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Time flies in the technology world, it’s hard to believe that  Microsoft released the first iteration of Internet Explorer over 25 years ago. At the time, it was an astounding development in the worldwide web. Designers and developers finally had a browser that supported CSS, and it introduced Java and other applets to the world.

As Internet Explorer continued to grow, it became known for its unbeatable speed, Dynamic HTML, and the fact that it was available cross-platform thanks to Internet Explorer 4. By 2003, Internet Explorer was the most widely used browser by a long shot, with about 95% usage share.

But in 2003, the standard was completely different, when you’re the number one player in the game, there’s not as much reason to be competitive. In the current year, 2021, we have more options for web browsers other than IE. And if you spend a little time comparing and contrasting, you’ll be blown away by how far we’ve come.

Retiring Internet Explorer | Marketing and SEO

Our design and SEO company in Akron wants to put out the best products and services that help our clients succeed. While we’re nostalgic for the early days, we commit to moving forward with better browsers and we encourage others to do the same. Here are a few reasons why.

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Lack of Quality Support

The current support for Internet Explorer will last until Windows 10 is no longer in service. While Windows 10 won’t be phased out until August of 2025, that isn’t that far away, and it’s important to be aligned with the future of web design in northeast Ohio.

There’s a chance it will continue to get technical updates from Microsoft forever, but these updates aren’t for improvement, they are for maintenance. We strive for better options for our clients, which means we need the best tools. If we can’t guarantee we’re designing a website and implementing the best SEO strategies, we can’t do our best work without technical support and innovative thinking.

It’s Too Slow For an SEO Optimized Website

In the most recent Google page experience update update, speed is a non-negotiable for ranking on search engines. Internet Explorer’s average load time is around 4.53 seconds. Some sites only take about 2.72 seconds to load, but even that number is double the time of other browsers available like Firefox or Chrome.

4.53 seconds might not sound like a long time, but your consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. The likelihood of a potential sale slipping through your fingers goes up the longer the page takes to load. If Firefox and Chrome can get the job done 3.5 times faster, IE11 doesn’t bring much to the table.

Web Designer | Frustrated woman at computer

It’s Every Web Designers Worst Nightmare

Internet Explorer 11 doesn’t support today’s modern JavaScript standards. Supporting IE11-compatible websites means that our local web designers have to use the JavaScript frameworks that it does support.

To work in Internet Exporer 11, JavaScript has to be compiled to ES6, which increases the size of your bundles up to 30%. That makes your site’s performance significantly worse for the much larger portion of your audience that isn’t using IE, and limits your ability to use the features that newer JavaScript standards provide.

Internet Explorer also typically doesn’t support most modern CSS properties, which means you have to oversimplify your website’s design and your code. Even worse, making sure everything is compatible with IE11 takes extra time for your developer. This means your development team is spending more time to make a website that performs worse on more popular browsers, instead of spending their time on new features and improvements.

To those of us who aren’t web developers in Akron, just hearing that IE11 doesn’t support modern JavaScript and CSS might not seem like that big of a deal. But most people do understand that extra cost and time are a very real issue.

Security Risks for your Website

IE had and still does have a reputation for sub-par security, but it’s gotten even worse in the recent years. Believe it or not, just having Internet Explorer installed on your computer at all can expose you to security threats.

John Page, a security researcher, uncovered an exploit in the way Internet Explorer handles MHT files that allow hackers to gain access to Windows users’ local data. Because MHT files are opened in IE automatically on Windows machines, all you have to do is click on an email attachment to leave yourself vulnerable to cyber threats. To protect your local data, drop support for IE and uninstall it from your computer all together.

Microsoft Says You Should Retire IE

Just when it seems like it couldn’t get worse, it’s own developers are even giving up on it. Microsoft’s worldwide cybersecurity lead Chris Jackson calls IE a “compatibility solution,” rather than an effective browser, and says the company will not support any new web standards for it going forward. He even says that you should only use IE for sites where it’s needed and points users to tools that help you transition to better browsers.

Here at ADVAN Design and Digital Marketing, we agree with Microsoft’s decision to be transparent with a product that doesn’t cut it. We always act with integrity towards our clients, and have chosen to permanently suspend our support of IE.

Will My Customer’s Still get a Great Experience?

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The user experience on your website is crucial for marketing and SEO. If you retire while customers are still using it, what will happen to those customers?

According to a recent report from NetMarketShare, less than 10% of desktop and laptop web traffic comes from Internet Explorer and less than 3% of all web traffic across all devices. It’s fair to assume that not many customers are coming to your website from Internet Explorer, but it’s always a good idea to research your site’s specifics.

In short, supporting IE11 does not provide noticeable improvement to your website. In fact, it could hurt your overall site health and your SEO. Continuing to support the outdated browser prevents you and your users from using a lot of future apps, features, and design elements that IE11 simply isn’t able to handle.

Don’t get left behind while the web moves forward. Retire IE and provide a window of warning for your customers that do use it. Explain your decision to no longer support IE to your customers, too. While some people may not understand the technicalities, most customers are happy to know you’re putting your energy into optimizing their website for the largest audience, fastest load times, and best features.

Want Our Help Designing a Website that Performs on All Browsers?

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Want to make sure your website is designed to give you a competitive edge? ADVAN outperforms other web design and SEO companies in the Akron & Cleveland area by consistently getting our clients to the top spots on Google. Choose the web design company with expertise in SEO and proven results to get you to #1. ADVAN uses the best tools to build the best websites to grow your business.

Let us design your success!

By Published On: June 3, 2021

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