One of the issues that every blogger face – especially after a theme change or browser upgrade – is that his blog starts misbehaving with different browser applications and screen resolutions. The issues can range from minor painting issues to major alignment problems. Majority of the issues can be solved by making the theme code XHTML compliant and by avoiding making changes to the blog platform’s core codebase. Added third party (advertisements, tracking code, badges etc) scripts are other culprits that make a blog look ugly sometimes.
In this post, I would like to provide some tips and tools that will make your blog look great in every possible browser and device – provided the browser application itself is majorly bug free.
How to test your blog on different desktop browsers?
The browser war is getting hotter with recently Google entering the browser space as well. It is virtually impossible for anyone to test your blog or web application on all browsers. However, as a minimum quality standard one should run their blogs on at least the following leading browser applications:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox
- Google Chrome
- Apple Safari
However, the theme and plugin developers may need to do a lot more on various operating systems and platforms. Sometimes, it is very difficult to get your blog tested all major versions of these browsers and that is where the BrowserShots.org comes to your rescue. Using this cool website, you can test verify the screenshots of your relevant pages on all leading web browsers and their major releases (from past as well) on multiple platforms.
How to mobile enable your WordPress blog?
The WordPress platform is not naturally designed for mobile devices and their browser applications. However, the number of mobile users browsing the web is growing at an alarming pace. While browsing around, I found this cool plugin by Alex King that, when configured, can really help mobilize your WordPress blog by adjusting it for lower form factor and supported browser capabilities. You may want to check it out.
Testing on mobile browsers or emulators
The following are some of the leading mobile browser applications (some in beta still) that you can download and install on your mobile device to read your blogs.
- Opera Mobile – More powerful, CSS2 and XHTML compliant than Opera Mini
- Minimo – Mini Mozilla browser
Microsoft had released a mobile browser named Deepfish sometime last year, but I could not get the right download link. There are a number of other mobile browser applications that are still under development. You could read about some of them in this wikipedia page.
As a general guideline, if you want your website or blog to be accessed by mobile devices, you need to also make it as light as possible. This would mean lighter HTML-script file sizes and smaller, lighter images. Also, avoiding Flash content and sticking on to basic video/audio formats would definitely help.
I hope this post was very useful to you. Please bookmark and share to make it available for a wider audience.