Cross-browser compatibility

Cross-browser

It’s not always easy to explain to our clients the Cross-browser Compatibility concept. Each of them has his own habits with a particular browser like Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or, worse , Internet Explorer (let’s not even talk about Opera, we never met any prospect using it). Anyway, here is what could be a short definition, just to be sure that any reader will understand what we are talking about :

“Cross-browser Compatibility refers to the ability for a website to function correctly across all, or the majority of web browsers.”

At Spade we believe in websites built with up-to-date technologies, Standards and Frameworks with a perspective on the long-term. One of the criteria to choose which technologies we are going to use is the level of cross-browser compatibility that is expected.

Before we go ahead, it might be interesting to also define what “functioning correctly” means: A website that displays correctly, without all the bells and whistles, and is functional, readable, and usable.

At Spade we are consider that cross-browser compatibility should stop to up-to-date browsers. Why ?

  • It’s 2012: most of the modern browsers have an automatic update mechanism that ensures it keeps up with latest technologies. (OK we know, there is always someone to tell us the opposite)
  • With the introduction and the progressive implementation of new standards like CSS3 and HTML5, the gap in terms of functionality and possibility between slightly old browsers and their latest counterparts is huge, and growing.
  • We develop durable platforms: for the future, not looking backwards.
  • Its the best way to ensure a professional work and a nice user experience

Concretely that means :

  • We advise our clients on which technologies, Framework/CMS, standards best suit with his projects. We really spend a lot of time to stay aware about that.
  • We are very good on making websites and do realize websites with passion with technologies, Framework/CMS and standards that we master.
  • We always test our websites or web applications on the most popular browsers (list in the first paragraph). Design and layout should have the same rendering on each browser, functionnalities should work perfectly on the same way.

That doesn’t mean :

  • We never test our websites or web application on old browsers. We sometimes do this but only if the client have a special request about it. And sometimes it’s for good reasons : his audience has got particular aspect like people that used old devices (for instance some administration offices, elderly, some countries…)
  • Websites we made never work on old browsers. Of course most of the time they work ! It’s just that we cannot guarantee it.

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