Browser compatibility

When building a content driven web application, it is important to consider which browsers your audience is using. Some might use older browsers that don't support the latest features, while others may be using newer browsers that have more features. Your application is accessible to all users, regardless of their browser choice.

Utilize progressive enhancement, or start with the most basic features that all browsers support, and then add additional features for newer browsers. Feature detection is another strategy to reach users with dated or new browsers. With feature detection, you can determine which features are supported by the user's browser, and then you load the appropriate code. Your application should use the most up-to-date features that the user's browser can support.

There are a few tradeoffs to consider when targeting both old and modern browsers. First, you may need to use different code for various browsers. This can make your code more complex and difficult to maintain. You might not be able> to use the latest features in all browsers. This can limit the functionality of your application.

Depending on the application, older browsers may still need support for legal reasons or business use cases. If the majority of the users are on older hardware and cannot update, then polyfills may be necessary. A polyfill provides modern capabilities to older web browsers and can allow you to use the most modern web technologies and APIs while still ensuring compatibility with old browsers.

There are many great tools to check what technologies or APIs are used:

  • Project Baseline: is an effort to improve the experience of developers by providing what works well in supported browsers and is backed by Google and other commonly used systems.
  • Caniuse: is a resource to look up Web APIs and see the support status across all tracked browsers.