9 Ways To Avoid Cross-Browser Compatibility Issues
In the present day, apart from the development phase itself, developers face another major challenge. Even after spending weeks, sometimes months developing a website, most developers have a tough time testing its functionality on all major platforms.
With the wide array of browsers present, chances are that the website will face varied issues over these. Adding to the trouble is the advent of numerous devices which together, create an extremely large number of combinations to test on.
The website might sport the best design and features but as long as it is not tested to work on every possible platform, it will remain a ‘Work in Progress’. So to overcome the challenge of testing and simplifying the process, there are several cross-browser testing tools like LambdaTest.
Yet, sometimes some minimal steps can prevent cross-browser compatibility issues. Today we’ll look at some of the most common cross-browser compatibility issues and how to fix them.
Check Out Some of The Common Browser Compatibility Issues and Their Solutions:
DOCTYPE Error Imagine writing the entire code and missing out on the most basic line! Yes, it can lead to a faulty rendering. Several browsers with outdated versions such as the Internet Explorer 8.0 and earlier often check for the Doctype.
In case it is missing, the site will be not be rendered as per expectations. To understand why the doctype is checked, we would have to understand the two modes in which a browser operates.
The first mode is called the Strict Mode. In this mode, the browser works with stricter code error checks and making sure that the code adheres to the W3C specifications. The second mode is called the Quirks Mode. The quirks mode was created with an intention of providing backward compatibility to older browser version and they do not perform strict error checking.
When there is a missing “Doctype” tag in the webpage, the browser tends to go into the quirks mode. At the same time, if there is a browser which doesn’t support HTML5, it will not understand which version to look for. This would lead to some of the tags to become unresponsive and the webpage will not look as intended.
The solution to this problem is a simple one line code at the very beginning of the code. It looks like this:
This will ensure a perfectly rendered site in every browser available.
This is a common cross-browser compatibility issue which is faced due to obsolete java scripts. But, tackling this cross-browser issue is easy. You can remove the browser detection. Instead use Modernizer, a collection of ‘superfast tests’ which list all the features of a browser, hence giving you a seamless experience. Using this the developer can direct the site to focus on features rather than browsers.
HTML/ CSS Validation Another major cross-browser compatibility issue faced by developers is the validation of HTML and CSS codes. This is mainly because different browsers read code differently. And not only read but also handle them differently.
There are times when developers are stuck with an error as small as missing out on closing a tag. While some browsers might auto correct, others might not display the feature it signifies. For example, missing out on might cause an error on Internet Explorer and not on chrome.
It is a very common cross-browser compatibility issue and has a simple solution. One can use code validating tools for HTML and CSS depending on their requirements. These validators are powered by W3C.
01. Validate your code
You're much more likely to experience weird behaviours between browsers if your code isn't strictly valid, so check it with the W3C Markup Validation Service to make sure it's standards-compliant.
02. Fail gracefully
03. Know your audience
Make sure you understand the browsers and devices you're targeting. Is your page mostly for mobile users? Are you working within a company that still uses legacy browsers? Test accordingly.
04. Consider using a framework
05. Keep your design simple
Illustration of a computer and a phone with 'www...' displayed on screensWeb designs don't always need to be all-singing, all-dancing It might seem obvious, but the fewer cutting-edge CSS features you're trying to use, the less likely you are to have difficulty supporting all browsers. Give consideration to whether you really need them.
06. Reuse and reduce components
This can start from the basics of managing your CSS classes sensibly, through to using web components to modularise your entire site. Essentially, the fewer places you have to test and maintain similar changes, the easier it is to manage.
07. Test with the difficult browsers first
If you know you need to support Internet Explorer 6, then start out with that. You don't want to get 90 per cent of the way through your testing before discovering the first issue.
08. Create test scripts
Whether you're automating or not, even for simple sites you should define the set of tests you expect to run in each browser. Otherwise, you'll end up missing things between runs.
09. Test as you go along
Especially important if you're doing something that might be tricky, don't wait until you've finished developing to start testing. Take an iterative approach to catch issues early.
10. Check your features
Double-check browser support of newer features online before you use them, and make use of feature detection and polyfills if you absolutely must rely on something that isn't comprehensively supported.