Reaching for the Edge: optimize your website


 

With the new Windows 10 release, Microsoft featured Edge as the new default browser. It has been built with speed, standards and innovation in mind. Considering that Windows 10 recently reached more than 65 million users, you can expect its market share to rise quickly.

 

 

With this editorial we want to give you some tips on how you can optimize your website for Edge. The first step is to run a scan of your website using the Modern.ie tool, which provides you with a detailed report of your website highlighting areas of improvements like:

Update your JavaScript Libraries

Common libraries like jQuery are often updated to address bugs or vulnerabilities. You can avoid many compatibility bugs with Edge or other browsers by simply updating your JavaScript frameworks.

Avoid Browser Detection

Some webpages use browser detection techniques to determine how the webpage should render across many different versions of browsers. However, this method may not be the best way since your web page might not benefit from new features in its latest browser version. We recommend using feature detection; it first determines if a browser or device supports a specific feature and then selects the best render method based on this information.

Feature detection is a great alternative to browser detection and is commonly used via popular JavaScript libraries like Modernizr, or through feature detection code. Feature detection is often used with Polyfills to implement modern features in older browsers that do not support them natively.

For more information have a look at this blog post: ‘Tune, modernise and optimise your website’.

Become plugin free

Edge doesn’t support plugins, so it’s a good time to consider moving away from proprietary plugins like Flash and Silverlight. Edge supports Flash, but instead of using a plugin architecture, Flash is delivered with the browser. It’s updated and patched centrally by the Edge team in collaboration with Adobe.

For some sites, moving away from plugins is pretty straight forward. However, many sites will find this difficult, particularly those delivering media content. The Edge team has provided guidance on how to move to HTML for premium content over on the Edge Blog.

Avoid CSS Prefixes

CSS prefixes are used by browser vendors to implement new, emerging CSS features before they have been fully ratified by the W3C. If a vendor implements a CSS prefix, they will contain the following text:

Chrome (-webkit), Firefox (-moz), Internet Explorer (-ms), Opera (-o), and Safari (-webkit).

Avoid the use of vendor-specific prefixes if possible. If you absolutely have to use vendor prefixes, use Grunt PostCSS to automate the management of prefixes within your CSS.

 

I just highlighted the most common issues that might impact your websites’ compatibility with Edge, or even with other modern browser. If you want to learn more about Edge, I recommend to check out the dev team’s blog where you can get all the information regarding Edge’s new features and improvements.


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