A question that I replied to on a Macromedia Forum.

I have a question that I hope some of you gurus can help me with since I am a novice here.
I have made my web page ( to the best of my ability and it is a learn as you go of course ) , and after I have it up . I contacted several ( 7 ) people to view it and let me know how it looks. I had two people tell me that the info was overlapping and it was all jumbled up, everyone else said it was looking ok on their monitors . For me, two people having complaints is two too many. Do you have an idea as to why this looks a certain way for some and not for others? I hope I have not been too vague here . Thanks in advance for all of your help and insight.

There could be a number of possible reasons.
For example, what browser did you test it with?.
Did you test it with say Opera, Firefox, and IE?.
Each browser displays certain HTML in a slightly different way..
They are meant to be all standards compliant, but this doesn’t happen too well in real life..
Also, what screen resolution did the other people view your website at..
You might have designed it on your 1600×1200 resolution, and someone might have viewed it at 800×600..
You might have used font size “absolutely tiny”, and the ‘visually challanged’ of us might have set the font to “majorly big”..

There are so many things that can impact the look and feel of your web page on varying end users displays..

There are certain things you can do to help minimise the cause and effects, but you will never really be able to totally control it.
For example, making sure that your web page is standards compliant (to some standard), will at least make sure that your web page ‘should’ have the same behaviour on browsers that are standards compliant..

Remember the ‘good old days’ when you would see “This signed designed best for viewing on 800 x 600”, well that was a way of making sure that they used the correct resolution, or at least gave them an answer as to why it might not look right. (I believe we are now in the realms of 1200×1600 being the default these days)..

And good use of CSS across your site will allow you to define consistant styles and make it easy to update various sections quite easily. It doesn’t make the page look consistant, but it will help you achieve it..

But at the end of the day, there is only one way to ensure that your pages are consistent across multiple browsers, and that is to test, test and do more testing.

I have a machine that has every type of browser I can think of installed (both Windows and *nix). I always test pages on their.
Likewise, you can have multiple browsers installed on the same machine as Macromedia. You can then use the settings in Macromedia to define the short cuts to these browsers (F12, Shift F12, Ctrl F12 for example). Pressing these on my Macromedia opens up the test page in IE, Opera and Firefox.
But this alone will not ensure that pages are the same.

1. Make your pages standards compliant as you can.
2. Careful selection of screen resolution.
3. Careful selection of fonts and image sizes.
4. View it on many different browsers.
5. Test and Test Again.
6. Goto step 6.