Internet Explorer is bad.
There, I said it. Internet explorer is so bad for many reasons. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask Microsoft.
Did you know that Microsoft has declared Internet Explorer to be dead? They did that by replacing Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge. Windows 10 comes standard with Edge as the primary browser, relegating Internet Explorer to Microsoft’s B-list, only to be used as a last resort in rare instances of compatibility issues. But let’s discuss why you shouldn’t be using either of these browsers — Internet Explorer or Edge. You shouldn’t expect your website visitors to use it, either. Why?
1. Internet Explorer is dangerous.
There are many known holes in internet explorer. What kind of holes? The kind that hackers and spammers love to exploit. Just Google search “holes internet explorer” and you’ll discover about 934,000 results telling you all about the security holes in Internet Explorer. You’ll also find thread after thread of conversation between techie people worldwide (and doubtless, hackers) discussing the holes in IE.
You are putting your information and device at risk every time you open a web browser. Every. Single. Time. Being connected to the world via the internet comes with risk. You can’t avoid the risk. And while no browser is capable of keeping your information completely safe, some are way better at it than others. Internet Explorer (and Edge) is not one of them.
2. Internet Explorer is slow.
It’s slow. Microsoft knows it’s slow, I know it’s slow, you know it’s slow — it’s slow. The browser is slower to load and slower while browsing than Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
3. IE lacks features.
Other than a host of toolbars (many of which are security risks), IE lacks integrative features such as password, autofill, and bookmark syncing. You can’t browse with IE on your laptop and then switch to your mobile device and browse your history to find the same page you were looking at on your laptop. It just doesn’t work that way.
IE loses in the features department which means it’s inconvenient and a time-suck for many. Microsoft is still missing these important features in Edge.
4. Internet Explorer doesn’t display webpages properly.
Back when the web was young, Microsoft shaped the web with it’s innovative browser, Internet Explorer. IE changed the way people experienced the internet. It was revolutionary and helped to shape the web as we know it.
But just as typewriters are only more useful than a computer in very select situations, so is the situation with IE. Thank you, IE, for revolutionizing the internet. My hat is off to your creators.
The biggest reason you shouldn’t request that your website is IE compatible is this: IE can’t speak the language of the internet these days.
Have you ever noticed that some webpages seem jumbled while browsing on IE? Have you ever noticed that some images won’t display at all? If you’ve assumed it meant the website is somehow broken, then think again. The real problem is that IE can’t properly interpret the data and code for that website.
Don’t limit your website’s functionality and design options by handcuffing your developer with Internet Explorer compatibility requirements.
Because of IE’s issues, your developer will be limited in choosing themes, plugins, images, and code. The great big world of possible looks, designs, and functions will instantly be narrowed when building for IE.
And, the worst part, it doesn’t matter how many hours your designer puts into making the website perfectly displayed and functional on IE — it will never work perfectly for very long. As technology develops, new code will be created to plug holes in your current website’s code. Since IE isn’t staying up-to-date, this browser will soon have no idea how to render your fancy new code and your website will stop functioning properly.
5. Most, or all, of your customers aren’t using IE.
The only reason to worry about IE compatibility for your website is if you know that the majority of your customers (both current and potential) are using IE as their primary browser. How do you know if that’s the case? Well, take a look at the statistics. The statistics make it pretty clear:
- Approximately 85 percent of all web users are browsing from a mobile device
- Of those mobile devices, less than one percent of them are Windows-based devices
- 99.6 percent of mobile phone users choose phones run by Android or iOS
This means that about 85 percent of the web traffic comes from a person holding a device that doesn’t have IE or Edge as an option to browse the web. What about those who are browsing from a laptop or desktop?
- Less than five percent of people browsing from a laptop or desktop are using IE/Edge
These statistics mean that less than 5% of all the internet users in the world use Internet Explorer/Edge.
Those who are using IE are typically older adults with limited tech knowledge, or people using an outdated operating system.
If you’d like me to design and develop your website, I am happy to talk with you about it. We can discuss whether or not IE compatibility is a must for you. If IE compatibility is imperative to your business, then I will happily refer to you another developer or designer. I do not optimize for Internet Explorer.
The safest, and by far the most intuitive browser, is Google Chrome. It has all the bells and whistles including safety, good speed, features for both common web users and website developers alike, is up-to-date on the latest technologies and code requirements, and is the most commonly used browser in today’s tech world. Google Chrome has over 1 billion users, and is currently topping the charts as the default browser for over 75% of all internet users.
(Statistic is current, but climbing, as of June, 2017. See latest browser statistics here.)