Web Development and Cross Web Browser Compatibility

Does your website look great in Firefox and Safari, but a dog’s breakfast in Internet Explorer?

If so then you need to read this, web development and cross browser compatibility is a very serious issue that should be tackled by any professional web development company or individual.

Web development companies and individual developers if professional should address this issue with their clients to ensure the clients brand and web design looks identical across the most popular browsers.

From Internet Explorer to Opera which are included in the top 5 most used internet browsers (based on statistics taken in October 2010), any professional web development company or individual developer need to keep vigilant with their web browser compatibility checking.

To stay on top of this pressing issue there are a number of free websites available that you can use which will take sample website screen shots of your website and how it appears on selected web browsers.

Easiest way to find these web browser checking sites is to Google the following phrase: “How does my website appear on other web browsers?” This is the current Market Share for the top 5 most popular web browsers as of October 2010: Information source here

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer – 59.18%
  • Mozilla Firefox – 22.83%
  • Google Chrome – 8.50%
  • Safari – 5.36%
  • Opera – 2.29%

In summary cross browser compatibility is one of the key issues that arise when developing a brand new website or custom website application.

It is best practice to ensure your client’s website looks as identical as possible across the most popular browsers. However we do agree that there are a lot of differences in the way some of these web browsers operate and the various scripting and web coding languages they use and their interpretation of this.

So really a lot of these issues can be solved during the development of the website itself. The easiest way to avoid issues is to work with a web development company that already knows the ins and outs of cross browser compatibility.

4 Tips To Ensure You’re Not Losing Customers Because of Web Browser Issues

  1. Download the top 5 most popular web browsers to your pc or notebook and test your website thoroughly on each of them.
  2. Discuss any issues with your web development company or professional developer.
  3. Resolve these issues by checking supported web languages by checking compatibilities for the web browsers themselves.
  4. Web languages to check that appear differently across most web browsers include: HTML v1-5, CSS v1-3 these are the main two that cause the most common problems with web design and browser issues.

If you are the client I strongly suggest you address these issues with your development company. If you are the supplier, I once again strongly suggest you address these issues on the behalf of your client.

Ensuring your browser compatibility is as good as it can be will mean that you or your client potentially won’t lose business leads from customers using one of the top 5 web browsers.

Also customers that may want to purchase off an ecommerce or online shopping website may be put off purchasing because of these browser issues. Online business is serious business – take cross browser compatibility seriously as it can mean increased or lost business for you and your client.

Hire Web Developer – 10 Important Points to Ponder Upon

Nowadays it is almost an outdated thought to run a business without online presence! Besides that people know that online presence increases or just double the Return on Investment for all the businesses! Also institutions or organization do also keep their presence online to establish or spread themselves to the world. And to make the effort of building a website there are lots of web development companies who offer the customer or the clients to hire web developer. In this way the website building process has become easy and affordable too!

But there are some aspects in website development. One of those factors is to hire web developer who is or are really helpful or worthy to be hired. This is the reason I am trying to put down just 10 important points that always come in consideration at the time of hiring web developers. Let’s have a look on the points:

  1. Before you decide to hire web developer, just assess your requirements. It is very important to know what kind of development you are looking for. Do you need a simple static website or e-commerce site. Depending on these you have to search for the web developers.
  2. Are you looking for open source development or the hard code? It may be the case that your projects can be best done in open source or vice-versa. So before you go to hire web developer make sure that you have determined the technologies/programming languages. It is essential because there are developers who are expert and specialist at open source or the hard code. You need to choose your ones.
  3. You need to find out the expert and experienced people for your projects. You should never hire web developers who are having little experience in the kind of development you are looking for. Why not check out the portfolio of works? It will let you decide the quality of people you are choosing.
  4. Try to assess the knowledge base and the professionalism of the developers you are considering to hire. You should clear the queries about the project you are thinking to offer to the developers. Again the work ethics or the process of work (milestone deliverables, project documentation etc) will let you know the developers. So when you hire web developer never forget to take interview.
  5. When you are thinking to build a website you should find the market trend to know if the project can be given to a local developer or it is best to think of outsourcing. These days it is best to hire web developer from offshore companies. Not only the cost but also the growing competition has eased the availability of best services from anywhere in the world.
  6. You may hire web developer as dedicated to your projects or may go time-based hiring as you require. Both are good. But dedicated hiring is the best ploy as in this case your headache is less to complete the project. Even the flow of project is smooth and time of development becomes less.
  7. You may hire web developer from a company or a freelancer. If you hire from a company you will get many types of developers or the specialist altogether and the development process becomes smooth. But in the matter of freelancers you have to be very much choosy and careful to know the professionalism or the quality of work of the particular developers. Sometimes multiple hiring of personnel becomes essential in the case of freelancers.
  8. It is very much important to know that you hire web developer from somewhere that has proper infrastructure to complete your project. It is particularly essential as many a time it is found that you go for hiring a freelancer who does not have access to latest technologies and tools or the true setup to finish the projects. So proper search and confirmation of the infrastructure has become mandatory (also for companies).
  9. Try to find out how is the reputation of the developer in providing support to the project both throughout the project completion and afterward maintenance. Never hire web developer with poor record in support or do not forget to judge the communication level of them. Otherwise total investment in the project may go in vain.
  10. When you decide to hire web developer, do not go behind affordability always, care for the legal issues too. It is fact that affordable web development is now highly possible. But it is not that all the companies provide best service at affordable cost. Find out the reputed companies who do not only provide affordable service but also clears legal dealings, say money back guarantee issues, copyright, document & resource transfer and all.

