Surfs Up, Dude… Surfing The Website
Chances are… you are an old pro at navigating your way around websites and you’ve already got the website pretty much figured out. However, there just may be more to the eye here than you suspected. So stick with me here and you may pick up a thing or two. At the very least, you can marvel at how my spell checker makes it appear that I can actually spell.
If you are new to exploring websites or at least this one, come along with me now as I spin a delightful little tale about what information and services we have here, how to find it… and how it can benefit you. Don’t worry… its really quite simple. Just ignore the man behind the curtain.
Remember now… this is Site Navigation 101. So please don’t be offended if I tend to overstate the obvious. There is no doubt in my mind that you know what you’re doing… but others may benefit from a recap of the basics.
Browsers… What You Use is What You Get
The Internet and all websites therein are accessed by a software program called a ‘browser’. Different computer operating systems and different devices, such as tablets and cell phones, use different types of browsers… and no two browsers are created equal. Oh, they are supposed to act and display websites in the same manner. But they just don’t. Some folk just don’t always play by the rules.
For computers running a Windows operating system, there are essentially 3 primary browsers you can use; Internet Explorer… which comes pre-installed with Windows… FireFox and Google’s Chrome. The latter two generally play by the rules so everything on a website appears as it should. Internet Explore, however, is a major pain to website developers as it plays by its own rules and may not always present a website as it was designed. Developers are often forced to write oodles of extra code to trick IE into behaving properly. If you use IE and find it slow or displaying websites incorrectly, you may want to consider downloading and installing one of the other browsers mentioned above. They are both free and very simple to install.
The browsers that come with various mobile devices are also different and can make a website appear very differently than intended. Plus, smaller devices such as cell phones have a little problem trying shove content designed to be viewed onto at least a 17″ monitor on a tinny weeny little screen. Our website now uses a new technology called ‘Responsive Design” which, in theory, will detect the type of device and browser you are viewing the website with… and will adjust the display accordingly… even configuring and shoving it onto your small cell phone.