Importance of Cross-Browser Compatibility

Companies seem to not realize the importance of cross-browser compatibility. If a customer cannot use their preferred browser to use your online service, it is unlikely the customer will switch browsers just for your website. Some may, but you had better be a darn good website for that to happen.

A few days ago, I went to Progressive Auto Insurance's website. For those who do not know, Progressive is one of the largest online auto insurance providers. They advertise their focus on their customers and how great their service is. Well, I have to disagree. When I visited their website, I tried to get a quote. After typing in my ZIP code, I got a not-so-lovely screen telling me that they did not support my web browser - Opera. I tried both Safari and Firefox, but I still did not get into the (not-so) instant quote service.

What does this mean? Progressive is intentionally denying tons of users their service. How is an OS X user suppose to get a copy of IE6 running? Simple - they cannot.

The sad part about most websites that deny certain browsers access, is that the denied-browsers most of the time will render these websites perfectly fine.

The moral of this story is that cross-browser compatibility is extremely important for any website to be successful. In some cases, as with Progressive, you may even lose business over it.


  • ive had many experiances like that and oftern i end up simply not going to that site. How dows submitting a form to need IE6? Surly M$ are paying them to deny all but IE users.

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Mon 10 Apr 2006 at 6:04

  • There's nothing more irritating than coming to a site, wanting to view the content but are denied because your browsers. It shouldn't be up to other webdesigners to decide what browsers their customers/visitors has!

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Tue 11 Apr 2006 at 6:33