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AYNNYD Help Documents: Websites Are Chameleons!

AYNNYD Help Documents:


Websites Are Chameleons!

Why They Change:

  • Overview: What you see and how it's displayed is largely dependent on your computer, monitor, operating system, browser, and installed fonts. This is why many people visiting the same website will see different things, how different depends a lot on the website and the computer viewing it.
  • Special Fonts: The fonts you see on a website is limited to the fonts installed on your computer. Most computers have a different set of fonts installed so there is a very limited number of fonts considered Web Safe, meaning most people have them. Most websites get around this limitation by creating images of the fancy fonts and using those images selectively in the title or elsewhere but typically the body of the text would be different. Websites can specify a primary, secondary, etc font style but there is no guarantee the visitor will have any of those fonts installed on their computer and even if they do, their browser might have a default font style set that will override your desired fonts. For this reason most websites use the Web Safe Fonts.
  • The Display: Aside from fonts, monitors are probably the single biggest reason for websites appearing differently on different computers. There are many different size monitors available and the size of the monitor has a lot to do with how the information appears on it, how much white space is in the page, the exact color things appear, the size images and fonts are rendered at, where blocks of content appear on the page, etc.
  • The Browser: There are several major browsers out there, and although they render many things very similar, they have their differences and this too will affect how a website looks and feels.
  • Conclusion: Website designers can not control all these factors, so they simply must understand the limitations and work within them the best they can.
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