Web Design and Development
By now, most internet users around the world have ditched Internet Explorer6 in exchange for faster and more secure version or have moved on to different browsers. And web designers and developers have eagerly embraced the new freedoms that not having to design for a dinosaur gives. However, depending on your website's audience, you may not be able to say goodbye to Internet Explorer 6 just yet.1
According to browser statistics, IE6 usage has fallen below 1%. In fact, IE6 usage worldwide has officially been below 1% since January 2012. However, that statistic is a bit misleading, as worldwide statistics can differ greatly from local city, state, country, or region statistics. In parts of Asia, for example, such as the Peoples Republic of China, IE6 usage is still well over 20%!2
Most websites DO NOT need to be IE6 compatible. However, if your website will be accessed and viewed by an Asian audience, the answer is likely YES. According to browser usage statistics, there is a significant number of IE6 users in China, India, and Taiwan. Some other countries which have usage statistics above 1% include Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam.
If you do decide not to support IE6, there are two easy things that you can do to accommodate your visitors who are still using the browser.
1. Degrade Nicely. There is nothing more frustrating to visitors than using a website that is completely broken for them, whether or not their browser is outdated. Some easy ways to make sure your website degrades nicely is via good 'ole CSS. Take advantage of browser version or functionality targeting techniques to simply hide content or features that is not compatible with IE6.
2. Display an IE6 Upgrade Nag. An upgrade nag is basically a notice that is displayed for users with outdated browsers. This accomplishes two things. First, you are able to inform visitors that all of your website features are not supported on their browser. And second, you can prompt them to upgrade their browser, helping push browser usage statistics in the right direction and thus making the internet a better place.
It is a hassle to develop for outdated browsers. And fortunately , IE6 is on the way out. But until we can close the book on Internet Explorer 6 for good, make sure that you are giving your visitors a website that works for them.