Choosing a Web browser: Customisation

29th March, 2010

We’ve been writing a series of posts to help you choose your browser.

If you want to know what features you should look for when choosing a browser, we’ve explained what a browser is , and how to choose one which protects your privacy while surfing. Today we’ll be looking at browser customisation and performance.

What should I look for?

Many browsers offer at least some degree of customisation, from changing how the buttons look to tailoring it to meet your exact needs. You might be able to block adverts or make your computer more secure. To customise your browser, you should find out what options (often called “add-ons” or “extensions”) are available and the extent to which your browser can be personalised.

How fast your browser loads a Web page is a common measure of performance. Your Internet connection, your computer and the page itself can affect page load time, but your browser can too to a great extent.

But performance is more than the speed of page loads. Certain browsers may need more memory than others (slowing down other functions in the process), and some may crash more frequently than others. The best way to test performance is to visit the same website on several browsers and see which one feels best.

The language you browse in is another consideration. If you’re reading this in English, it’s almost certain your browser will be available in the right language. Otherwise you may need to research your options as the number of browsers in different languages can vary widely.

With any piece of software, problems may occur from time to time. So, it is worth making sure your browser has free customer support available in case you need help. Many programmes have user communities and developers who volunteer their time and knowledge to help others. Being part of a user community can greatly improve your experience!

Finally, just have a think about whether you enjoyed using your browser. The Web can be a wonderful place! With nearly limitless potential for learning, connecting and creativity, the Internet and the way you experience it can be enhanced by a good browser. What add-ons or customisations have you made to your browser? Leave your tips and comments below!

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