Browser Compatibility 101 – Why Sites Don’t Work On Old Browsers

You’re reviewing your brand new website, and it looks a little off. There could be a lot of reasons for this, but one of them could be browser compatibility. In short, if you’re using an outdated internet browser, then your version of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc., may not be equipped to display your site. 

What’s more, for browsers like Chrome and Firefox that update every six weeks, “outdated” can be as recent as two months ago.

Read on to learn more about browser compatibility and why keeping yours updated is so important.

Your Browser Compatibility Crash Course

What is browser compatibility? 

Browser compatibility, in a nutshell, refers to the process of making sure your site looks good on a bunch of different browsers. You should be able to expect your site to display well on the most recent version(s) of the most popular browsers. 

This includes big names like: 

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
  • Opera

Just how popular are these guys? Chrome has a giant lead at 63.72% of the global browser market share.

Will my site work on a really old browser?

At Tytanium, we follow the browser compatibility best practices laid out by WordPress. (WordPress is the world’s top content management system at 61.5% of market share, so they know their stuff.) 

This means you can expect your site to work on the following browsers:

  • Android: Most recent version only
  • Chrome for Android: Most recent version only
  • Chrome: The TWO most recent versions
  • Firefox: The TWO most recent versions
  • Safari: The TWO most recent versions
  • Edge: The TWO most recent versions
  • Opera: The TWO most recent versions
  • Versions of other browsers with more than 1% usage based on the Can I Use browser usage table

Because there are so many different browsers to build for, and they update constantly (every six weeks, in the case of Chrome and Firefox), it’s not always possible to make sure a site works for older versions of a browser.

Click here to see if your browser is up to date!

How do I know which browsers are most popular with my audience?

We talk a lot about the net’s most popular browsers above, but the most important thing to consider with any browser is the perspective of its users. So, how do you know which browser your audience prefers? 

Check your Google Analytics data. Here’s where to look: 

Click on “audience”, then “technology”, and finally “browser & OS”. Make sure to set a long window of time to view the data to ensure you’re getting a nice, large sample size. If you want, you can add a secondary dimension for “device” to see if your users are using the desktop or mobile version of that browser. 

For example, you can see here that the Tytanium site is most popular with Chrome users, followed by Mozilla and Safari.

The biggest takeaway here is to make sure your browser is up to date. It’ll make your online experience much, much smoother. Have questions about browser compatibility, or whether or not your site is performing like it should? Let’s chat websites.