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Old Browsers

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Today I got an email from one of our pro bono1 customers. A visitor to the web site we set up for them was complaining it wasn't rendering correctly. She helpfully mentioned she was using IE7.

Internet Explorer logo I sighed to myself. Supporting old browsers (which, in the case of IE in particular had broken rendering of well written web pages) is difficult, especially when you no longer have the browser available. I'm still using IE8 on my Windows virtual machine test PC specifically so we can ensure web sites at least work back as far as IE8. For earlier versions I have to rely on a test suite at netrenderer.com. In truth I don't normally bother any more: IE7 was replaced by IE8 in March 2009, so almost four years ago and Microsoft are now on IE10 (and even that's been out since last October).

So I was going to say "just tell her to upgrade" but I was then depressed to discover when I looked at the hit logs that in the last month 5% of their visitors have been using IE7 (more worryingly 0.3% are using IE6 which Microsoft are now strongly recommending people not to use) so I've tweaked the template and tested it and it now renders better on IE7 (and plausibly, although not great, on IE6).

  1. Actually, to be fair, they do pay for the hosting, but they didn't pay for the original web site, nor for ongoing support, which is where I make my money.

Tags: web design, work Written 02/02/13

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