A study conducted by web testing firm SciVisum has found that one in ten websites fail to provide access to non Internet Explorer browsers such as Firefox, thereby incurring customer and revenue losses.
SciVisum examined 100 of the leading consumer websites in the UK and found that around 3 percent of the sites did not have Firefox compatibility, while seven per cent of the sites included non-standard code that was recognized only by Internet Explorer.
Commenting on these findings, Deri Jones, CEO of SciVisum said, “When webmasters design first for Internet Explorer and not standards-compliant browsers, they so often end up restricting user access to the website which has detrimental affects for a company. Surprisingly, after all these years, users of standards-compliant browsers are still faced with sites that do not support their browser or with a link suggesting they download Internet Explorer, a browser they had presumably chosen not to use.”
The firm said that the sites, which turned away non-IE browsers, included:
(Non definitive list)
Firefox is an open browser that has gained a sizeable user base in the last six months. US-based analysts NetApplications say that the browsersâ€™ market share has gone upto 8 percent in May. This is as compared to 5.59 percent at the beginning of the year. Microsoft IE’s continued to rule the market with a share of 87.23 percent in May. “There is a certain business logic to this as IE is the most widely used browser,”
Mr. Jones said, but added that companies who valued their brands needed to address browser issues immediately. “Over time developers have begun to misuse the original standards created for the web to create websites that look great to you and I, but are confusing to a disabled person using a screen reader which needs to make sense of the content,” he alleged.
SciVisum has advised web developers to develop code only around the CSS2 web standard, the official Cascading Style Sheets 2 specification, presented by the World Wide Web Consortium.
“Companies who value their brand need to address browser issues immediately. This means ensuring all international standards such as CSS2, which is intended to help web developers separate content from presentation and to make sites more accessible to those with disabilities, are adhered to,” Jones concluded.