can you afford to ignore firefox?

| 28 Comments

Marketing Sherpa has a nice article on redesigning your site for Firefox. Why You Should Consider Budgeting a Site Redesign for Firefox 1.5 Now (Yes Firefox). If you want to avoid losing a significant share of your audience, or even worse, alienating them; If you want a faster and more discoverable site, If you want to save serious cash on development; If you want to minimize hosting costs; This article is for you.

28 Comments

Isn't the whole point of using a standards-compliant browser so that you don't have to design a site specifically for any one browser?

Yeah, but some people don't realize that it's better to just code to the standards.

"Isn't the whole point of using a standards-compliant browser so that you don't have to design a site specifically for any one browser?"


Of course. Sadly, some sites are still coded for IE specifically, and are not tested in any of the standard compliant browsers.

I came across this... Nice to see mainstream press coverage.

http://www.business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9075-1897995,00.html

"Of course. Sadly, some sites are still coded for IE specifically, and are not tested in any of the standard compliant browsers."

Exactly. The article shouldn't be "code your sites for Firefox because 20% of people use it," it should be "code your sites for standards, and 100% of people will be able to view it properly."

No surprises, most people do not RTFA

FTA: 6 Business Benefits of "Web Standards-based" design:

German weekly "Der Spiegel" writes about Firefox 1.5:

http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/technologie/0,1518,387681,00.html

According to the article, the Spiegel site (which gets 290 million page hits per month) records 32% visitors with Firefox during the week and over 40% on weekends. This figure has been stable since May 2005.

"Der Spiegel" is a well-known publication in Germany. It caters to intellectuals, but is definitely no techie magazine. Even more important, "Der Spiegel" is the kind of magazine your boss reads.

This blog entry just proves that Asa doesn�t give a rat�s ass about standards. What about a blog entry titled: "No, you don�t need to code for Firefox, you just need to follow the standards"?. Nah, that would kill the main purpose of Asa: "Take back the web"

Back to the good old days, "This site is best viewed with IE or Netscape".

It�s very sad to see a Mozilla employee promoting this kind of crap.

Disappointed,

Asa is obviously biased towards Firefox. But I do not understand your point. Even if we go through a second round of IE or Netscape, since there are standards that Firefox, Opera, Safari, et al. follow then we will all be in the same boat. Meanwhile, IE will be able to just implement the standards they choose to. So we will all win in the long run.

Meanwhile, this is why the editorial that was published last week about how the Mozilla and others shouldn't worry about market share was simply hogwash. For years that was the case. Opera made some money with ads and the Mozilla Foundation was self-sustaining. But we all were suffering through a difficult web experience. Market share is important. With none, you are not going to be mentioned. So yes, it may become in the mind of the media and the general population IE v. Firefox, but the great thing is that we all have other options in case Firefox adds features we do not want/need, the Foundation jumps the shark, or some other frustrating movement.

Definitely the push should be for web standards but that is a very abstract and hard to sell goal. "Get your web site to look OK in Firefox and you can be confident that it conforms to web standards and any other decent browser in any platform will be able to show it the same way," now that's a message everybody can understand. The same should work for editors: "make your stuff in NVU and forget about standards, they're inherent".

So "Firefox" could be replaced by Safari, Konqueror, Opera or any other web standards compliant browser (I don't know if they all qualify or not, that's not the point), but it is a much better, though perhaps short, message than the plain "support web standards."

The irony is that the site doesn't practice what it preaches.

Even if we go through a second round of IE or Netscape, since there are standards that Firefox, Opera, Safari, et al. follow then we will all be in the same boat. Meanwhile, IE will be able to just implement the standards they choose to. So we will all win in the long run.

That�s exactly the problem. The main goal of Web Standards is to avoid the "best viewed in " crap; a site should not be coded in order to be viewed in a particular browser.

What if [insert browser name here] implements something that is non-standard and those sites decide to code for that non-standard because...well..."The site is best viewed in [insert browser name here]", "I support [insert browser name here]" and " [insert browser name here] has x% marketshare"?. The IE Vs Netscape nightmare started this way and ended up with browsers adding proprietary features instead of obeying standards. We are suffering the consequences right now.


PS I agree with Disappointed, it is a shame that a Mozilla representative supports this crappy article just because it�s promoting Firefox.

The article is not promoting Firefox. It is telling businesses that Firfox should not be ignored because it has a significant amount of marketshare. It talks about designing for Firefox in terms of designing for standards!

Read the article please:

"6 Business Benefits of "Web Standards-based" design:"
"Okay, so you may be saying to yourself that's all good and nice, but only 5% of my audience uses Firefox, so why should I redesign for standards? Here are six key reasons:"

-mw

Paul,

My point is very simple. If sites design for Firefox, then Opera, Safari, and others should all appear the same. They will work. Meanwhile, IE, with MS choosing what is in its best business interest will implement those standards, since they have to for IE users to visit sites that have implemented standards. If you read any of the IE blog, they are trying. It is just going to take them some time.

My point is that It will not be a Firefox v. IE situation (even if that is what sites say), it will be Standards v. IE. And even then, I believe, IE will switch to standards, as well.

But for the sake of simplicity, as Percy Cabello wrote, the media and the general populace substitute a product or an actual item for a concept. Happens all the time. So it gets billed as Firefox v. IE but in actuality it works for everyone.

Opera fans or other browsers should not feel left out either. See reason #3 for web standards-based design. "Web Standards-based browsers like Firefox and Opera."

This article is about web standards design. Firefox marketshare was just the hook the author used.

It talks about designing for Firefox in terms of designing for standards!

The article is about Firefox, it talks about the 100 million downloads, FF�s marketshare and so on. Firefox +Safari+Opera+Konqueror have more marketshare than FF alone and this should be the whole point of the article: "Code your site following Web Standards if you don�t want to ignore 15% of internet surfers" instead of "[i]Why You Should Consider Budgeting a Site Redesign for Firefox 1.5 Now (Yes Firefox)[/i]". How on earth "designing for Firefox" is the same as "designing for standards"?.

See reason #3 for web standards-based design. "Web Standards-based browsers like Firefox and Opera."

That�s a quote from Chris Norris, Webmaster for Middlebury College ("says that when developing for the college's primary Web site, his staff's test environments now include Web Standards-based browsers like Firefox and Opera") not from the article itself.


@Tim

My point is very simple. If sites design for Firefox, then Opera, Safari, and others should all appear the same. They will work.

Not quite, just because a site works in FF doesn�t mean the webmaster is following a spec; the site could show up very crappy in Safari or Opera. An example, Gmail�s rich text editing toolbar doesn�t look fine in Opera 9 and looks fine in FF, Opera is doing the correct thing but...

And firefox is still not completely standard compliant:
http://www.webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html#top

""Not quite, just because a site works in FF doesn�t mean the webmaster is following a spec; the site could show up very crappy in Safari or Opera.""
yes! http://my.opera.com/hallvors/blog/show.dml/43760

""An example, Gmail�s rich text editing toolbar doesn�t look fine in Opera 9 and
looks fine in FF, Opera is doing the correct thing but..."" htat's because FF doesn't support display:inline-table that should be used to warp that toolbar... :$

As has been pointed out hundreds of times on the internet already: the Acid2 test is a test for whether browsers handle broken CSS and tagsoup HTML errors correctly, and nothing to do with how they handle correct code correctly. Opera passes Acid2 yet still chokes displaying a simple table with a fixed-positioned caption.

No browser is perfect and I think that is the argument many are making here. To the author's credit, she does mention code validation responding to reader feedback.

Do I think that she should have done a better job mentioning testing in other browsers? Absolutely

Do I think its worth bashing the author or Asa? No

Good, yahoo, mtv and many others should been wiped off the internet for "still" not providing firefox and other browser compatibility even when firefox is so big, it's about time these idiots do something to support all browsers and all operating systems, atleast they probably wont since internet [censored] is used by idiots [censored], mother [censored] [censored] and webmasters of those should be [censored] and [censored] like the [censored] that they are. i [censored] hate incompatibly especially music.yahoo.com and mtv.com they should loose revenue now, now now. die off the internet you loosers. it's good that firefox is great.

100.000.000? there's by far more users than that by now. webmasters need to wake up! or just stop using the computer. i'm boycotting all of yahoo and mtv and many other products until they provide support for firefox, and other os's. im on a lynix, and can't do anything because it require internet explooshiter. google is fa`r supperior than yahoo.. there videos work in all browser (they use flash) there email is way better and if google did music i would be in there all the way.. and to think yahoo is charging for this bs. not to say i'm an anti yahoo i just hate incompatibily in general.

It's nice to see marketing getting the "web standards are good" message. Appealing to the bottom line is the only way to get some companies' attention: target that 10-35% of potential visitors, cut your bandwidth costs and download times, and improve your search engine rankings all at once!

There are several things that make this round of browser competition different from the first browser wars. The standards are more mature. The technology is more mature. And there's actually some cooperation among the major browser makers. (Even, in one case at least, with Microsoft.) The haphazard "Made for Netscape"/"Made for IE" extensions, incompatibilities, and flat-out bugs should be a lot less frequent when you can do so much using common specs.

And here's the bottom line, designer-style: Target Firefox by way of standards-based design, and you'll get Opera and Safari with little extra effort. I fail to see how that isn't a good thing.

Definetly a good text. Though I must proudly say that I was quicker to find it - furled it 8 days ago: www.furl.net/members/ivanii

Ah, that findory.com/news is a mighty machine :)

hmmmm and then there is Deepnet Explorer.....has ASA sussed that one out yet?

firefox can have all those features through extensions..

Ha, I just got invited to try out Windows Live Mail. I'm quite interested to see if it is any better than Gmail. Only thing is the "Join Now" button uses a specific syntax so that it only works in IE (the specific syntax is surrounding the table cell with the a tag, a technique that only works in IE). Of course, it was easy to get around, but I promptly e-mailed them to stop ignoring Firefox.

They probably revoked the invite now :D :D :D

And remember webmasters, "Play nice or face extinction. Seriously.". Sig Heil!

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