The Steering Wheel of the Internet

The purpose of the Internet has changed considerably in the last ten years and as a result more and more work and play is being done online.

To interact online we only use one application, the browser, it is the way we steer ourselves around the Internet.  It’s pretty simple really; to do banking, talk to friends, read the news, check the scores, buy that t-shirt, do your weekly groceries, check in for a flight, its all done online using your browser.

As web designers this is great, everyone will see the same thing and use the website the same way, or will they?

The challenge we face as website designers is that although there is only one browser, that browser comes in many different shapes and sizes.  In the early days of the Internet the two big companies at the time Microsoft and Netscape each decided to create completely different browsers.  Website designers obviously wanted to reach 100% of the people on the Internet maximising coverage of a clients message, this required development of two different websites, pretty much doubling the workload.

Over time standards have been introduced directing developers on how to create browsers that comply with a set of specifications. This reduces the duplication of work and ensures websites function across different browsers, which will not only enable compatibility today, but also for tomorrow.

There are many companies today making Internet browsers. Netscape has gone but the Microsoft browser still exists. Thankfully they have upgraded and it is now standards compliant. Now, as Internet users it is up to us to use these new modern browsers. We need to install them on our computer so we gain the benefits of having a modern, secure standards compliant browser. Why? You might ask, that is a good question because lets face it browsers have been working for years, you have hundreds of your favourite bookmarks saved and all of your passwords are stored so you don’t have to remember them. This is a solid reason not to change, but the benefits of upgrading your browser far out way the reasons not to, faster access, more secure and easier to use.  And they’re getting smarter – modern browsers have the ability of importing your data from a previous browser, making it easy to copy over bookmarks and passwords. There’s just no excuse not to upgrade.

As website designers we are always at the cutting edge of browser technology, using it to create better websites for our clients which are standards compliant meaning the website can get the broadest reach possible taking your message to the millions on the web.

Do you have any comments or questions about the internet?


The Webfirm Team

Image credit Rock1997 on Wikimedia