An Oldie, but a Goodie – Why does my website look different on different computers?

I first posted this article two years ago.  I’ve received emails about it as recently as last week.  It’s an issue that I still deal with every, single day as a website developer.  Websites look different in different conditions.  And here’s why . . .


Have you ever noticed that your website looks different on someone else’s computer?  It’s not wildly different but it’s just not the same.  The colors might be darker or lighter.  Maybe you can’t see as much of the home page without scrolling down.  The font might even look like it’s a slightly different size.

These differences are normal and can be caused by a number of different factors:

  • Browsers – The most popular web browser is Internet Explorer (IE) but there are a number of others.  Also each browser has different versions.   Websites can look different on different browsers or even on different versions of the same browser.
  • Screen Size – Different screen sizes can cause your website to be displayed differently.  The same goes for different screen resolution settings on the same size browser.
  • Computer Types – The most popular computer operating systems come from Microsoft.  However Apple has a large and devoted following.  Websites can look very different when viewed on computers with different operating systems.  In my experience this causes the largest differences in website presentation.
  • Color, Brightness and Contrast Settings – These settings vary from computer to computer and just like all the other factors in this article can cause websites to look different.

So what’s a person to do?  Part of my job is to keep all of these factors in mind.  I look at your website in different browsers and in different screen resolutions.  So while your website may look slightly different on different computers – it will look good on 99% of them.


  1. Or, you are looking at your website on my father’s computer, where the settings are just so darn WEIRD that nothing, I mean nothing, looks good.

  2. I have two computers an old computer and a new computer. I put my webpage in the old computer (it looks terrible), and with my wepage editor I was able to adjust the brightness, contrast, gamma and sharpness. And now my webpage looks great in both computers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *