Web design – upgrading your site & old browsers

It’s a big decision to invest in a new website, but for those of you with 3 year plus old websites there are many compelling reasons to do so. Technology, and your competitors, never stay still.

Before doing so, however, it is worth checking your Google analytics to see if your customers have upgraded their technology as well! Internet explorer, Microsoft’s attempt at producing an internet browser, had a torrid history until they finally got it up to scratch from version 10 onwards. Many people still cling to old versions, most often corporates where the cost of upgrading can be huge.

The problem with people using old browsers is that they can’t take advantage of all the latest features that a modern web design will often rely on to look, well, modern. In fact it’s not simply a case of them not taking advantage, it’s often a case of them breaking.

Web developers are often cavalier with an attitude of “oh well, if it breaks, the visitor should upgrade their browser”. But that’s not a lot of help if it losses you customers.

Before upgrading, check, for example, how many people use Internet explorer 8 to visit your site. This was one of a series of pig awful releases from Microsoft that can barely get the most basic of web designs right. Typically our customers are now down to 0.7% usage so you’re pretty safe to build for backwards compatibility with IE9 and up. However one recent web design customer had a staggering 20% of its visitors using IE8, (it’s just the sector they operate in) so that required some careful web design to provide a functional but degraded design site to keep all their customers happy!

This applies particularly to responsive design websites, so check your customers before diving into a swanky web design which must ends up cutting them off.

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About Gerald Thulbourn

Gerald Thulbourn setup WebSanity in 2004. He has a 1st class honours MEng in Microelectronics & Software Engineering (i.e. he's a techy), 5 A grades at A level (i.e. he works hard) and loves to communicate (i.e. odd for a techy). He hates tech speak, sloppy/badly tested code, and technology for the sake of technology's sake. He loves helping people understand marketing concepts and seeing how their application makes a real difference to their business. In particular he loves training; SEO, Website Analysis, WordPress etc. Read more about us on Google+