Despite obvious protests to the contrary by many die hard Mac Users who may read the Blog Herald, the majority of PC’s in this world, and the majority of bloggers still use Windows. Whether that’s right or wrong I’ll leave for another day, and whilst I’m a Mac fan, this blog is still written on a PC.
However, in writing a blog, as a blogger you should always remember that different people use different operating systems and browsers. In the early days I know that The Blog Herald presented terribly outside of the world of Internet Explorer, back in the days that nearly everyone used IE and you never really gave a second though about the competition, mainly because there was a general lack of credible competition. Times have changed, Firefox makes up half of the browsers used to view this site (and it’s my browser of choice as well) and the Blog Herald is presented using CSS in an attempt to assure that users on all browsers and operating systems get to see the good stuff. Aside from the fact that this site doesn’t render quite properly on Internet Explorer now (it sometimes runs off the right hand side, but its still readable: I’ve tried fixing it but my hair continues to turn grey as a consequence, one day…) it’s important to consider that potentially millions of future readers don’t user Windows, and that your site might not present well to them.
I’m fortunate that I’ve got an old laptop that runs Linux that I can test the Blog Herald and other Weblog Empire sites on, but I don’t have that luxury for Macs. A new site is now available to allow you to do just that: Lixlpixel Safari Screenshot Generator. It’s not always super quick (because it appears that a lot of people are trying it out) but its free and it allows you to see how your blog appears in 3 different Mac browsers: Safari, IE and Mozilla.
There is a commercial service available at Browsercam that gives you a fuller range of OS’s and browsers, but is only open to a 24 hour trial before you have to pay.
Moral of this guide: why exclude potential readers just because they use a different browser or OS to you. In the chase for traffic every visitor is as valuable as the next one, and should be given the same consideration: its not hard making sure that your site works in other places, and in failing to do so the only person to lose will be you.
(in part via Threadwatch)