Web browser rendering

You might think that a web page is a web page - how it looks in Chrome on Mac is how it will look in Microsoft Edge in Windows - and that’s not unreasonable. After all, if the website’s code doesn’t change, shouldn’t it look the same regardless of web browser? It would be nice, but Google, Microsoft, Apple, and other companies who make web browsers have differing priorities, and users have plenty of browser options. While we test Chrome (Mac and PC), Safari (Mac), and Edge (Windows) for broad compatibility, you need to test your event site and registration form in the most common browsers.

What are the common browsers and platforms?
Chrome and Safari are the most common browser, across Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. You can check out StatCounter to get information about specific countries, desktop vs. smartphone, operating systems, and more, but here are some statistics:

  • Worldwide, all computers, tablets, and smartphones; percentage of web pages viewed using:
    • Chrome: 61%
    • Safari: 15%
    • Firefox: 5%
    • Internet Explorer: 3%
    • Microsoft Edge: 2%
  • United States, all computers, tablets, and smartphones; percentage of web pages viewed using:
    • Chrome: 50%
    • Safari: 31%
    • Internet Explorer: 5%
    • Firefox: 5%
    • Microsoft Edge: 4%

Aim for the biggest target when testing
Check out your event site using Chrome on Mac or PC, Safari on iOS, and Chrome on iOS or Android. Those three web browsers will cover the vast majority of your guests. If you know your guests are heavily dependent on another web browser, test that, too.

The site may not look the same to every person
While the underlying code doesn’t change from website to website, each browser will interpret and display a website slightly differently. In addition, browser settings for cookies and JavaScript, browser extensions, other software installed on the computer, and even the wireless network may cause a part of the site to not look right or work as expected.

What about Internet Explorer?
Ah, the web browser that will not confirm to modern standards, but that also refuses to go quietly into that good night! The truth is, web browser code and standards have moved forward while Internet Explorer has stayed perfectly still, and that means some parts of a web page may not look or work correctly using Internet Explorer.

What do I do if a guest has a problem?
If a guest experiences an issue in their web browser of choice, let them know to use a “supported browser” - ie, a web browser you tested and know works perfectly. If their web browser is experiencing issues, ask them to try on a different device. (At Event Farm, we ask our clients to use their smartphone on 4G/LTE).

The most important thing is to have tested the event site prior to your event being live, so if guests have issues, you can speak with confidence about what browsers were tested and will work.

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