Should you still support Internet Explorer 6?

Posted by: admin in Internet Explorer on  

Ever had the experience that you've made a great website, but your customer tells you it looks crappy? Then you ask which browser he is using and it turns out he's using Internet Explorer 6. Internet Explorer 6 has frustrated a lot of web designers. It doesn't follow the standard html and css in many ways, so you'll need some hacks to make your website look like it's supposed to. Now we're at the point where a lot of designers are wondering if they should still support it. Is it still worth all the effort? Internet Eplorer 7 is there for more then a year, so people should upgrade, right? If you don't use the IE6 hacks any more, people will see crappy sites, so won't that push them to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 faster? A lot of designers think this makes sense and have stopped supporting Internet Explorer 6.

Web designers live often in a techie environment and this makes some of them think that everybody is a techie. They think it's more important that their sites look great in Opera and don't care about Internet Explorer 6. They think people who are still using Internet Explorer 6 are idiots. I think they are totally wrong. If you ask people which browser they are using and which version, most of them won't be able to tell you. In fact they don't even care. If they see a site that looks bad in their browser, they won't think 'it's time to upgrade my browser'. They will think the site is bad and use their back button. Just have a look at the statistics from W3schools: in february 2008, over 30% of the people are still using Internet Explorer 6. So do you really want to stop supporting 30% of the internet population? Of course you don't. The number is going down, but it's going down slowly.

In conclusion, my answer to the question is very clear: yes you still have to support Internet Explorer 6 and probably still for quit some time.


Comments (4)Add Comment

written by Joe Shmo, March 31, 2009
People using IE6 are most definitely...idiots.smilies/cool.gif Just saying. Unless they're using a pirated copy of Windows, they should be running IE7 (Or whatever the most recent version is). Those running legit copies of Windows, will be updated without even knowing it, unless they disable the Windows updated. If they're retarded enough to not know why IE sucks, they're probably too dumb to know how to disable the updates.

In conclusion, why worry about the few low lifes running pirated copies of Windows? They deserve no consideration and quite frankly deserver any viruses or malwre they get for running an out of date pieace of crap pirated version of Windows.

Good day.

written by Largo, April 01, 2009
These 'few' idiots you are talking about, are according to the stats of 17,4% of the internet population. If you don't want to support 17,4% of your users, then I think that is not very smart. Whatever their reason is to use IE6 (yes maybe they are just idiots), for me this number is still way to high to ignore. As long as the number is higher the 5%, I will support IE6.

written by t, May 20, 2009
I agree with Largo, however, I suggest we keep demographics in mind. If you're creating a site for people who tend to have new computers or are tech savvy such as college students, the design community, tech execs, and others the percentage using IE6 may indeed be under 5%.

written by Troy, May 29, 2009
If you keep demographics in mind it is unfortunately more important than ever to support exploder 6. Here's a cnet article about why enterprises choose ie6 as their default ... still! They quote a Forrester report: "remarkably, 60 percent of enterprises are still on IE 6."

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