New Year, New Browser

Here’s an easy New Year’s resolution – change your web browser. All new PC computers with Windows come pre-loaded with Internet Explorer, and as a result, over 50% of US desktop users browse the internet through it. But Internet Explorer is really a miserable experience all around. Its slow, bloated, and drives web designers and developers crazy.

You might consider two main alternatives to Explorer: Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Both are free, load webpages more quickly and do a better job of rendering web graphics. Their interfaces are intuitive and they offer a slew of options and customizations (called “extensions”) which enhance the user experience and increase productivity. Both browsers can trace their lineage to the defunct Netscape Navigator, with Firefox being a highly adaptable internet-browsing workhorse and Chrome putting more emphasis on pleasing aesthetics and minimalism.

If you are familiar with Apple products, you might also consider Apple’s Safari for PC. It has some neat features, and if you are a Mac user at home and stuck with a PC at the office, it at least provides you a familiar interface.

It is important to keep in mind when building a new website that your visitors are using a variety of web browsers and may be seeing things differently that you’d hoped. You want to make sure the website is designed so that your message seamlessly flows through all the different browsers, the last thing you want is to spend money on a website only to have 30% of the visitors be able to see if full glory. Another reason to consult a professional web designer before venturing into a new website.