If you’re a blogger, your browser is easily your most important tool. Like a carpenter with his hammer or a plumber with his wrench, every blogger has a favorite browser and setup that they prefer.
So, ultimately, what browser you want to use for your blogging is going to come down to a personal choice, one that fits your work style, work flow and personal needs.
Still though, the question remains, is there a browser that is all-around better for blogging than its peers? If so, is it one that every blogger should use?
To answer that question, we have to look deeper at what a blogger needs out of a browser and what the major browsers out there provide.
What a Blogger Needs from a Browser
Generally speaking, there are five things that a blogger needs out of a Web browser in order to do their job and to do it effectively.
- Plugin Support: You’re definitely going to want some level of plugin support, in particular Adobe Flash, and likely some level of extension support as well.
- Spell Checking: Obviously, any blogger is going to want or even need good spell checking built into their browser. If nothing else, it makes finding basic errors easier and blog posts at least more accurate.
- Solid Tabbed Browsing: Research is important to most bloggers and doing a lot of research or just compiling the various parts of a blog post means having a lot of tabs open at once. You need good tabbed browsing to survive.
- Speed and Stability: Finally, any browser has to be fast and stable. You don’t want a browser that can’t keep up with you as you work, especially as you type, and you don’t want one that’s crashing on you repeatedly. Even if you don’t lose any work, it’s going to keep you from finding your writing flow.
Fortunately though, this is a list of things that you can easily find in nearly any major browser. In fact, theoretically, these are all fairly standard features for every browser out there and have been for years.
In short, you’ll be much harder pressed to find a browser that DOESN’T do these things than to find one that does.
So, we’re already talking less about which browser does a blogger need and more about what does one prefer and that, unfortunately, is a territory fraught with personal opinion and subjectivity.
Picking a Favorite
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to look only at the five biggest browsers, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera.
All of them have areas of strength and weakness. Firefox, for example, has many extensions and add ons not available elsewhere, Chrome has robust tab management and is widely viewed as the fastest, Opera has an integrated mail client and a Turbo function to help browsing at slower speeds, Safari integrated tightly with its mobile version and both IE and Safari are the defaults for their respective operating systems, making them the most familiar and always-accessible.
In short, all of them have good things that can be said about them and, for some bloggers, each is going to be best.
The best thing that you can do is start out by trying each of the browsers. Try to use them for a few hours as your primary browser and see how well they do. Do you like the interface? How stable is it? How fast does it move for your most common tasks? Etc.
Most importantly though, try to write a typical post for your blog, from beginning to end, with each browser of interest and see which works best. The truth is that most of us blog much differently than we surf. Some even keep two browsers, one for work and the other for leisure, just because the use cases are so different.
It should be pretty obvious to you which browsers perform best and most people will have the field narrowed down to one or two pretty quickly. From there, take the time to look at the extensions library for the browser, if it has one, and see what add ons might help you improve your work. From advanced grammar checkers to powerful screen capture tools, you’ll likely find more than a few useful tools in your average extension library.
With all of that in mind, you should be well on your way to finding your favorite blogging browser. However, it’s important to stay familiar with what other browsers are doing. Not only is it possible that another browser could leapfrog your current favorite, but you might find yourself in a situation where you need to use something that’s less-than-ideal.
You Need a Backup
While having a browser of choice is good and having tons of extensions you love is great. What happens when you aren’t at your computer with your setup?
Sometimes, blogging means that you have to be able to run your site from places other than your desk. What happens if your computer breaks and you have to use a public one or have to blog from a mobile device?
If there’s an extension or tool that you absolutely have to have in order to make your site work, being without it means you’re powerless.
So while finding the best setup for you is great, make sure that you can blog from the most basic and the most standard one imaginable. The less you rely on add ons, the better off that you’re going to be.
The best way to find out which browser and which setup is right for you is to experiment. However, experimenting means being willing to try new things and blindly believing that whatever you’re using today is and always will be the best thing for you.
Other browsers have different features, strengths and interfaces and even if it isn’t the “cool” or “trendy” choice, it may work better for you.
What difference does it make if others thumb their nose at your tool of choice, so long as it helps you produce the best results possible?
A homeowner isn’t going to ask what hammer their carpenter used to build their house and no reasonable reader is going to care what browser you use to write your most recent post.