Browser comparison: screen shots of the same page in different browsers

On this page: How the initial design of my home page looked in a number of different browsers, and on WebTV. As far as possible, the screenshots show the default settings for the browser when it's installed.

Update: This page was written about nine years ago, when things were a lot worse, and is still one of the more frequently requested on the site. I leave it here as a reminder of the bad old days!. The good news is that, if you code to current standards and follow the guidelines (use XHTML, CSS etc), your design will look fairly similar in modern browsers like Mozilla, Firefox, and Opera, not to mention being quick to load and easier to maintain (see part 2). However, in my view, it's still a waste of time to aim for pixel perfection, as I say in my article: web pages cannot be designed like printed layouts.

As you can see, there are lots of differences in the detail, and this for a page that had a simple layout and was designed to be accessible to all. The screenshots approximate to standard VGA resolution, but even so, they will take a while to download. I deliberately haven't made them smaller, because it would make the detail much more difficult to compare.

Navigator 4

home page seen in Navigator 4 browser

Navigator 4, Internet Explorer 3 and Opera all shared the same default text size, and because the style sheet was designed to work for most browsers, the appearance is similar, though not identical.

Internet Explorer 4/5

home page seen in Internet Explorer 4/5 browser

The default text size in versions 4/5 of Internet Explorer was bigger than other browsers. This may have been a deliberate accessibility feature.

Opera 3

home page seen in Opera browser

Navigator 3

home page seen in Navigator 3 browser

Navigator 3 did not support style sheets at all: the page shows in its default font and colours - the colours happen to be the same in this case (black and white). If I'd set the colours differently, the page would be different - for example:

home page seen in Navigator 3 browser with non-default colours

Internet Explorer 3

home page seen in Internet Explorer 3 browser

Lynx

home page seen in Lynx browser

Lynx is a text-only browser, and you use the keyboard to navigate. Links are shown by blue text: the current one (activated by the enter key) is a dark red. Unlike most of the other browser shown on this page, it is still in use today.

Mosaic

home page seen in Mosaic browser

This venerable browser does not support tables (each row is shown as a sequence of paragraphs), frames, or image alignment, amongst many other things.

WebTV

home page seen in WebTV emulator