Is Your Website Broken?


For a very long time, Internet Explorer has dominated the browser market with over 85% of Internet surfers using some version of Internet Explorer.

That's why many designers and webmasters stopped worrying about programming their webpages to be compatible with other browsers (like Netscape) or other operating systems (like the Mac) ages ago. After all, Internet Explorer is what the majority use.

A lot of people think html is html. Including, unfortunately, some sadly uninformed designers. They think a website automatically works the same for all viewers no matter what browser or operating system they use. Not so! For example,

  • Macs don't use the windows operating system, so if your website uses the windows color palette, it might look quite different (and not as nice) on a Mac.
  • Fonts are 40% smaller when viewed on a Mac.
  • If your site is created on a Mac, fonts will look 40% bigger on a PC.
  • Internet Explorer and Netscape both support proprietary code that does not work in the "other" browser. (Do you know which is which? Does your designer?)
  • Not all versions of Netscape are backward compatible.
  • Not all versions of Internet Explorer are backward compatible.

Is that all Greek? Oh well, 85% of the Internet uses Internet Explorer, anyway, right? The rest are just the minority anyway, right? Sure they are.

Ever wondered how many millions there are in the "minority?"
According to Internet Stats site, TheCounter.com, as of year end, 2004;

  • 3% of surfers use a Mozilla browser. That's 1,662,809 people.
  • 2% use Netscape 5. That's an estimated 1,101,858 people.
  • 2% are on a MAC. That's roughly 1,334,007 people.
  • 2% use an unknown browser. That's about 893,435 people.
  • 1% use Safari as their browser. That's about 405,196 people.
  • 1% use Netscape 7. That's roughly 389,338 people.
  • 1% are using Opera. That's a mere 351,607 people.

But wait, we're not done with the minorities...

  • As of February 15/2005, Firefox has been downloaded 25 million times, which is not yet reflected in global stats programs.

  • In early 2005, Google hired the whiz-kid that created Firefox. Will there be a Google browser based on the Mozilla platform to come? I'm guessing, but time will tell.

Bad Design Really Can Kill!

According to a study by Consumer Web Watch, credibility was the determining factor in whether or not the customer makes the purchase. According to 74.6% of the people that participated, the most important factor in determining credibility was "Design Look" (46.1 percent).

You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Fact is, unless you are prepared to learn browser compatibility issues, you might want to reconsider your decision to "drag and drop" your website without professional help.

It's rare, indeed, to find a business complaining that they make too much money on the Internet.

There is, however, an abundance of people complaining of lack of sales while seemingly oblivious to design issues that affect their bottom line.

Which are you? This article was written by, and republished with the permission of Linda Caroll.