One of the odd byproducts of the spread of high-speed Internet and mobile accessibility over the past decade has been an increasing number of choices. It used to be you had to be at home or the office to go online; now you can connect from just about anywhere. And in the same way, Web browsers seem to be coming out — both in new versions, and in unique software platforms — by the minute.
Beyond choosing which one to do your own surfing on, you might not think this is a very big deal. But trust us when we say that it is. To see why, all you have to do is look at the numbers:
• Approximately 52 percent of computer users connect to the Internet via Internet Explorer;
• Just over a quarter, 26 percent, use Firefox;
• Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari make up about 12 percent and five percent, respectively;
• Mobile browsers currently make up only four percent of browser traffic, but experts think that number could grow as much as 15 times in the next three years.
And keep in mind that these statistics only deal with platforms — within each one, there are several different versions floating around that people can choose to browse in. So, which of these does your Website look best in? Which ones take some of the sparkle off the design and functionality you worked so hard to build?
The answers to these questions can probably be traced back to how you viewed the Web design process, and whether you invested in some quality programming. A modern business website should hold up and look virtually identical through any of the major browsers, and only need minor tweaks as changes come along. A cut-rate site, on the other hand, can end up looking completely different — or not loading at all — if you aren’t using one of its “preferred” browsers.
Flexibility and customer choice are trends that aren’t going anywhere for a long, long time. Keep that in mind as you choose Web design partners. You can’t control how people come to your site, but you can ensure that they get a great impression of you and your company.