Web Design
min read

Why Does My Website Look Different in Different Browsers and Devices

Chayse Thompson
Jan 10, 2023

Give yourself a pat on the back for going live with your website. Now, you asked your friends to test it on their mobile phones. You noticed that your website looks different from their phone and your laptop. Why is this the case? 

Web Browsers are powered by different engines

To put it simply, each browser is powered by different engines that translate the languages used to create your website. The way it interprets and renders your website varies depending on the browser. Thus your website may look different when you open it in Safari as compared to opening it on Chrome or Firefox. Some of the popular web browsers and their engines are: 

  • Apple Safari -Webkit 
  • Google Chrome - Chromium
  • Microsoft Edge - Chromium 
  • Opera and Opera GX - Presto
  • Mozilla Firefox - Gecko 

Other web browsers include:

  • Vivaldi - Blink, V8
  • Brave -  Blink, V8
  • Tor - Gecko

Screen Differences 

Imagine creating a web page on an iMac and viewing it on an Android mobile device or Windows desktop. It will show up differently. The device where it was created is different from where it is viewed. Website developers aim to create images and content that are optimized for most devices. But given the development of technology, there are a huge number of mobile devices in the market. Building and designing a website with every available device in the market is impossible, so screen sizes as well as different browsers can cause differences. 

Usage of language to code the website

Languages and browsers should be in sync. This is the ideal set-up for your website to show up. But given the constant development both from the browser side and the language programming side, sometimes they don’t exactly match. 

According to WebFx’s article, there could be updates from HTML and these updates are not yet supported by the browser you are using. Similar to having to delete to remove a part of CSS or HTML wherein the browser needs to be aligned with these changes. 

Computer hardware being used 

Check the computer setting of two different computers. Viewing the same website under two different operating systems (OS) will show variation. Ask a friend to use Windows 7 and the other one uses Windows 11, their website’s page may show variation. The difference could be due to color grading, color balance, or resolution issues. 

Helpful Tips 

The next time you encounter a loading problem, you can change to another browser. 

  • If you pay for a web designer to build your website, make sure that you test various websites using the most common browsers. This is essential so you can ask your web developer to make certain tweaks on the site before handing it over to you. 
  • Java does not work well with Google Chrome. Java works well with Prism. 
  • You may have issues printing some of the content with your webpage with a Firefox browser but not with Safari. 
  • Make a note of your frequently visited websites that do not work well on a specific browser. 

But if they were solely focused on this, your website will never be finished. There could be a slight change in the design and layout when the site loads because it is optimized on some web browsers and devices but not to all. Iif the difference is affecting functionality and customer experience, this is something that requires immediate attention. If it is about minor design changes, no need to worry that much.