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Webbed Feet UK, web developers in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Internet Explorer 6 Compatible Web Development

Most web design companies do not make Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) compatible websites; in fact many go out of their way to ensure that theirs are not IE6 compatible.

The reason behind this is fair; IE6 was released back in 2001, and was replaced by IE7 in 2006. Modern browsers such as IE10 display many elements differently, so coding for an older unsupported browser can be very difficult, especially for websites using newer technologies. With IE6 generally having a small market share (0.1% [1]) it quite simply isn’t usually worth it.

We follow this trend and generally do not test in IE6 when making our websites; but the difference is that our web developers have the expertise to code websites for any browsers that our clients want. We have a few clients that have chosen us as their web developers specifically because they want their website to work across all platforms, and be Internet Explorer 6 compatible.

But why do they want this? If IE6 has a 0.1% market share [1], IE7 0.8% [1] IE8 5.2% [1], and (UK) users who disable JavaScript 1.3% [2], then this equates to a potential 7.4% of the UK market, or more than 1 in 13 users. So a truly multi-browser compatible website would cater for all of these people, a staggering 3.9 Million UK internet users [3].

Furthermore, many sectors and sectors still have a high usage of IE6, including the UK government [4], and 24% of China’s internet users [5] equating to over 129 Million people [6].

So although the web development industry is correct in not supporting older browsers as standard, there are situations where it is vital until the world upgrade their software. If you specialise in some market sectors, export to China, or want a truly accessible website, then perhaps you should consider true browser compatibility including Internet Explorer 6.

And finally, as an example; take a look at our website – not only is this a responsive website working across modern web browsers and mobile devices, but it works without JavaScript, and in older browsers including IE6, demonstrating that browser compatibility needn’t compromise functionality or design.



[2] Yahoo, 2010





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