Layout ChangesHave you ever gone to your website using a different computer or browser only to notice that the layout or design is slightly altered? ; Take a deep breath, there isn 't an issue with your website, or with the code. It is completely normal for websites to look different from browser to browser and monitor to monitor. ; However, it is important to make sure that these changes are purely cosmetic and not functional.

Here is a quick explanation as to why your site 's appearance may look different each time you visit it.

  • Browser: Every browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, has a different layout engine, which alters the position and rendering of various components on a website such as the layout, text, and graphics. ; This explains how a website 's design is generated and visualized differently across the various browsers. ; The font can also be affected by the operating system of the computer.
  • Operating System: The Operating System will often determine how a font is displayed across the browsers. ; If you are viewing a website on a Mac you will most likely have an LCD smoothing system. ; A PC uses ClearType software for sub-pixelating rendering, which allows fonts to be displayed at a high level of sharpness or roundness. ;
  • Computer: Finally, a website 's appearance is affected by the settings of the computer and the monitor it is being viewed on.
  • Computer Font Settings: Websites are designed with a specific "font stack " meaning the default font that is displayed. ; However, not all computers have the same fonts, so if the default font isn 't on the computer it moves onto the next font within the "stack " until a font match is found, rendered, and displayed to the visitor.
  • Computer Graphic and Color Settings: Each computer has a graphic card and color settings that can be changed by the user. ; The graphic card determines the brightness, contrast, vibrancy, etc. of the colors, images, fonts and other components displayed on the page. ; The color settings may be independent of the graphics card, and thus may determine which colors are seen.
  • Monitors: ; A website is typically designed to display optimally on a monitor resolution of 1024_768 and up. Monitors with a lower resolution will not be displayed properly. ; The resolution of a monitor also affects the size of the component of the screen, so you may view more or less of the layout depending on the monitor being used.

Designing and building a website that appears the same no matter what browser, operating system and computer you visit it from is nearly impossible. ; There are many variables, which is why it is important to test your site to ensure that these differences are ones that will not affect the end user 's opinion of your website. ; ;

At CommonPlaces we include these quality assurance tests as a part of our process. ; We check your website on different browsers, operating systems, and computers to make sure that the website functions properly and is displayed in a manner which holds true to the company 's identity.

Ben Bassi
By Ben Bassi

Founder and CEO of CommonPlaces, is a seasoned Internet veteran and marketing executive. His extensive experience in Web-related business dates back to the early ‘90s; with a career specializing in digital strategy, planning, and marketing.

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