There is a new website called www.wefixbadhaircuts.com that’s doing free website evaluations. Just simply register and enter your websites URL and they will complete a thorough website evaluation based on the C.A.U.S.E web design methodology. Which is flattering.
If you’re not familiar with C.A.U.S.E it’s based on;
- Cross-browser compliance
- Search Engine performance
So what is C.A.U.S.E.? It’s a website design methodology that will give your website that greatest chance to work well with visitors and have great search engine visibility. I put together the idea of C.A.U.S.E. to better help me explain to people that came to my web workshops how we build effective websites and to clearly show that not all websites are equal. After we discuss all the points in C.A.U.S.E. we’ll discuss development methods for the best success. So let’s get started.
Give Me A C!
The C stands for cross-browser compatibility. I have some people that attend our workshops and they have no idea what a browser is, I then have to say “it’s the e on your computer that you click to get online”, that usually does the trick. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this you have a certain level of knowledge and understand the browser thing. One thing that everyone can agree on is that an effective website should be viewable to the largest audience possible. The problem is we never know what that audience is using to view our website. I’ve done some recent research on browser use. Below you’ll see the numbers I’ve compiled from various sources. One column shows the browsers, the next shows average John Q. Public users, the last columm shows tech users. Why seperate the general public and tech users? The general public usually uses what comes loaded on their computer and generally won’t download other browsers, of course they’ll download all kinds of spyware and Trojans at the drop of a hat but that’s for another time. Tech people are more aware that there are other choices out there and will usually use what they feel is best regardless of platform. An example would be someone like me who uses the Linux Ubuntu OS and Firefox browser.
Browser Avg. users Tech users
IE7 33.83% 27%
IE6 36.05% 26.5%
FireFox 18.56% 41%
Safari 3.22% 2.6%
Opera 2% 1.7%
One interesting point is the large adoption of Firefox by tech users. If your website is aimed at this type of user, you better be sure you check the form and function of your website on Firefox.
One increasingly important fact is that the web is becoming more and more mobile. This fact makes it even more important that you check your websites on mobile devices and mobile device browsers. This will definitly put you ahead of the competition.
Another important fact is that Google’s search engine spiders are in the most basic terms a text only browser. This means it is also important that you check your sites on a text only browser as well.
All of this may seem like a ton of work but the payoff is well worth it. No web designer wants to receive a call from a client with a complaint that there site doesn’t look right on their new computer or iPhone.
Next time, info on the A in C.A.U.S.E.