Why We Only Develop for the 2 Most Recent Browser Versions

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April 19, 2016

We Only Develop for the Latest Browsers – Here’s Why

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Adrian Gonzales  /  Development Apr 19, 2016

As part of our development process for web products (websites, landing pages, microsites, web applications), we focus on the two most recent browser versions.

Occasionally, a client will be concerned that their audience uses older technology, and want us to develop backwards several versions. While we are certainly open to accommodating our clients’ needs, there’s a reason we focus on the most recent two versions.

We are UpTrending, which means we are all about all things trending up (see what I did there?). We are committed to innovation and modernity, demonstrated by an enthusiastic, unwavering support of the latest and greatest digital technologies – but that’s not why we ignore IE8.

We don’t support these browser versions simply because they are “new” – we support them because of what they can do for our clients, and what they can do for our clients’ audience. Let me show you why we support the latest two versions of browsers.

Look Forward, Not Back

The main reason we support the latest browsers is because the latest browsers support the latest technology. Old browsers such as IE8 and IE9 don’t support a lot of the animation and CSS functionality that is desired by most clients and their users.

To be frank, nothing is quite as upsetting as developing a beautiful website that collapses on an outdated browser.

These technologies offer a holistic approach to website positioning; these technologies can only enhance your website, not hinder. Optimizing your website for modern browsers will directly influence user experience, and propel your website into the trendsetting realm of exciting modernity. By supporting the most up-to-date technologies, you’ll position your business as cutting edge and forward thinking. You’ll do more than just communicate with your users — you’ll invigorate them.

Follow the Numbers

When deciding on whether to upgrade to the latest technologies, numbers don’t lie. Take a look at your analytics. What are your users using as browsers?

It’s generally a good practice to build your website to accommodate the platforms that your target audience is already using. Google analytics no longer supports IE8 and IE9 because they are so outdated. In fact, they are also no longer supported by Microsoft.

Look at where your users are coming from and do a comparison. Stat Counter is a great resource for wide-scale comparative analytics. It supplies statistics, by country, all about browser use. Do an internal audit, and honestly weigh the cost of optimizing your website for these outdated browsers (and also consider the very low and decreasing percentage of users still using outdated browsers). Then, you can objectively determine whether or not it’s worth the investment.

Show Me the Money

Coding for outdated browsers that don’t support current technologies adds significant cost and time to development as well as design.

Alternative designs may need to be created to work with the lack of support with certain elements or animations. If you choose to optimize your website to support outdated browsers, any time you request a feature or change, you’ll need to be prepared for the additional investment in resources for accommodating those changes.

The Alternative

Our suggestion? Carpe diem. YOLO. Seize the “right now” of digital technology, and encourage your users to do the same.

You can display a message to users with outdated browsers that will prompt them to update. You can even provide them with direct links and resources for these upgrades.

Supporting the latest browser versions is the perfect way to balance budget efficiency with the benefits of the latest technologies. You’ve invested a lot of time, resources, and creativity into your website. Make sure your users can enjoy that full experience you’ve created, in the best, most modern way possible.