On January 16th 2016 Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer (IE) versions 8,9, and 10, leaving only version 11 standing.
As has been well documented in the press over the last few days Microsoft discontinued support for Internet Explorer 8,9 and 10 on January 16th 2016. This was decided and announced back in August of 2014. Anyone not prepared for this, hasn’t been paying attention.
This decision has been made to help Microsoft keep up with web standards and give them the ability to release better versions on a regular basis as other popular browsers do. It is also becoming a significant burden to keep them secure, when the platforms of Windows they were built for, are also being phased out.
What does this mean for you as a website owner?
There is no need to build, test or support users on these versions of Internet Explorer from here on. This is because it will be expensive and difficult to build and test on these versions in the not too distant future. SixFive will no longer support these browsers in future development.
It also finally allows development to take advantage of more modern technology to build sites with a more level playing field, where special code does not have to be written for IE, and works more consistently across Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 11 / Edge.
So an older IE user won’t be able to use my website?
Yes they will, but they will not see it in its full glory as users on modern browsers. It will still work, but as time goes by and more awesome is added to your site, they will have a worse time. This will be their general experience of the web, and they will be forced to upgrade or die a slow and painful internet free death.
Internet Explorer is massive – I will have no traffic!
From our research this will be less than 5% of your current user base depending on your industry targets.
Chrome and Firefox have been leading the way for some time, so this won’t affect you in a big way, and the laggards will slowly upgrade anyway.
How will they know to upgrade, these laggards you speak of?
We recommend you help these people along by installing the Outdated Browser plugin to your website (WordPress Plugin). It is a small piece of code on your website that will provide your outdated users with a prompt to update to IE11+ or another browser. They can dismiss this message if they like, and it won’t bug them again.
I do have a big IE user base – this is a legit problem!
Please contact us if this is an issue, and we can help you make a plan to accomodate. Note that in order to do this, you should be prepared for significantly more hours to build and test, even the smallest feature on your asset. A decision like this should be made against solid evidence (i.e. evidence in Google Analytics of a large, critical, converting, user base on those older versions) to keep any support for those users.