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How Microsoft's End to IE8/9/10 Support Will Impact Your Website

After today, don’t expect any more security updates or feature enhancements for old versions of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft is stopping support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 and urging Windows users to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, the latest and last version of the popular Microsoft browser, or move to Windows 10 where they can use Edge.

The announcement is relatively old news. Microsoft revealed its plans to stop legacy browser support in a blog post in August of 2014. But it’s likely many are only hearing about the change now that the proverbial Eleventh Hour is upon us

So what does this mean?

Older versions of Internet Explorer will still work

Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 won’t suddenly go dead if you use them to access the web. There is no mythical ‘off’ switch that will leave those older browsers out of order – despite what sci-fi movies tell us.

You will soon be asked to download one final update, however, which includes a special feature – a nagging prompt that will periodically remind you to upgrade to a more supported browser. Don’t worry, there are ways to disable it.

Websites best viewed in anything besides IE 8 or 9

It’s reasonable to expect your web surfing experience to worsen if you still use Internet Explorer 8 or 9 as the year goes on.

A lot of modern web design features shipped with Internet Explorer 10, but for years, designers and developers have been hacking their way around the limitations of older versions that are still in use. Sometimes these hacks leave your site bloated, causing them to load significantly slower.

At Visionary, our policy is to determine browser support based on actual usage stats found in tools like Google Analytics. If your site isn’t being tracked with Google Analytics, we can still use data from as a baseline.

We’ve written about the risks of blindly excluding older browsers from projects before. But don’t expect others to be as empathetic. Some agencies say they only build websites that support the last 3 browser versions, putting Internet Explorer 10 at the very end of that spectrum.

Microsoft cutting the support cord on its own product only sounds the horn for other web vendors to jump on board.

Goodbye and good ridance Internet Explorer tweet

A moment of silence for Internet Explorer tweet

Heed Microsoft’s advice

Microsoft has a great FAQ page that explains how to update your browser and what you can do if your business system is stuck with an old Windows operating system that prevents you from getting a newer version of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft’s biggest reasoning behind their support stoppage is security from “viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.”

The web benefits from browser updates. Older browsers lack support for modern web standards that affect security, performance, and accessibility.

Web developers also work more efficiently and create better products if their customers are using the latest browsers.

Instead of focusing on those hacks we previously mentioned, developers can focus on future-proofing your site, which allows for a better user experience for your customers.

Not sure what browser you are using? This handy site by Google will tell you.

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