When buying a new computer, people consider lots of variables like screen size, memory, processor speed, price and more. However, when it comes to choosing a web browser, most people have little idea what they are using or why. Your web browser is an important piece of computer software that allows you to visit web sites, and it is probably the most-used software on your computer.
Most noobies use whatever web browser came with their computer. For most PC owners running Windows, it’s Internet Explorer (or the little blue ‘e’), and for Mac owners it’s Safari. A previous noobie.com article took you inside Firefox and how it can enhance your web browsing with add-ons. But, there are other options out there as well, such as Opera and Google Chrome, and they all are free to download and use.
Understanding Your Web Browser
Web browsers communicate with web servers, turning pages and pages of programming code into a graphical representation that you can surf and enjoy. Because web browsers are free-standing software programs, you can download as many browsers as you want to your computer. When browsing, run them side by side to help you decide which one you like best or switch back and forth according to your needs. You may find that different browsers have different features you like for different tasks. And, some pages may look better on one browser over another.
Decoding Design Disasters
The variety of available web browsers and their frequent version updates poses a challenge for web designers. When creating a site, they must make sure each browser on each type of operating system (Mac OS X, Windows, etc) is reading and interpreting the code correctly, giving you the visual representation they intended. More complicated designs and less thoroughly tested sites have a greater risk of miscommunication. So, if you come across a site where text and images are overlapping or menus aren’t expanding the way they should, try opening the page in another browser for a better experience.