(This post applies to any browser version which has been released recently)

Twenty years ago, we accessed the Internet via this. It is the iconic Mosaic browser..


You will notice the complete lack of graphics. The Internet and modems were not fast enough to handle graphics, simple as that, but I can tell you that using it was like hearing your first Beatles song back in 1963. It was a magical experience.

The Internet has come a long way, and now we view the online world through very sophisticated browsers and high speed modems. We have colour, animated graphics, videos, all kinds of stuff and a huge database of information. Being so openly connected and with such a wide view, we open up to the good, the bad and the fairly ugly at a global level, and the code writers behind browser creation are continually working on a brighter, quicker and safer way to see everything.

Internet Explorer, Firefox, a relative of Mosaic, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari (apologies if I missed your favourite browser) have to be updated and generally improved, and when the standards and bars are raised, website authors have to raise their bar too. In a perfect world, website authors would be working away, ensuring compatibility before you have time to click on the browser icon, but it can take a bit of work to make even what seem like minor alterations.

The browser producers are aware of the problem above, and thoughtfully include a ‘compatibility mode. So, before you blame Mister Gates, Microsoft, Windows, your Internet Service provider or your cat, take a look at the link appropriate to your preferred browser and learn how to make your latest browser version see websites that were originally written for something earlier..

Try not to set compatibility at a global level. If you do that, you lose features and functions on websites where the website author has made the website compatible without having to force anything.