Google Chrome and Your Website
Last week the release of Google Chrome set the website design world on fire. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about it. Folks noting the good, folks noting the bad, folks speculating about the future. Well, before we get too excited let’s pull back a moment and take a look at what this release means to you, the website owner.
What the heck is Google Chrome?
Simply put, Google Chrome is a new internet browser. You use it to browse websites like you do with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Opera. The release caused excitement among website designers because it puts forward a new platform that will potentially have to be taken into account when designing websites.
For example, right now I test all my website projects against no fewer than five different browsers on two different operating systems. The prospect of adding another browser to the mix, particularly with the rendering issues seen in past browsers, causes us website designers concern.
How will Google Chrome render my website?
The good news is that Chrome was built on the same rendering engine (WebKit) that Safari is built on. WebKit is excellent in terms of standards compliance and the fact that Google elected to use it as the basis for Chrome relieves any concern that us website designers may have had. I downloaded Chrome myself last week and checked out my website and a number of my client’s websites and am happy to report I saw no issues at all. As long as your website is standards compliant you’ll be in good shape.
Why another browser?
In my opinion, Google is looking to give themselves a platform to further develop their online applications (Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets). In a word they are looking to replace programs traditionally reserved for the desktop. They want to get you away from relying on your favorite office suite and instead use your browser (preferably Chrome) to do these tasks.
So what does the release of Google Chrome mean for your website? Right now not much. As long as your website is standards compliant it will render just fine in Chrome and the reality is that it will take some time for it to gain much traction among average internet users.