The Web Browser - Your Surf Board

Lisa Delnay's picture

One of the goals of this blog is to inform you, our esteemed reader of the things I wish all my clients knew. So today we are going to tackle what many of you may think to be quite a basic topic, but you would be surprised how many of my customers are confused by it. (conversely, if you learn something new today, you are not alone!)

When you take your computer home and fire it up, it comes with a few programs installed on it. One of these programs is your internet browser. If you have a computer that runs windows you’ll most likely get Internet Explorer and If you have a mac you’ve got Safari.

What a web browser does is interpret the code of the internet and display it to you in a visual and interactive way. See you may not know it, but an average web page is really just a bunch of lines of code. Your web browser interprets this code for you and displays it. For the most part, the way the code is displayed is standardized, so most browsers will display this the same way. But there are plenty of exceptions (which causes quite a few headaches for us web designers let me tell you!) You may have even run across websites that will only function using certain browsers

Even though websites usually display roughly the same on most web browsers, all browsers are not created equal. For example web designers like me tend to curse the name of Internet Explorer for being difficult to create code for. But, you don’t have to be stuck with the browser that came with your computer. Here are a list of the most well know web browser: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp


Internet Explorer - Developed by Microsoft, and usually comes standard with Windows. (No longer available for Macintosh computers)


Firefox - Developed by Mozilla


Chrome - Developed by Google


Safari - Developed by Apple and comes standard on Macintosh computers


Opera - Developed by Opera Software, and is included with many Adobe Products

What one you use depends quite a bit on preference and all of them can be downloaded for free so you can try them out whenever you want. I happen to have all 5 of these installed and I find Firefox and Chrome to be my favorite. Whichever one you choose, Its a good idea to make sure every once-in-a-while that your browser is the latest version. As the internet grows and changes, you’ll need to keep your browser up to date to keep up with the changes.

If you don’t know what browser you are using, or if it is up to date, visit this site http://whatbrowser.org/ . Its a nice little resource. Hopefully learned something you didn’t know about this simple tool that most of us use everyday!

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