How to Solve 6 Common Browser Incompatibility Issues

by Louis Kingston

You have spent a small — or perhaps a large — fortune on your website, and now you’re ready to reap the rewards. You can picture it now: delighted visitors gushing about speed, performance, features, and functions.

Except…that’s not happening. Instead, visitors are running into browser compatibility issues — which means instead of moving forward on the buyer’s journey, they are heading straight to a competitor. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that you can (and frankly, you must) fix browser compatibility issues ASAP. Here are six of the most common problems, along with their associated solutions:

Problem: Various browsers render CSS styles differently.
Solution: Force all browsers to reset to the same basics by using CSS reset style sheets, such as Normalize.css (which is Github-based), HTML5Reset, or Eric Meyers CSS Reset. 

Problem: Browsers automatically default to “Quirks Mode,” which results in unresponsive tags and flawed rendering.
Solution: Add this magical line (without the quotation marks) “!DOCTYPE html” at the beginning of the codebase, which forces browsers to operate in Strict Mode vs. Quirks Mode.

Problem: Outdated Javascript fails to automatically detect older browsers.
Solution: Eliminate browser detection and replace it with Modernizr, which rapidly runs various tests to detail all applicable browser functions.

Problem: Unvalidated HTML/CSS leads to coding errors that some browsers do not auto-correct.
Solution: Use tools like W3C HTML validator and Jigsaw CSS validator to catch and fix errors, including the really tiny ones that can lead to major incompatibility headaches.

Problem: Certain functions designed to run on specific browsers are instead running on multiple browsers that cannot handle the request.
Solution: Add common vendor prefixes to the code, such as -webkit- (Chrome, Safari, newer versions of Opera, most iOS browsers, and any other WebKit- based browser), -moz- (Firefox), -o- (pre-WebKit versions of Opera), and -ms- (Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge).

Problem: Third party libraries aren’t loading and working properly.
Solution:  Use trusted frameworks that are cross-browser friendly, such as Angular JS and React JS (web application development framework), Bootstrap and Animate (CSS libraries), and JQuery (scripting library).

How AlertBot Can Help
AlertBot monitors your website with real web browsers — not simulations! — to capture the most authentic end-user experience, and identify problems that others miss. Your development team can use this reliable information to solve problems, and ensure that all visitors enjoy a flawless experience.

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Louis is a writer, author, and avid film fan. He has been writing professionally for tech blogs and local organizations for over a decade. Louis currently resides in Allentown, PA, with his wife and German Shepherd Einstein, where he writes articles for InfoGenius, Inc, and overthinks the mythos of his favorite fandoms.

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