An important aspect of web design today is making sure it is compatible with all the major web browsers. There are literally hundreds of web browsers in use around the world. All of them implement the W3C document standards a little differently.

What is Cross Browser Compatibility?
If a web page is completely cross-browser compatible, it will look more or less the same in all of the existing web browsers. The most popular browsers right now are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera. Right now Internet Explorer holds the largest market share, however its lead is being steadily eroded by the rising popularity of Firefox and Safari, making the Cross Browser Compatibility increasingly important. Each one of these browser implements HTML, JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) slightly differently. Some only create cosmetic differences others can cause the web page to break down. The situation is made worse by each browser being free to implement their own unique features to the W3C document standards that will most likely not work in other browsers.

Then to compound matters even more the underlying operating systems also creates difference in how the computer displays graphical elements and text differently. When you add the fact that people are also using multiple versions of each of the browsers, no wonder web designers get headaches.

So what is a web designer to do?
Creating a website that is completely compatible with all potential browsers is, obviously, impossible. However it is possible to design your website so
it will work in the most commonly used browsers. To achieve this, a designer must write code that conforms to the W3C standards to get consistent results
across all browsers. The whole idea behind the standards is that if each browser adheres to the same set of rules, you will get more or less consistent results
in all of the existing browsers. Conforming can be a real challenge. It will limit some of the neater effects available in specific browsers. There are online
code validators available. The validator checks your code based on the DOCTYPE you specify on the webpage. The DOCTYPE tells the browser which version of HTML or CSS the web page is using. At the end of the day, even code that is validated may not work correctly in all the major browsers. The best way a web designer
can create cross browser compatibility is through extensive testing across all major web browsers and operating systems. Overall there has been an attitude
shift towards more compatibility in general and having compatibility across all browsers is now expected in basic web design.

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