Hope after going through the above points, you will understand how important it is to be careful in the process of hiring developers for getting best development of the website you are thinking to build. Always remember the responsibility of best website development never only rest on the developers. It is also your discretion to hire single web developer from multiple companies or team of developer from one company. However, never feel helpless if you find the things little lengthy. You may take help of directories and tactfully choose the request a quote process for searching and getting best developers. Never hurry but be steady in the website building initiative – you will be successful.

Web Development Lifecycle (WDL)

The web development lifecycle (WDL) is a more specific variation on the general framework for developing any application development project. Unlike general application development, all web design and development projects follow a similar structure, so the web development lifecycle / process can be drawn upon as a point of reference for both the web development team and the client to determine the status of any given project and the area of activity to address next.

The Web Development Lifecycle is made up of eight identifiable stages described as follows:

1. Initial Consultation

The Initial Consultation seeks to understand the high level business requirements, the scale of the web development, required delivery schedule, and the overall feasibility, web design and cost of the project.

2. Project Specification

The business requirements of the proposed website are iteratively established between the Client and the web design team, and documented in the form of a High Level Requirements Specification. Focus here is on the relevant business rules and outputs. Implementation of the system, how the requirements are actually delivered, is reserved for later. Once agreed, this document will form the basis of the subsequent stages of the Web Development Lifecycle.

3. Web Site Architecture

Here the software and hardware requirements for delivery of the web application are established, such as the most appropriate web and application development language, operating system, database management system (DBMS), and hardware / hosting environment that are most appropriate to support the final website in a robust and reliable manner; taking account of the likely growth of data volumes, visitor numbers web traffic, and functionality.

4. Web Site Design Cycle

Deliverables out of this phase have a particular focus on the web design of the system, include mock-ups or prototypes of the screens that make up the system, combined with system walkthroughs which will enable both the Client and the software developers, designers and project management team to clearly understand how the website will work from the user and administrators perspective. The design of the CRM would also be full considered here also. This web application functionality is considered in the context of the defined outputs and business rules, and may result in the High Level Requirement Specification being updated or changed. Following this, a key deliverable here is a Low Level Website Design Specification / Document precisely defining the required implementation of the web design and forming a blue print of the project for the software developers.

5. Content Collation

Any required textual and graphical content for the web application is developed or acquired by the Client (or the software development company, depending on the relevant situation). Admin functionality which enables the Client to amend the full content of the site from system launch, and on an ongoing basis, is assumed to have been included and defined within the High Level Requirements Specification, as mentioned.

6. Web Site Project development

At this stage a detailed project plan will have been established for the implementation of the web design, resources identified, time scales defined, and project dependencies clearly understood – especially with respect to which parts of the web development can be done in serial or parallel. This stage actually overlaps with the next stage of the Web Development Lifecycle since all web developed modules are unit tested to destruction by the corresponding web development team members. Further, it is very important that all code produced by the software developers is quality checked to ensure adherence to project development standards.

7. Testing & Quality Assurance

Many forms of testing are carried out during this phase, from system and volume testing – in order to ensure that all components work together within the web application and can easily cope with both the initial and anticipated future demands on the system – all the way to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and sign-off. There are many forms of testing required during this phase that are beyond the scope of this introduction, such as cross-browser and security testing – all contributing towards the delivery of a high-quality website and service to the client.

8. Web Site Deployment (Launch)

Once the website implementation is tested and released by both the client and software development company as being fully operational, the website is deployed to the production environment and open to the relevant user base. Following this there is generally a pre-agreed period of warranty and an ongoing support agreement can be established at the discretion of the client.

The process can vary but, generally speaking, the dependencies and features of a successful process of delivering webs applications to the client does not. I hope this has been a useful introduction to the process of delivering quality web applications to any business.