Welcome to the Treehouse Community

The Treehouse Community is a meeting place for developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels to get support. Collaborate here on code errors or bugs that you need feedback on, or asking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project. Join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today. (Note: Only Treehouse students can comment or ask questions, but non-students are welcome to browse our conversations.)

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and a supportive community. Start your free trial today.

CSS

Jaime Rios
PLUS
Jaime Rios
Courses Plus Student 21,100 Points

Why should I care about IE8 and older edition compatibility? Is it really useful nowadays?

Why should I care about older versions of web browsers?

That is a good question! It's one I also ask myself often.

The short answer is, you don't have to if you don't want to it will just mean that if anyone is using IE8 your website won't display correctly. Older browsers however tend to be used by companies rather than people I would say from my experience. For example, the company I work for at the moment has 100+ computers that are still running IE8, this is due to the sheer amount of computers and how long it would take to upgrade them.

Optmizing your website for older browsers is just good practice and something you should learn really. I don't know what your goals are, but imaging if a company such as mine where interviewing you and said "we have browsers from a range of different versions, can you cope with that?" I think many companies will want a website that is created for them to be compatible across many different browsers on many different versions.

Jaime Rios
Jaime Rios
Courses Plus Student 21,100 Points

Andrew, I would choose yours as best answer but the platform won't allow me since it is a coment.

3 Answers

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,135 Points

Andrew really gave a good response. General browser usage stats are almost useless, because most sites of a client base, and their browser usages stats are usually skewed one way or another.

It comes down to what type of site are you building. Are you building a tech blog for cutting edge technology? You probably don't care much about IE8 because most of your readers are probably using updated browsers and systems.

Writing a website for a service that business owners might use? You might be surprised how many corporate client computers are still running Windows XP, and because of that limited to IE8. They're not fast to update because of the sheer amount of time, expensive, and risk of unexpected hiccups that come with updating computers on a network.

What if it's your personal blog/portfolio? Could be hit or miss. But no guarantee that the first look by a recruiter or someone in HR that might not be tecky doesn't come from IE8 browser.

The best thing to do is to try to gather real world user states from your own viewership. Google Analtyics is free and will tell you browsers usages and versions even, so you can drill down, and figure out over time if supporting legacy browsers is worth it, and how far back you should support.

My last nugget of though. Graceful degradation. Your website to an IE8 or older user doesn't have to behave or look quite like the user running the latest version of Chrome, but it should still be usable and legible.

Jaime Rios
Jaime Rios
Courses Plus Student 21,100 Points

Have you created a websited wich I can use as an example?

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,135 Points

Nothing online at the moment. Working on 2 more complicated sites but both are private at the moment.

It's about the usage of the browser. Take from example two countries: Romania and USA. In USA IE is seldom used and population don't care so much about it, but here in Romania people keep using old versions of IE and we can't stop them. They have old computers which they don't want to change and they keep on with IE.

Now if you create a site for the USA you shouldn't care so much about IE, because it so rarely used, but here in Romania things change. We need to optimize everything, so everyone can see and use our websites as we created them. I now it's a hard work, but developers and designer can't just ignore the population. We build websites for them, so they can use them. We don't build those just for our computers where we only use Firefox or Chrome.

Just take in consideration your needs, if there are not so many people using a type of browser don't bother so much.

Here is another great tool that breaks down the distribution of browser usage between the major browsers.

IE has been on a significant decline every since Chrome arrived.

Alexander Smith
Alexander Smith
2,769 Points

I prefer statcounter as it lets you break it down by country and what not as well. Plus I have a silent hatred for w3schools as there are much better reference sources now including web platform docs which the W3C is supporting.