To see if a particular web design would be uniformly compatible with all kinds of platforms, it should be tested by running the site in all the major browser programs and the two operating systems, PC and Mac.
It is common practice for web designers to keep at least two computers to run either system each, for this very task.
Another advantage of maintaining two rigs is the versatility this setup affords, since some software developers focus on producing PC-based applications and vice versa.
Web design tools in particular vary in the operating platform that they run in.
By getting the best tools available to each of the two systems, a design project will not be encumbered by the limitations presented by using one system alone.
Mac, however, changed all this through the launch of its Unix-based OS X operating system.
Choosing A Mac
The platform allows the use of web design staples like Adobe Creative Suite, which are previously unavailable in old Mac systems.
Doing a design project with this new, adaptable system omits the need for testing the work in a separate PC machine and since the UNIX- and Linux-based web servers like Apache HTTP account for the majority of applications on the internet, the Mac has an edge over the PC by default insofar as web design is concerned.
In addition to Apache, OS X is capable of running PHP as well.
Even MySQL and PostgreSQL installation is made easier through GUI-enabled database applications available to open source users.
The switch to Intel meant that Macs can now run Windows using the Boot Camp utility or virtualization software such as VMware.
The shift is beneficial to web designers, who now have the ability to cross-test a website in the various significant platforms, a necessary process that previously required several machines.
Backing up this ability is a two-gigabyte RAM included in models such as Mac Book Pro, which makes simultaneously running UNIX and Windows virtually effortless.
Having both operators running at the same time provides users access to Windows-only applications to complement standard Mac-based tools.
This saves time for the web designer, since he or she does not need to alter between the two systems to be able to use all the needed tools.
For example, a typical design process using this dual setup may begin by writing the code in Windows, after which the result is tested in the UNIX environment and, if so desired, across the browsers MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.
In terms of versatility, Apple is currently at the top of the ladder.
Consumers will be hard-pressed to find a better choice if what they need is a flexible setup that transcends OS limitations.
This convenience comes at a heftier price tag than buying a PC, though.
Choosing A PC
Given the advantages of Mac with its dual-OS setup, it would appear that Windows PC is outgunned and outmatched in the field of web design.
This is not so, however, and users will find that PC has its own arsenal of useful features that make it a very viable option for those finishing a web design project.
There are five in particular that equalizes the field for Windows PC.
First among these is Internet Explorer 6 and 7.
These two most recent versions of the venerable MSIE browser application hold sway with a total of more than fifty-two percent as their combined share in the browser user market.
Mozilla Firefox grabbed thirty-nine percent as its share.
These statistics came from an April 2008 survey conducted by w3schools.com.
What all this data means is that ninety-one percent of the total volume of traffic in the internet gets access to the web through Windows-based browsers.
A web design may need to be universally accessible in multiple browsers, but tailoring the design to target IE and Firefox users is not a bad idea at all.
Even limiting yourself to a design that is dependent on these two would still be effective, since together they represent more than nine tenths of all people viewing the web.
Next is Visual Studio.NET.
This is a tool set favored by the web designer when doing work on multiple aspects of a website project.
It is not only useful for working on the site’s front end, such as the graphics and interactive content, but may also be used to write the code that runs the website.
It also enables the designer to create the database for file storage.
In other words, the tool set gives the user the ability to work out all three components in website development single handedly.
Visual Studio.NET has a feature that allows the user to share the project with other users online, so if the individual working on the project would like some outside help, he or she can let others do some parts of the project without having them around physically.
A more pragmatic advantage to choosing PC is its relatively cheaper pricing against Mac products.
Since the PC can be purchased from any of a wide selection of computer product sellers, the intense competition among these vendors tend to keep hardware prices down.
For example, a fairly-powerful HP desktop can be had for a little over 700 dollars.
Compare this to an iMac machine with similar capabilities, which usually have a 2,200-dollar price tag.
One more consideration that may influence a buyer to choose PC over Mac is the much bigger selections of PC software available, in both free items and those that are currently being sold in the market.
For many professionals in the field of web design, their craft hinges on the use of a vast array of virtual tools, with many of these available on PCs only.
These are but a few of outstanding reasons for selecting the PC for a web design project.
As to whether the Mac is a better choice than the PC, or vice versa, only YOU can decide.