Matt Mullenweg posted a message a few weeks ago on Facebook saying ‘If you, like me, are appalled that WordPress 3.2 will drop important browser support, sign petition here: http://t.co/bMOTroN‘. The message was obviously a joke as it linked to a website called SaveIE6, a parody website which makes fun out of the IE6 No More brigade.
Save IE6 gives some great reasons why Internet Explorer 6 should be saved such as more screen space due to no tab option and no support for silly PNG transparency!
What surprised me was a little was that Microsoft have themselves thrown their weight behind a campaign to stop people using IE 6 with their website IE6 Countdown. The site explains why users should stop using IE6 (and why they should upgrade to IE9!). Interestingly, it shows a detailed world map of where IE6 is being used.
Scandinavia is leading the way with less than 1% of internet users in Norway and Finland using IE 6. English speaking countries such as the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand are a bit behind with between 3 and 3.5% of users using IE6 as their browser. Asia, where piracy remains a major problem for Microsoft, has the highest percentage of IE6 users in the world with a whopping 34.5% of Chinas internet users using the browser. I must admit I was surprised at the high percentage of users using IE6 in leading technology producing countries such as Japan (10.3%) and South Korea (24.8%).
Should bloggers be concerned?
I’m sure the majority of Blogging Tips readers use a modern browser such as IE9, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Chrome; however Microsofts official countdown page highlights that there are millions of internet users using this outdated browser. This can be a major problem for blog owners. IE6 was notorious for causing designers a lot of headaches as they had to add apply lots of additional tweaks and add ons to make sure designs worked on the browser, and even then things never looked right. Due to this, the vast majority of designers don’t even design with IE6 in mind, which is understandable considering the browser is over 10 years old.
The problem is, millions of people are still using IE6, which means that a percentage of your readers are not viewing your blog in the way you intended. There are of course things you can do to stop this being a problem. For example, WordPress users can install a plugin such as IE6 No More or IE6 Upgrade Option which encourages users to update their browser.
Obviously, we don’t have to guess how many of our readers use IE6; that’s what traffic stats are for. For example, Google Analytics states that only 7.86% of WP Mods visitors use Internet Explorer and of that 7.86%, only 2.16% use IE6 i.e. only .17% of my readers. Clearly, it isn’t a major problem for my WordPress blog however you would expect readers of this type of blog to be using modern browsers. Those of you with blogs which focus on less technology/internet based should have a much higher percentage of IE6 users reading your blog.
I’d love to see what percentage of IE 6 users other blogs get. Please post the percentage of IE 6 users your stats program gives for your blog and the topic the blog focuses on. It will be interesting to see the difference in genres.
Thanks for reading 🙂