Our ramblings about website design and other things

Posts tagged: internet explorer

Browser Compatibility

When we produce a new website for a client we make a big effort to ensure cross browser compatibility but what ever we do there are always small differences fo the appearance of a site depending upon the users viewing environment.

It is a continual battle (we use the choice of battle deliberately) to ensure current compatibility and backwards compatibility but the big question is how far do you go back with testing.

We see that WordPress have taken the step of announcing the ending of support forĀ  Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10 starting with the WP release 4.8

To us this makes sense, we wish that all users only used the latest browsers in their environment but there are many ranging reasons why users have no upgraded their browser from lack of knowledge, possible cost implications to working in a situation where there are locked down sue to administrator control.

The full story can be viewed over on the WordPress blog

Internet Explorer Versions

We are not great fans of Internet Explorer, which is the case with the vast majority of the web development community, however we always test with it as there are still many users.

For a recent project we had to try and connect to some old legacy sites that blocked access to later versions of IE, we have some old machines with earlier versions of windows running but this can be time consuming so we found a neat site that changes the User Agent String in your version of explorer so that it appears as an earlier version.

The site has some Registry Files to make the change and includes a file to reset the changes as well – view here if you need to do this, thanks to www.enhanceie.com for the files

Browser Wars

At Bluewave we always test our solutions with a range of browsers, we find that still most users use Internet Explorer with Firefox close behind but more and more users are using Chrome and of course all the Apple fans are using Safari.

It is interesting to see the latest figures:

StatCounter’s monthly statistics for September show IE in the lead with 41.66% of the market, followed by Firefox with 26.79%, Chrome with 23.61%, Safari with 5.6% and Opera with 1.72%.

It seems Chrome will soon be number 2 for market share and it will be interesting to see if google can overtake Microsoft in this area of the market, we are old enough to remember the Netscape/Microsoft war and we know who won there.

Read more on this over on Network News

Which Browser ?

Clients often ask us about which browser should they be using and which browser we optimise our sites for.

In terms of market share Microsoft still dominate with Internet Explorer having a market share of around 60%, second is Mozilla FireFox with a market share of around 23%, third is Google Chrome with around 8% (and growing) and fourth is Safari with 5% and behind that is Opera with around 2% and various other browsers with minor market share.

So generally we test all our sites with Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera but the real growth area is in mobile access. Most mobiles can happily view websites designed for PC access but it is possible to have browser detection for web pages optimised for mobile devices and this is becoming a regular request for us.

Many Website developers take the view that testing with Explorer and Firefox is more than enough and I guess covering around 83% of the market is the majority but in our view one of your customers may have a less popular browser and if your site looks ‘wrong’ then they will not put their hands in their pocket to buy from you.