Web Developers, IE6 Sucks, Get Over It!

So you developers, coders and Mac people don’t like Internet Explorer (IE) and you REALLY don’t like IE 6. I see it on Twitter, I see it in the media, I see it every where [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/03/25/save-the-developers-stop-using-internet-explorer-6/]. I know some of you don’t like it because you prefer Safari or Firefox (I prefer Chrome). Some of you point out legitimate technical issues with IE6. Maybe it’s not as compliant as other browsers or maybe it doesn’t have as many cool plug-ins or the performance isn’t as impressive. Maybe you just don’t like The Man (Microsoft). Whatever the reason you hate IE or IE6, GET OVER IT.

Personally, I am not a big fan of IE6. Although I use IE8 on a daily basis, it is not my default browser. I also use Chrome, Firefox and Safari every day. I say all that to point out that I am a seasoned browser user and I don’t have any hidden agenda here.

The push to “ban” IE is humorous. For you all that are promoting the ban…I love the big banners on your websites (attempting to force users to upgrade) and the little icons attached to your profiles (with the line through the IE logo). That’s all real cute. You seem to think that the visitors to your websites (your customers) need to change (are wrong), “let’s force the upgrade”. <sarcasm>That is a great customer service attitude people.</sarcasm>

I know that other browsers are gaining market share. I have read articles that IE only has 50% of the browser market now. What market are you looking at? Most likely a tech site with a more tech savvy customer base. I maintain the analytics for well over 50 websites and while browsers like Firefox have gained ground Internet Explorer on average still has 75% of the traffic. Of IE’s 75% on average I would say IE6 is about 17%. That is a pretty large segment of your market. So do you want to ignore them because they have a crappy browser? I bet the clients you are developing the website for do not.

In a perfect world, everyone would have an updated browser that is fully compliant. We don’t live in a perfect world. Many of my clients still get traffic from IE5. Am I saying you have to support every browser forever…NO! But if you are getting significant traffic from the browser no matter what version, you need to support it.

What I am attempting to say here is…bite your lip, put in the IE exceptions and make the site work across all browsers. You may not like it, it may be a royal pain in the butt, but if you don’t you WILL risk losing a customer/client.