When you work in the Sydney web design industry daily, there are things which give you ‘groan’ moments. A moment where you can’t help but feel sorry for those less ‘browser-endowed’. If you are reading this using an older browser, you are probably interested in what a modern browser can offer. You could take our word that newer browsers are better and just upgrade, but read on if you need convincing.
Let’s start by looking at a couple of the more popular ‘Modern Browsers’ such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari. I’ll purposefully not include Internet Explorer, except to say that if you have to use it, I hope that you at least have the latest version and that you will at some stage in the near future entertain the thought of a switch to one of the aforementioned three. Microsoft is desperate to kill off Internet Explorer 7, starting a world-wide tracking website, which shows Australia to be lagging behind the US.
Jump onto their website (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), click download and use the wizard to install it (5 minute job). Should you already have a version of one of these browsers installed, the auto-update feature is fantastic as it will notify you when a new version is available – you can even have it do the download automatically. If you don’t have auto-update enabled (this comes enabled out of the box, in case it’s been turned off for some reason) you can generally poke around in the ‘About’ or ‘Help’ menu and there will be an option to ‘Check for Updates’.
The web is an ever evolving entity. Things are always improving and this is primarily driven by how you view and access it – through your web browser, be it on your laptop, PC, smart phone, tablet or other web enabled device.
Users who do not update to make use of the latest features and security are shooting everyone else in the foot. When designing a new website for a Sydney client, they usually want all the bells and whistles to aid in attracting traffic and capturing their viewers’ attention to encourage repeat visits. This is great, and how things should be! For a developer this is the fun part – creating something new or innovative or eye catching.
The saddest part comes when something which sounds amazing and fun (for both viewers and developers) gets the browser compatibility conversation from the team:
“Oh, and how will that work for users using Internet Explorer 10,11 (or even Microsoft Edge)?”
“What about older versions of Firefox i.e. pre-version .61?”
Suddenly it becomes a series of great idea destroying compromises:
“Perhaps we could do this as a work-around.”
“What if we tried this so that it KIND OF does what we want?”
Unfortunately, out of date browsers are still something web developers have to take into consideration even 10 or more years after Internet Explorer 6 was released. In that amount of time, you would have paid to upgrade your mobile phone, car, television and much more. Modern browsers are newer, better, more efficient, with more gadgets and improvements. So why is the same not true for your Browser? It’s free and takes 5 minutes!
There is a good browser compatibility test that should give you an idea of the issues we’re talking about. Go here and see how your browser scores. For reference:
|Browser||Score out of 475 (Higher is better)|
|Internet Explorer 11||141|
|Internet Explorer 10||41|
Here are a number of good reasons why you should always keep your browser up to date:
- Increased security standards
- View websites which are richer, nicer and neater to look at
- Faster Browsing
- Use less system resources
- Support modern standards such as HTML 5 and CSS3
- Better customisation options (turn off functions you don’t need to increase speed)
- Plugins (enhance your browsing using plugins, particularly in Chrome and Firefox)
- Browser enhancements to bookmarking, tabs, searching, look and feel, etc.
- Synchronisation with your smartphone/tablet (bookmarks, saved passwords, history, etc.)
- And lots, lots more …
Do yourself a favour and update today. And, while you’re at it why not help out a friend, like the worthy ‘update your parents’ browser day’.