Firefox recently announced that their internet browser has been downloaded a mind-boggling billion times.

Now, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that this means Firefox has a billion users: typically, a single user would have downloaded the browser each time it brought out an update – plus, many people will download out of curiosity, and never use the software.

So, no, Firefox doesn’t have a billion users, but undoubtedly it does have a very strong user base, and this reminds us of an important point. When was the last time you looked at your website in anything other than the browser you yourself use every day? Be that Firefox or Internet Explorer, or something more esoteric altogether, it pays to take a trip to the other side every now and again.

You may be horrified by what you see: styles that render perfectly in your own rosy world-view may well be spilling out of their neat confines on other browsers or operating systems. Finding out is relatively easy: there’s no need to go and ask your Mac-using, Safari-loving neighbor if you can look over his shoulder. There are a number of services, some free, which will allow you to see your site on a vast array of OS/browser combinations, and, for the sake of your business, I’d strongly advise you to do so, at least when it comes to the most popular combinations.

Employ a reputable company – like us, may I hazard to say – to build your website, and cross-browser testing comes as a standard part of the package. Worried by what you see in that unfamiliar browser? Then give us a call, and we’ll get everything looking hunky-dory again, for every one of your hoped-for billion users.