IE8 & IE6

December 18, 2008

It has been my practice to provide support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 in the Web sites I develop as part of my base fee. Effective immediately, support for IE6 may incur an additional charge, a flat fee, at my discretion. Please inquire for an updated copy of my Web site development fee schedule. I will continue to test sites with IE6, which means that any anomaly will reveal itself. My clients will be able to decide whether to live with the anomaly or have me fix it.

Support for IE6 is, regrettably, complex. Over many years Microsoft "misinterpreted" the Web standards, effectively not adhering to them. Web developers could not ignore a market-dominant browser and were thus forced to make adaptations to proper Web site rendering.

Starting with IE7 about two years ago, Microsoft moved into much greater compliance with the standards. It is now much easier to develop a Web site without giving a lot of thought to which Web browser will be used to view the site.

Internet Explorer 8 is just around the corner. A beta version has been released and already accounts for 1% of visits to my sites; when it is officially released, expect it to gain as much as 20% market share in three to six months. IE7 is two years old. IE6 is full of cobwebs. If you are still using IE6, switch to a contemporary browser like Firefox, Safari, Opera, or IE7 (soon IE8). If your customers and clients are still using IE6, encourage them to update. And keep in mind that IE6 is less secure than any of the browsers I've mentioned above, reason enough to switch.

If I built your Web site, it has already been instrumented with Google Analytics so you can determine exactly which browsers your visitors are using. This makes it easy for you to decide when your Web site can safely ignore ancient, dusty, and broken browsers like IE6.

I integrate Analytics at no charge as part of my base Web development service or can integrate it into an existing site for a small fee.

Tags: Internet Explorer, Software, Web Browsers

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