Once the leading internet browser, Internet Explorer has come a long way from those initial days. Nowadays less than 1.8% of users use the Microsoft-powered browser, with more accessible browsers like Chrome and Firefox taking over as the internet-using public’s browser of choice.
Microsoft themselves have released their replacement browser (Edge), and have announced the termination of support for the “newest” IE browser, IE11. Newest is of course a relative term – IE11 was released way back in 2013! With IE10 support terminated back in 2016, this truly is the end of the road for the IE journey, with users being strongly encouraged by the internet giant to switch – ideally (of course) to their own replacement browser Edge, though the realities are that other more popular browsers (such as Chrome) continue to win out.
You’ll even come across this lack of support in the automotive industry, with major retailers’ site such as Ford using a popup to advise a lack of IE support – and they have done this for quite a long time.
IE compatibility is starting to impact heavily on some key areas of performance and development.
One key development in web standards is core web vitals and page speed, with the results of various measures around these areas influencing rankings, performance and more. A lot of the suggested changes to perform optimally on these measures either require, or heavily benefit from, modern coding standards that simply aren’t compatible with IE. This will start to affect your SEO ranking and general search performance.
It is of course important to deliver websites that work across multiple browsers – but these decisions have to be taken with user ship and browse stability in mind. Put simply, as IE11 becomes unsupported it is going to be harder and harder to ensure compatibility with it, whilst at the same time the number of people using it should be decreasing.
From a design point of view, compatibility with Internet Explorer is now leading to sacrifices on other browsers, where more modern, cutting-edge technology has to be forsaken in favour of outdated techniques that work on IE.
As such, Bluesky Interactive has taken the decision to discontinue automatic support for the IE11 browser from May 2021.
Firstly, it’s important to emphasise that whilst some dealers still using IE in the dealerships, outside of that (where your customers are!) people are using modern browsers, and overwhelmingly doing so on mobile devices. It’s important to spend the time and effort optimising for mobile rather than IE, in order to actually see that all important ROI.
However, dealers who are unable to upgrade from IE11 (usually due to software restrictions and programmes used that are reliant on Internet Explorer to function) may be concerned that a lack of support will see them unable to access their own website.
Whilst this level of incompatibility is unlikely, we acknowledge that some dealers may have a vested interest in ensuring a higher-than-standard level of backwards compatibility. As such, we are offering the opportunity for dealers to request IE11 support when requesting new websites or design quotes.
As this browser is difficult to work with and restrictive, it is likely that this compatibility may lead to some design sacrifices and increased time required, but this is an option for those who really need it.
If IE11 is the browser you use, but isn’t mandatory or controlled by a central IT team, then you should be able to upgrade to one of the other common browsers. Most are installed by googling the product, downloading the software and then installing it.
It’s worth noting here that all of these browsers aren’t “versioned” – that means they don’t get replaced (as in IE9, IE10, IE11 and so on), and instead benefit from constant updates and improvements.
Here are some of your options: