I am sure that as a web designer you have finished up a page and checked browser compatibilities and been shown that some browser doesn’t recognise the type face. What did I do wrong this time? Does it tell you? No it doesn’t. It just won’t work on such and such browsers. I have had this problem several times with one website I visited. No way will it work with Mozilla Firefox.
It just tells me that the program used to build it wasn’t compatible with Mozilla Firefox, and I am forced to open up Internet Explorer if I want to view it. One would think they would get together and create an internet protocol standard that can be a cross browser tool. Not as yet, at any rate. Maybe someone will listen? Is there anyone listening out there?
It’s important to make your website accessible on all major platforms. It’s impossible to make it available on all types, or you would spend the next five years doing it. And still not satisfy everyone. With the continual updates in technology, you will have new items appearing ever month or less. If you want to check which browsers you need to be compatible with, you can check out the site as they do an online survey and try to keep the statistics up to date.
What the Visitors Like
It might sound silly but consider where your audience is viewing from. Not every country has DSL and unlimited internet time. Sections of the world that do surf the net, cannot deal with the huge downloads of video to open a web page. Is that internet friendly? People in some countries, pay for the service by the gigabyte. As such you have lost them before they even see the opening words. Such things as slow downloads and huge gigabyte eaters, will lose these customers forever. The incompatibilities there are the types of internet connections and the costs around the world. Give the option that when first opening the website that the customer can choose what they wish to see. Don’t automatically force a download on them.
Another thing to consider is the people using the website. It’s illegal in Britain to deprive someone from using your website because they cannot see or hear. The websites have to be able to perform for anybody. Make sure that the website you are making can be seen and or heard by disabled people.
With the use of Google Analytics, you can determine where your customers are coming from, and how long they are staying. While statistics can be useful they are not be all and end all of the scene. You are catering for a diverse and unknown quantity of people. Each in their own way is unique and statistics can’t detect it all. Do what you can to achieve good end user compatibility on your website and create the best web design you are able to and the rest will follow.