Superior user experience and easy maintainability is paramount to the success of a website. To achieve this, it is important that a website looks and performs uniformly and on all devices, from smart phones and tablet to desktops. In addition, it is prudent to check and measure how a website performs across the vast spectrum of different web browsers
Microsoft Edge was released in 2015 as a replacement browser for its long-standing Internet Explorer. When launching a website, Microsoft Site Scan, a free web-hosted tool, can be used to check a website’s capability and works quite well with Microsoft’s new Edge browser.
This blog briefly discusses Microsoft Edge and the use of Microsoft Site Scan to check website compatibility against Edge and other modern browsers.
Microsoft Edge (codename “Spartan”) is a web browser developed by Microsoft and included in the company’s Windows 10 operating systems, replacing Internet Explorer as the default web browser on all device classes. Microsoft claims it is designed to be a lightweight web browser with a layout engine built around web standards. It does not support ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, but adds new features such as integration with Cortana, annotation tools and a reading mode*.
Microsoft Site Scan
Microsoft Site Scan is a free web-hosted tool. The tool is used to scan on any URL end-point to check for out-of-date libraries, layout issues and accessibility. Specifically, the tool looks for the following and flags areas that require attention:
- Modern Web interoperability
- Render Mode – HTML Markup compatibility
- Same Markup – Markup similar across browser spectrum
- Legacy Plugins and Features – Does website use plugins?
- Frameworks & Libraries – Does the website use the latest? (jquery, etc.)
- Browser Detection – Does the website use browser Detection, should use Feature Detection?
- CSS Prefixes – Does the website use vendor specific CSS prefixes?
- Cross Browser Experience
- Responsive Web Design – Does website react to phone, tablet and desktop form factors?
- HTML 5 Inputs – Does the website use HTML 5 inputs? (i.e. Header, Footer, etc.)
- Prerender and Prefetch – Does the website load content in advance to improve browsing performance?
- Compressed Content – Does the website deliver compressed content to minimize bandwidth?
- Missing Image Alt Attributes – Is there an alt tag to present content when an image is missing or not supported by browser settings?
<img alt=”John F. Gnazzo Microsoft MVP” src=”logo.jpg” />
- ARIA Attributes – Does the web site have accessibility features to support those with disabilities?
- Windows Features
- Touch First Browsing – Does the website support touch screens?
- Flip Ahead Browsing – Does the website support flip ahead browsing?
- Windows Tiles – Notifications – Defines tile for the website if the website is pinned to the start menu
Using Site Scan
The Site Scan tool takes the user to the web page below. After filling in the website URL, one just needs to click the magnifying glass icon.
After running the scan, the user is presented with the website scan results provided below. For this example, the following website URL was used for the scan: http://www.cnn.com. As you will see, in the results below, CNN.com does not fully pass the scan and needs attention.
This blog touched briefly on the Microsoft Edge Browser and discussed how the Microsoft Site Scanning tool can be used to check website compatibility against modern browsers.
Website browser compatibility is important in assuring that a website looks and works uniformly across the spectrum of modern browsers and mobile devices in order to provide the best user experience and to minimize website maintenance.