About Browsers - Web Center

Different Browsers, Different Abilities

Web pages will look different depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The web browser being used.
  • The version of the browser being used.
  • The operating system on which the browser is being used.
  • Whether or not the coding meets common web standards.
  • The DOCTYPE used for the page.
  • Whether the browser is text-based (such as Lynx) or has a graphical user interface (such as Firefox, SeaMonkey, Internet Explorer, Camino, Safari, and Opera)

According to our Web Style Guide, Ohlone College web pages must be presentable in Windows and Macintosh Internet Explorer 4.x and greater, Netscape Navigator 4.7x and greater, and AOL Browser (base code is IE) 4.x and greater, and Opera 5.x and greater. Web pages do not and indeed cannot be identical in each of these browsers. Always use standards-based code, even if it doesn't display properly in older browsers.

Use the charts to help you determine whether a tag or feature you want to use will work in a particular browser.

Text Browsers

While we are not coding specifically to a Lynx browser user, Lynx is an excellent browser to use to test your web pages for flow and readability. It displays pages similar to how a screen reader program reads pages. In addition, images without "alt" attributes will display as "[graphic]" which lets you know you forgot to use an "alt" attribute on the <img> tag. You can use the online Lynx viewer (the easiest option) or download Lynx to install on your computer (you'll need to learn to use Lynx).

Standards-Compliant GUI Browsers

Graphical user interface (GUI) browsers are used by a majority of the population. The following browsers understand most of today's web standards. The more recent the browser, the more standards-compliant it is.

  • Firefox - Multiple versions can be installed on a single computer if they are installed in separate directories. Free.
  • SeaMonkey - Multiple versions can be installed on a single computer if they are installed in separate directories. Free.
  • Safari - a web browser by Apple for the Mac
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - still buggy after all these years, but the later versions have better support for web standards. Only one Internet Explorer browser can be installed on a single computer. Free.
  • Opera - Multiple Opera browsers can be installed on a single computer if they are installed in separate directories. Free and pay versions available.

Browser Archives

Need an older browser for testing? You may find it here.