Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Cross Browser Compatibility is More Important Than Ever

Firefox and Internet Explorer -- Cross-Browser CompatibilityOne of our brand new clients has a web site that just doesn’t look right when viewed in Firefox. It looks great in Internet Explorer (IE), which is the only browser it was checked in. But it doesn’t look right in Firefox and probably not in Opera or Safari, either.  So as part of our client’s SEO, we’ll have to make sure his web site appears properly in all the major search engines. Sadly, this is a problem we run into far more often than we should, so if you have a web site, you should check it out in other browsers to make sure it still looks right.

Cross browser compatibility is increasingly important because more and more people (especially the more savvy ones) are switching to Firefox. You probably should, too, if you haven’t done so already. Here’s why:

Quite a few years ago, Microsoft and Netscape engaged in The Browser Wars, and Microsoft, by including IE for free in every copy of Windows since Windows 98, won the battle handily. Sometime early in the current  decade, Microsoft stopped improving IE. so complacent were they in their indomitable market share among browsers.

But a few years ago the Department of Homeland Security (yes, it’s true) encouraged users to use browsers other than IE because IE is such a security nightmare. There are some web sites that can infect your PC as soon as you visit one of them with IE. Some make your PC into a “zombie”, sending spam and other viruses out to people without your knowledge.

There are a number of reasons to switch to Firefox, but the most important is security. On July 7, PC World published a blog entry entitled Study Finds Firefox Users Safest, IE Users Unsafe it’s not very long, and is worth the read.

Firefox seems to load web pages faster than IE, and includes some neat features like a popup blocker, a password manager, and alerts when you visit phishing sites (ones that try to steal your identity). One of the most obvious difference is all the add-ons you can get for Firefox. As an example, there are several we use here at Rank Magic for SEO analysis purposes..

Finally, Firefox is free.

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