The website creation process is a painstakingly detail-oriented process for both the designer and developer. For a good month and a half, we tweak details both in design and code to try and match the client’s expectations and deliver a beautiful and well-functioning site. That is why when we send a client the first working proof of a site, we are just as anxious and excited to receive feedback from the client as the client is to see it.
Now imagine receiving the client’s feedback only to hear that the working proof looks nothing like the initial static designs: elements are overlaying each other, pieces of text aren’t aligned and photos are not loading correctly. The clients are baffled to think that this is what you have to show after almost two months. What is more baffling is that when the designer and developer re-check the working proof site, everything looks as they should…
This nightmarish situation is a case that could have been prevented by one small but very important thing. That, ladies and gentlemen would be a simple browser update on the client’s side.
As much as a browser update will help the website creation process, it will also benefit a user’s web browsing experience tremendously. To understand why, it’s best to have a good understanding of what a browser is and what it does for you as a user.
What is a browser?
In layman’s terms, a browser is a piece of software that provides a “window” (the browser viewport is literally called a browser window!) for a person to view information from the internet.
What are current, major browsers?
As you’re reading this blog post, you are probably viewing it either through one of the major, current browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari. Surprisingly, there is a section of the internet-using population still using outdated browsers such as AOL Explorer or MSN Explorer. If you are not utilizing one of these major browsers, we highly suggest that you stop reading this, and go download and start using one of the more current browsers!
What are the differences between browsers?
The main difference between these browsers is the type of rendering engine the browsers use to output front-end code, the code that dictates the visual and face-front functional elements of a website.
Which of these browsers should I use?
Ideally, it would be best to use Google Chrome. Chrome seems to be the most versatile, customizable and safest browser of all the current ones, making it a favorite among many designers and developers. At the end of the day, it is a matter of personal preference.
What about Internet Explorer?
IE has a reputation for not rendering websites as flawlessly as its competitors. It has gotten to the point that it has become the least favorite browser for most modern web users. Knowing this, IE is always working to make things better with each browser update release. With that said, if you absolutely must use Internet Explorer as a browser, please be sure it is the most up to date version…
Why should I keep my browser up-to-date?
One of the most common reasons I’ve heard for someone to not update their browser is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Just because your browser continues to open and allows you to view websites does not necessarily mean it’s not “broken”.
Like Internet Explorer, all the other browsers are continuously trying to refine their browsers’ user experiences. With these refinements come key changes that can be found in browser version updates:
Better support for latest web technologies
As the latest and coolest trends in website features, tricks and functionalities start transitioning themselves from trends to the everyday user experience, web browsers will continuously need to update in order to accommodate these transitions. Having an older browser version may mean not being able to view what is being seen by the average web user today.
Bug & Security fixes/patches
Browsing the internet with an updated browser means browsing the internet safely. If you miss an update you are putting your computer at risk from viruses and hackers. Also, browser support stops at certain versions so it’s always to keep it updated as possible.
Added customizations and features
Sometimes new features and add-ons are part of browser updates so that users can tailor their browsers to optimize their browsing experience. Who doesn’t like customizing things so we can work better?
Where can I update my browsers?
Go to http://updatemybrowser.org/ and see if your browser up to date. It is a handy site that detects which browser you are currently viewing the site and will let you know if there is an update available.