Q&A: Does it matter which web browser I use?

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Blog | No Comments
Q&A: Does it matter which web browser I use?

We should start by talking about what a web browser actually is. Don’t feel sheepish if you aren’t sure. Many people might know that they use Safari or Firefox because it happens to be what was installed on their computer, but what that icon connecting you to your favourite site represents is really quite important.

A web browser is a software application that gathers information on the internet and presents it to you in a more understandable way. In other words, it takes a different language (code) and translates it into images, text, and links that you see as a web page. If you didn’t have a web browser, you would be left looking at a bunch of scary code.

In fact, if you want to get a glimpse into what that would be, go to a website and click “View” on the top of your screen and then “View Source”. I know; it seems like gibberish!

Web designers and developers create the visual look of a website, but then also have to write code for web browsers to view and translate into the desired design.

Back to the original question: does it matter which browser you use? Not necessarily. Web designers spend countless hours testing sites on different browsers because they can’t know which one each site visitor is going to use to view their website with. Technically speaking, the site should work on all of them.

That being said, different browsers have different features and the one you use and feel comfortable with might be different from the one I choose. Try a few out and see which is easiest for you to use and which is the least distracting. A browser should make your life easier, not messier. The major browsers are: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

Web browsers have become synonymous with the internet, but they are really a lens to see the internet through. Choose your favourite lens!


If you’re curious about browsers, you might be interested in this new project that Google Chrome has launched. They call it the Chrome Experiments and the purpose is for web designers to try out different features of their browser. The coolest one I’ve seen yet is “Find Your Way to Oz”. The site corresponds with the new movie Oz The Great and Powerful and is an interactive experience of travelling from Kansas to Oz.

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