The Blog

All of the random thoughts that we have.

Is developing for Internet Explorer necessary?

May 7, 2017

Everyone knows what Internet Explorer is. It’s that browser you use to download a different browser. There are a lot of different options, each with their pros and cons. Google Chrome is by far the most popular but may not suit some people because of the fact it chews up a lot of RAM. Safari is rarely found on anything other than an Apple product and the other main option is Firefox which had a brief period of being really, really bad.

When you look at the current browser usage statistics (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp) Chrome is sitting at just over 60% whereas Internet Explorer is under 10%. So the question comes up, is it really necessary to develop a website for Internet Explorer considering the fact that it is used so little?

Most people reading this would remember the dreaded Internet Explorer 6. At the time it was the most popular browser by far but to make sure a website would display properly on it a developer would have to include lots of weird, contradicting things that somehow combined into a working piece in IE6. Since then (thankfully) Internet Explorer has gotten a lot better. The interface is now quite clean and the actual browser is very fast, usually only just behind Chrome with most tasks.

Another point to consider is this, Internet Explorer is now very standards compliant. There are a few little things here and there, but the majority of the time the website will display exactly the same in the latest version of IE as it does in Chrome. Actually, in my experience, nowadays, it’s Firefox that requires the most ‘tending to’.

I know what you’re thinking. “Why hasn’t he given us an answer yet? Is developing for Internet Explorer necessary?” Well you could always do a quick check, in CSS or JS, for any versions of Internet Explorer and display a message to the user ordering them to download a better browser in order to view your amazing website but the simple fact is, yes, you do still need to cater for any weird little problems that Internet Explorer has, just like you need to cater for any weird little problems that any browser has. Even though only 10% of people use that browser, if your website gets 1000 visitors a day, that’s 100 people who are missing out on your content. Which is 3000 people a month (approximately, I did some serious rounding up with those figures) but the point is that you can see how quickly it adds up.

Besides, the only major issue I’ve come across lately is embedding different fonts on your website and with a simple little conversion tool and the code from this post http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/using-font-face/ you should be fine.

If you want to check out how we have catered for Internet Explorer just head over to our portfolio on www.asit-group.com

Till next time

Alec

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