Could you save time with a newer/different browser?

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If you spend any amount of time looking at websites, you use a browser.  For the non-tech-savvy – your browser is the piece of software on your computer that you use to look at websites.  Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera are what are termed the ‘big five’, but there are others too.

Why are you bothered?

As a website designer, I commonly come across people that are using out of date browsers (generally an older version of Internet Explorer).  What’s wrong with that?  Well several things.  Older browsers are:

  • Less secure
  • Take longer to load up initially
  • Take longer to load each web page
  • Don’t support some of the newer, nicer ways of styling websites – rounded corners with CSS for example.

The main issue for me is speed – I don’t want to be hanging around waiting for a page to load any longer than I have to!

Not sure what browser you’ve got at the moment?

Take a look at http://whatbrowser.org/  and it’ll tell you.  It’ll also tell you whether it’s the latest version, and give you the link to update if it’s not.  Also links to download alternative browsers to the one you’re using.  The tool is provided by Google (who are also responsible for Chrome), but to give them credit, it’s very useful and not noticeably biased towards Chrome.

So what do I recommend?

As a developer, I develop in Firefox, but also use Chrome for more day-to-day stuff.  Chrome is best known for it’s speed, so if you’re spending a lot of time browsing and currently using Internet Explorer 7 or 8, I suggest you give it a go – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how ‘light’ it feels.

That said, for all the horrid (& usually true!) things spoken about the older versions of Internet Explorer, the newest versions (9 and 10) are far superior and also well worth a try.  Note that IE10 will only run on Windows 7 and 8.

If you want more detail, there’s a nice comparison on PC Mag here.

5 thoughts on “Could you save time with a newer/different browser?

  1. Hi Sarah,

    I totally agree with your comments about I.E. 7 and 8.. Even in terms of web site development and in my limited development abilities.. I found them awful to test with compared to the other browsers. As you said though I.E 9 and 10 are an awful lot better and more in line with other browsers.

    By the way Great news letter!

    Regards
    Kevin

    1. Thanks Phil and Kevin!

      Kevin – yes, testing and ‘retro-fitting’ is a nightmare on older versions of IE (just be glad that IE6 usage has finally dropped low enough (in my opinion) to disregard… it was ten times worse than IE7!!)

  2. Good Article.

    I do find it irritating that Operating Systems like Windows and Apple OS stop you from using future browsers unless you buy their newer Operating System.

    Some people are still on Windows XP and have to use IE8. Chromes percentage is increasing daily with the browser switch over happening at the moment.

    Chrome supports most HTML5 and CSS3 so switching makes sense.

    1. Tend to agree with you Richard – all the more reason to switch to Chrome perhaps! It (Chrome) is certainly still making headway – now holding over 40% of the market according to this post on Sitepoint.

      On the flip side, it could perhaps do with a little more competition… if it keeps growing at this rate, it’ll be dominating the market like IE was a few years ago.

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