The web browser is the computer program that we use to look at web sites or ‘browse the web’.
There are a number of different web browser programs and the one you use will most likely depend on the type of computer you use but some are available for most types of computer. There are many web browsers but here are the common web browsers:
- Mozilla Firefox – Windows, Mac and Linux
- Internet Explorer – Windows only. (There used to be a version for Mac that is no longer supported)
- Google Chrome – Windows, Mac and Linux
- Opera – Windows, Mac and Linux
- Safari – Windows, Mac and Linux
All web browsers should comply with web standards. This means that they should all display web pages in the same way but due to the ever changing nature of the Internet this isn’t always the case. You may often find little differences between browsers in the way pages are displayed. Often this is most noticeable with the type and size of font used.
Versions 6 and earlier of Internet Explorer were infamous for their non standard ways of displaying pages. This used to make it very difficult for web designers to keep pages looking right in all browsers. With Internet Explorer 7 Microsoft began to focus more on standards compliance and, especially since Internet Explorer 8, this problem has been greatly reduced.
Some clients insist on sites looking identical in all browsers but this leads to a lot of problems, increased cost and is, effectively, impossible to achieve.