With the top five browsers - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera - locking their horns forever in a so called 'Browser War', and with billions of web users insisting on accessing websites through their favorite browsers, web-designers, are never at peace. After all, it is their responsibility to ensure that the sites they have designed render well for all the popular browsers. Cross Browser Compatibility testing enables these designers to find out how websites look alike across all the most-used browsers. It is the responsibility of the programmers and designers to make sure that their websites are compatible to all the major browsers failing to do which, a website might lose traffic from the browsers that the website doesn't support.
Each browser interprets HTML uniquely. That is why the pages render differently when you view them through dissimilar browsers. Web pages should be able to interpret HTML correctly to ensure a uniform visual experience for all top browsers. Cross browser compatibility testing enables you to incorporate all the right properties in your web page to guarantee a flawless, across-the-browser user experience.
Why Is It Important?
You never know the browse-route a prospective customer is likely to take to visit your site. If a website is coded only with a specific browser in mind - be it Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Google Chrome or any other browser - the visual experience may not be satisfactory for the potential customers who are trying to view the page using any other browser than the one it has been specifically coded with. This eventually translates into fewer visitors for your site as you are canceling a few options at the very outset by making your website browser-specific. By making it cross browser compatible, you can address this shortcoming.
How to Achieve It?
Cross browser compatibility is easy to achieve, provided you are following the right steps. Start with CSS, and HTML validation. This helps eliminate HTML/CSS errors that cause inconsistency in layout and page structure. They also prevent search engines from crawling the pages successfully. You can significantly improve your site's browser compatibility by following World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) stipulated web standards. Find the standards for HTML validation right here- http://validator.w3.org/. Alternatively you can consider using free online testing tools that let you verify whether your HTML codes and page layout are working properly across the browser or not. Several free tools are available online.