The IE6 Decision

More and more website publishers are deciding to drop support for Internet Explorer 6. This browser has notoriously poor, incomplete, and outright missing support for modern standards in web design and interactivity. Thus making a site that works well in IE6 and current browsers requires significant additional effort. Many web design firms are moving to a model of charging extra for IE6 support on top of regular design fees.

IE6’s days are numbered.

However, many organizations wrestle with when to drop it from the list of supported browser for their site. Total traffic from that browser version is often cited as a metric to use. Only 6% of our visitors use it? Drop that browser like a hot potato!

Hold on though, what if those 6% do something important, like making 20% of your online purchases in your store? Do you want to walk away from that income? Probably not.

Here are a few criteria to use in assessing if you should continue to support IE6 for the time being while we wait for it to finally die off (which is happening more rapidly now).

Do a significant proportion of IE6 users on your site:

  • Login to a members-only area or frequently use other core functionality?
  • Make purchases in your store? Representing how much revenue?
  • Represent key constituents or prospects for your organization?

You get the idea. If IE6 users are not part of a relevant audience for your key goals online then you are safe dropping them even if they are a somewhat high percentage of your traffic. If IE6 users are valuable to your organization, then you very well may be better off investing in supporting them.

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