Some of you may have already seen that Microsoft are to drop support for older versions of Internet Explorer in 2016 - we thought we’d tell you what we think about this.
In January 2016 (the 12th to be precise), Microsoft will stop support, including security updates, for its older versions of Internet Explorer meaning the only version of Internet Explorer that will be supported and have security updates released is Internet Explorer 11.
Despite being estimated that IE8 is the most popular browser worldwide, support for Internet Explorer 7 and 8 will be dropped completely. After-all, IE8 is now 6 years old!
Internet Explorer 11 will be the required upgrade for all PCs running Windows 7 or 8, with only older operating systems (Windows Vista) supporting IE9, which will reach its end-of-life in 2017.
Of course there’s nothing to stop users remaining on the older version and taking the decision not to update, however it won’t be supported or receive the security updates that all other browsers get.
What does Edusite think?
When we heard about this we thought it was really good news.
Internet Explorer can be a tricky browser and lots of users are still browsing the internet on browsers that are 6 or more years old - this can be really detrimental to a users experience while browsing the web not to mention leaving the user vulnerable to security issues and bugs. Almost forcing users to use the latest version can only be a positive step as it should give a more consistent experience for all users and allow them to see the full effect of the range of functionality that can be seen on websites in 2015.
As standard, Edusite don’t support the older versions of Internet Explorer when we build school websites, however we have always offered this as an optional extra. It’s quite common these days to see a notice if you visit a website using an older browser to say that the viewing experience may be affected and suggesting that you upgrade your browser.
For us as developers, the older versions of Internet Explorer can be a real headache, as technology and coding techniques have developed, these older browsers haven’t and as such don’t support the latest techniques, meaning making the website look good and work properly on older browsers can be a very time consuming task. It’s common to have to omit certain features as it’s impossible to make them work in such old browsers.
What should you do?
Your IT support in school will be the best people to discuss with you what version of Internet Explorer you should be using. It might not always be possible to upgrade, but where possible we would recommend using Internet Explorer 11 - your viewing experience will be better and your browser will be supported and receive security updates. You could also consider using a different browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
How can you find out what browser visitors to your school website are using?
If you’d like to monitor which browsers are used when people visit your school website, you can have Google Analytics set up on your school site, which as soon as it is set-up will start tracking this information for you. It can help you to decide which browsers need to be supported if you are having a new school website built. More and more, schools are finding that a lot of their website traffic is coming from mobile devices - you can read more about this here.
To chat to us about your school website or browser support you can fill out our contact form here.