Cross browser refers to the ability of a website, web application, HTML construct or client-side script to function in environments that provide its required features and to bow out when features are absent or lacking. Compatibility” (in this context) is not a term which means “looks and behaves identically” — instead, it may be better described as “performs equivalently under alternative conditions.”
With website design, it should be possible to make two browsers render the design exactly the same. There’s nothing at all that you can do to guarantee the same view for everybody; instead, you need to guarantee an equivalent view for everybody. Equivalent in that they will be able to get the same information and use the functions of the site to perform the same actions
Cross Browser compatibility means that the browser is compatible with all major browsers. The absolute key to cross browser compatibility is its functionality. Lack of cross-browser compatibility doesn’t meant that something looks different, it means that it doesn’t work.
How to make your Site Cross-Browser compatible?
To create a cross-browser website:
1) Use only standard complaint coding.
2) Browser specific HTML tags and features should not be used. As they work only on browsers they were created and cannot be viewed in another websites.
3) Validate your WebPages. There are 2 validations. Validate your HTML/XHTML coding using the W3C free validation services. Validate your cascading style sheets using the W3C free validation service
The goal of cross-browser compatibility is to make your website viewable in the major browsers available and render the pages correctly.
Useful tools for checking cross browser compatibility:
BrowserShots is a cross browser that captures screenshots of the website in different browsers. Also This is well known and is the oldest browser tool used by developers.
It is a tool that supports Internet explorer.IE tester allows you to see the appearance of web pages by using Internet Explorer 5.5, 6 .7,8 and 9.Its interface resembles to the interface of MS World 2007.
DotMobi Virtual Developer Lab
DotMobi Virtual Developer lab is a free web-based tool that checks your websites on real devices including iPhone with the use of remote access technology. To use this service, you need to have a credit card. This is for the purpose of preventing abuse of the devices.
Adobe Browser lab
Adobe Browser Lab is an online tool for cross-browser checking. Furthermore It shows screenshots of the website when viewed in different web browsers. Also This simple tool lets you compare results by displaying screenshots of web pages in a simple way.
An online paid service that allows developers to view web pages on different browsers and operating systems. It also supports mobile operating systems and browsers. As a matter of fact This tool takes screenshots of your pages depending on your choice of browser and operating system.
With the device screen capture service, you can see how your site will look on PDA’s and other devices.
You can capture the screen in portrait or landscape mode. Moreover The remote access service lets you log into BrowserCam with the use of VNC. For example: you are using Windows XP and you need to access a Mac platform, you can use this Remote Access service to test it on a Mac right on your Windows PC. When you visit the BrowserCam site, you will see a variety of plans offered. Though it’s expensive, it is worth the money.
Microsoft Expression Web SuperView
In fact Microsoft SuperView is a new technology created to make the life of developers easier.
The standalone version of this software supports only IE web browsers, while the full version can support Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers.