Internet Explorer 6 is Evil

Posted on January 8th 2010 6:03pm Friday, by Blaine

I know that many developers are very aware that IE6 is evil. But many of my clients do not know how much we bend over backwards to get an IE6 functional website. Sometimes it can take a few minutes. However, much of the time it will take an hour or two even on a simple website.

IE6 is a 10 year old piece of software that about 10% of people still use. Why? Basically people hate updating anything. The only reason they do upgrade is if things are not working anymore. We are forced to develop for this dilapidated browser because our clients want their website to work in IE6. Do not get me wrong, I am all for having the website be functional in IE6. But if it is missing some unnecessary features, a shadow, or has a design hickup, why waste time fixing it? The internet cannot continue to grow if we continue to drag this browser with us. We cannot make our websites with better functionality if IE6 has to have all the same features. Sometimes IE6 really cannot accomplish some tasks.

Besides the fact that I hate developing for IE6, there are also some other important reasons to consider upgrading…

  • Many security issues
    The program is 10 years old, people have found plenty of security issues in that time.
  • Slow
    Just because you have a 10 year old computer does not make IE6 better than IE8 or Firefox, pages load faster with newer browsers.
  • Extra cost to program features
    I charge for developing extras for IE6 and so does everyone else.

I am only asking that you update your browser and that you do not ask that IE6 render perfectly. If you want I can put a notice on your website that tells your customer to update their browser so they can have the full experience of your website. The notice is hardly an intrusion for your customers and many websites are already doing it. Did you know that YouTube is phasing out support for IE6? I am sure this just means they will stop finding ways to make YouTube work for IE6.

Here are some websites that have more helpful information on why to upgrade. Some of them also provide the notice I mentioned above.

  • http://ie6update.com/
  • http://www.end6.org/
  • http://www.ie6nomore.com/
  • http://www.bringdownie6.com/

If you are browsing with IE6 please do yourself a favor and download a new browser. If you still love Internet Explorer just upgrade to IE8. All of these browsers will take your internet explorer bookmarks and other data and import it into the new browser. The benefits of upgrading to a new browser go on and on, but to name a few: faster page load times, better bookmarking, easier navigation, tabbed browsing, better search, and a pop up blocker.

  • http://www.mozilla.com/
  • http://www.google.com/chrome/
  • http://www.opera.com/
  • http://www.microsoft.com/nz/windows/internet-explorer/default.aspx

Also, if you have IE7 I would advise you to upgrade to IE8. IE7 was basically Microsoft’s thrown together attempt to not lose to FireFox and the other upcoming browsers. IE7 has many shortcomings but that is for another article 5 years down the road.

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