Cross Browser Compatibility

Written by Michael Bloch


Continued from page 1

A visit torepparttar W3C site is mind boggling. Many standards that were introduced by this organisation years ago are only just beginning to become accepted. Added to this their tendency to introduce new standards on a regular basis, andrepparttar 134618 complexity of those standards, I feel that they aren't doing themselves too many favours onrepparttar 134619 quick uptake of new technologies.

Onrepparttar 134620 other end ofrepparttar 134621 scale, much ofrepparttar 134622 software used for producing web sites is notorious for creating non-compliant and garbage code. I use FrontPage, but to combat some ofrepparttar 134623 garbage that it creates, I also utilise Notepad. Cleaner coding also makes your pages more search engine friendly. FrontPage is great for rapid application development, but it contains many features that aren't cross-browser compatible. I have also trialled other major packages, but foundrepparttar 134624 same issues. Once again,repparttar 134625 W3C has given many guidelines for software developers to adopt, butrepparttar 134626 industry is very slow onrepparttar 134627 uptake. Perhapsrepparttar 134628 whole process of developing standards needs to be re-examined. While there are many sites that will offer you advice on cross browser compatibility; I still findrepparttar 134629 best way to deal withrepparttar 134630 issue is to run a variety of browsers on a system and test pages as they are being developed under various resolutions. Then experiment; withrepparttar 134631 experimentation will come a great deal of learning....

When first attempting to deal with cross-browser issues on my site, I followed some advice of industry leaders and foundrepparttar 134632 advice to be flawed, and I am still working outrepparttar 134633 bugs in my major site. A word of warning - if you are running a later version of IE on your system, I would advise against attempting to install an earlier version; it can really mess with your system. The best option in this situation is to view your site from another system, or ask an associate with an earlier version to review your site and to send screen captures if a problem appears. Aim to make your site compatible with all IE and Netscape browsers from version 4 onwards.

Ask yourself before implementing that whizz-bang menu system or element that requires a plug-in - "is it really necessary?". Most people surfrepparttar 134634 net for information, not entertainment at this stage - they have a T.V for that. "Eye Candy" may impress visitorsrepparttar 134635 first time around, but after that if it slows downrepparttar 134636 performance of your site, it will serve only to annoy them. The exception to this rule of course is if you are developing an entertainment-centric site.

If you receive emails from angry visitors stating that your site looks like manure; perhaps instead of disregardingrepparttar 134637 comments or firing back a retaliatory note, you should investigate by asking for details. It may prove to be a beneficial exercise. The site may be looking fine to you on your system, but perhaps it's notrepparttar 134638 case withrepparttar 134639 browsers that some visitors are using.

The truth is, tailoring a site for cross browser compatibility is a pain. "Compliancy" by W3C standards by no means indicates compatibility with all browsers. Butrepparttar 134640 benefits of taking that bit of extra time can pay off inrepparttar 134641 long run by allowing you to get your message across, or to secure sales from a wider customer base.

Michael Bloch michael@tamingthebeast.net http://www.tamingthebeast.net Tutorials, web content and tools, software and community. Web Marketing, eCommerce & Development solutions. _____________________________________________

Copyright information....If you wish to reproduce this article, please acknowledge "Tamingrepparttar 134642 Beast" by including a hyperlink or reference torepparttar 134643 website (www.tamingthebeast.net) & send me an email letting me know. The article must be reproduced in it's entirety & this copyright statement must be included. Thanks. Visit www.tamingthebeast.net to view other great articles FREE for reproduction!

Michael is an Australian Information Technologies trainer and web developer. Many other free web design, ecommerce development and Internet articles, tutorials, tools and resources are available from his award winning site; Taming the Beast.net (http://www.tamingthebeast.net)


Independent Consultants Take Over Web Design

Written by Chris Kalaboukis


Continued from page 1

Ad-hoc interface standards have now emerged: it is no longer necessary to come up with new interfaces and task flows every time: standard web paradigms have emerged which can be and should be reused in new designs. For example: a product company website should have these standard navigation items: products, support, customers, about us, contact us.

As budgets tighten, clients no longer see a vast difference between larger web design shops such as Scient and Razorfish, 2-5 person firms, or even independent consultants, working from their homes with very low overhead and able to provide similar services at lower cost.

As big web shops have dissolved into breakaway smaller shops withrepparttar same personnel, these breakaway shops have been able to take and complete businessrepparttar 134617 original shop could not complete profitably. In some cases, independent consultants can dorepparttar 134618 same work at a much lower cost by pulling together an ad-hoc team of developers to work on a project by project basis.

What we are seeing isrepparttar 134619 commoditization ofrepparttar 134620 web design experience.

The larger web design firms are seeing lot of competition from small 2-5 person shops, or independent contractors, working from their homes, with low overhead and/or off-shore resources, being able to compete on price, and stealing contracts from larger web design shops on that basis.

Large companies, facing budget cuts, are no longer interested in dealing only with name brand firms: A Fortune 500 such as Cisco is just as happy to deal with Brand X Design as they are with Razorfish, because when you putrepparttar 134621 end-result designs side-by-side, they canít seerepparttar 134622 difference to justifyrepparttar 134623 cost. While there usually is small dissimilarity in quality and usability, torepparttar 134624 layperson, this difference does not present itself as enough of a value-add forrepparttar 134625 added cost.

Small firms or independent web consultants are taking overrepparttar 134626 spacerepparttar 134627 big boys used to play in and are doing it profitably. The moral of this story is: donít be afraid of going forrepparttar 134628 bigger clients: in this marketplace, evenrepparttar 134629 bigger companies are looking to small firms and other free agents: as long as you produce a professional design and haverepparttar 134630 right skills: you can compete withrepparttar 134631 big boys, and in this economy, win on price and still do great work, both for your clients and for your portfolio.

Chris Kalaboukis is currently CTO of SwapSmarts.com - http://swapsmarts.com. Chris has 17+ years of experience in internet, information technology and business development. Prior to SwapSmarts, he has worked with FedEx, Morgan Stanley & Sun Microsystems on web design, Bell Mobility and Phone.com on wireless initiatives, Excite@Home & Shaw Communications on high-speed internet cable modem deployment and for Cineplex Odeon on advertising data systems.


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