10 great arguments for refusing to support IE6

Written by Belle Beth Cooper on August 21, 2012

From compatibility issues to security holes, IE6 is known for being a huge pain in the neck for developers these days. As we watch its use decline (far too slowly), developers are still fighting off constant pressure from clients who expect their websites to support this antique software.

Here are ten reasons you can give them for dumping IE6 support.

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1. “Do you have any idea how much extra work that is?”

It’s no secret that supporting IE6 required a lot of extra work for both designers and developers. In fact, an article from Smashing Magazine suggested that supporting variants of IE can increase the workload 30-100%.

For complex features, development time can apparently be doubled – or even tripled – when supporting IE. Not only is that a headache for you, it’s a lot of extra cash your client will have to fork out.

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2. “Let’s just help your customers upgrade to better browsers.”

With a simple piece of code, you can easily add a message for IE6 users to explain why the site doesn’t display correctly, and how to upgrade. You can even grab some pre-made code snippets from IE6 No More and IE6 Countdown.

3. “Google doesn’t even support it.”

In 2010, Google started phasing out support for IE6 in Google Docs and Google Sites, with YouTube soon to follow. If Google doesn’t support it, do you really want to?

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4. “Do you realize how low IE6 usage is?”

According to IE6 Countdown, Usage of the browser is currently lower than 1% in at least 27 countries around the world, including the U.S., the U.K and Australia.

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5. “It’s one of the worst tech products – ever.”

Taking out number eight on PC World’s list of the 25 worst tech products of all time, IE6 really is hated throughout the tech community.

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6. “The market share just isn’t worth it.”

IE6’s market share is declining steadily, with the majority of use coming from China. As more people campaign for the browser to die, supporting it is not a solid investment.

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7. “WordPress doesn’t even support it.”

In 2011, blogging giant WordPress jumped on the bandwagon and announced it would no longer support IE6 due to the extra (ugly) code required to get around compatibility issues.

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8. “The security holes are too many to count.”

IE6 is notorious for having the worst security of any browser, with multiple publicized security disasters.

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9. “Some governments even warn against using it.”

The French and German governments both issued warnings about the security risks of using IE, recommending users switch to a different browser altogether.

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10. “Microsoft doesn’t even support it.”

When a company is discouraging you from using its own product, what more of a slap in the face do you need?

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What’s your best response to a client’s insistence that you must support IE6?

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About the Author

Belle Beth Cooper

Belle has spent the past four years as a freelance writer and social media consultant. She has written for The Next Web, Desktop Magazine and Social Media Examiner. Belle now spends her days wielding a pencil as Attendly's Head of Content.

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