make sure my changes didn’t cause any shifts in on-page display, or I didn’t inadvertently create an error somewhere that inadvertently jacked everything up (believe me, it’s happened more times than I can count!) But regardless of how careful I am to double check my work, there is one thing I almost always overlook; verifying that my site looks good in the “other” browser.
At any given time I have three FireFox browser widows open, each with their own number of open tabs. So it’s natural for me to check and verify my changes using my browser of choice. Sometimes, I even think to check my changes in Internet Explorer. Admittedly, I don’t regularly check IE when the changes are relatively minor, but always when the changes effect formatting. But that’s not the other browser I’m referring to.
We get so accustomed to our own way of surfing the web that we forget that there many other browsers and browsing experiences that may be foreign to us. Now most web designers will do their due diligence and check a site in multiple versions of FireFox, Internet Explorer, Netscape and Safari. Heck you might look at a half of dozen other browsers that most people, including myself, have never even heard of. But those are not the browsers I’m referring to either.
There are four primary “other” browsers and browsing experiences that are typically overlooked by site owners, casual webmaster and, yes, even by the average web designer. But with more and more users moving to these alternate browsing experiences, it is even more important to check your websites to make sure that they function properly for these users.