Early this morning as I was putting the finishing touches on today’s newsletter, I received a good news / bad news email message:
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 6:30 AM To: Joe@R… Subject: Good news & Bad News
Hi Joe – I guess the good news is that Internet Day published your article. The bad news is what Netscape 4.7 does to your very carefully laid out front page……..
At least I imagine it isn’t supposed to look like that ?? Cheers…. (He enclosed a snapshot picture of how my site looked in his browser – you can see it here: http://requiredreading.com/go/jump.to?ugly )
No, my friend – that isn’t what it’s supposed to look like.
I kept the design somewhat simple in the hopes of avoiding this kind of situation. Nothing flashy. No crazy java script actions, DHTML, or browser-crashing applets.
Before launching, I viewed the site with a few different browsers. It looked good in the latest ones (including Netscape 6.0), so I launched. Silly me.
So, how many people see the “ugly version” of my homepage? According to the stats in my WebTrendsLive traffic tracker program (which is a pretty good tool, I might add), it looks like nearly 9% of my traffic who uses a Netscape 4.x browser might be seeing this unsightly display.
This means I could be chasing away approximately 1 in 10 visitors, before they even start reading my page! Well, isn’t that just super?
I went looking for a solution. I found that a good place to start is AnyBrowser.com. They offer a nice selection of free tools and resources to help you get a good idea of what other people see when they view your site.
It’s definitely worth visiting; however, it’s not a substitute for actually viewing your site through other browsers. If you can’t do this yourself, ask for feedback. You might be surprised by what other people will tell you – I sure was (and I’m very fortunate he took the time to do it).
Even though Netscape will soon be taking a new approach (basically, they’re leaving the browser business), these type of problems won’t disappear any time soon. Don’t assume it, view it. (Or you, too, can pull up a chair and join me for a slice of yummy humble pie.)
Wishing you much success… Joe Chapuis
Working from home, Joe Chapuis is a self-employed internet
business consultant and online publisher who swears he’ll
never work for someone else again. His free report:
The 10 Commandments of Online Success and
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