Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Browser Distortion - How Does Your Website And/Or Blog Fare?

Last June I wrote a post on my Tips For Crafters On The Web blog entitled "Mozilla - Firefox Versus Internet Explorer" How Does Your Website Fare?

My post concerned using Microsoft "Publisher" to create my websites. At that time I was using Internet Explorer and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to update my websites.

When I checked last year 86% of my traffic was coming from Internet Explorer and 12% was coming from Mozilla - Firefox.

Shortly thereafter I switched to Mozilla - Firefox because I was having a horrendous time with Internet Explorer 7.0. It was SLOW as molasses, was freezing during printing from my blogs, and causing a multitude of other issues. After using Internet Explorer exclusively for over 30 years I'd had enough and made the switch. A year later I am happy to report that I'm delighted with Mozilla - Firefox and have had few, if any, problems with it.

I have found that Mozilla - Firefox, for the most part, is much more stringent on the HTML coding than Internet Explorer is so when I've made changes to my FTP websites using Firefox and then viewing them in IE everything has displayed just fine.

Well, something must have changed in Internet Explorer during the last few weeks as last week when I made some changes to my Everything E-Directory a friend of mine told me that some of the avatar links were not displaying properly. I was getting X's. YIKES! I hate x's!

So, I decided to check it out. Indeed, there were x's where two of my avatar pictures should have been and I was getting text boxes at the top of each page that shouldn't have been there. They disappeared once the page loaded, but were there initially. I didn't like that and knew there had to be something wrong in the HTML coding.

Well, after hours of work I finally resolved the problem in Internet Explorer and everything is now displaying properly. Mind you now, it was displaying correctly all along in Mozilla - Firefox. So now both IE and Firefox are displaying my websites correctly.

So, why am I telling you this? Well, if you are a small business website owner or blogger you might want to check your website and blog to see if both Internet Explorer and Mozilla - Firefox are displaying your website and/or blog properly.

Last year 12% of my traffic was coming from Mozilla - Firefox, with 86% from Internet Explorer and 2% from the other browsers. This year 19% of my traffic is coming from Mozilla - Firefox and 76% from Internet Explorer with 5% from the other smaller browsers.

So, why am I telling you this?

Well, if your website is displaying correctly in one browser it doesn't necessarily mean that it's displaying correctly in all the others. So far I've only been concerned with Internet Explorer and Mozilla - Firefox. For now, the others are really too small percentage wise to make it worthwhile to see if they are displaying properly and, if not, to spend the time to correct them.

I'm hoping that since I use Mozilla - Firefox and since it's pretty stringent on the HTML coding then I should be okay in the smaller browsers. However, I thought this would be true for Internet Explorer until recently. Obviously I was wrong about that. So, now when I make any changes I'm checking both.

Another reason I am telling you this is that from time to time in my blog hopping I have noticed that some of the blogs of some of the bloggers who deviated from the standard blog providers templates are not displaying as the blogger may have intended. In checking the blogs of several of my blogging friends who have gone to 3-column templates I have noticed that they aren't always displaying properly either.

So, the good news for Mozilla - Firefox is that it's certainly gaining ground over Internet Explorer. The bad news is that for small business owners who have websites and/or blogs on the internet it means more work. You need to see how your website and/or blog is displaying both in Mozilla - Firefox and in Internet Explorer. The % of users to Mozilla - Firefox is steadily increasing and to not have your website displaying properly in either one means lost business.

We'll check in next year around this time to see how both are faring. Happy browsing.

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