Anyone who knows a web developer has probably heard them gripe about Internet Explorer (IE) at some point. Is that because us developers are generally a cranky bunch or is there really something to all of this IE hate? While I agree that developers on the whole are an ornery lot in this case there are some great reasons for giving up on Microsoft’s former flagship.


Why should I ditch IE?


  1. Security – Numerous security issues have been uncovered in IE in recent years, many of which will go unfixed due to Microsoft’s limited support for their legacy browser. By continuing to use IE you are putting yourself at risk of being hacked.
  2. Speed – Internet Explorer is slow, incredibly so in many cases. Testing has shown that IE can on average take twice as long to load a site compared with competing browsers.
  3. Support – Microsoft ended official support for IE10 on January 14th. 2020. That means there will be no security or non-security updates to this browser. This means that any security issues with IE 10 that are found by bad actors will not be patched. IE 11 support is, well, let’s just call it patchy. From the Microsoft website: “Internet Explorer 11 will continue receiving security updates and technical support for the lifecycle of the version of Windows on which it is installed.” What does that mean exactly? In short, if you have IE 11 on Windows 10 you will still get somewhat regular security updates from Microsoft however if you are on an older operating system then your support may end soon (Windows 8) or may already have ceased (Windows 7/Vista).
  4. Features – As part of the lack of support for IE, new browser features are not being added. This means that new HTML and CSS functionality is not available in IE browsers. For example, methods such as flexbox, CSS filtering, and many other new features just don’t work in these browsers. This may result in layouts being broken, images not displaying correctly or a whole array of other potential problems. In addition useful tools such as plugins for advanced bookmarking, password management etc. are not being developed for IE.
  5. IE is holding everyone back – because IE lacks many of the latest browser-features that designers and developers have come to rely on, they are often forced to either remove features from websites so that IE users are able to access content or write time-consuming fallbacks for IE that can lead to project bloat and scope creep. You are making it harder for designers and developers to utilize cool new features and are adding to the cost of maintaining and creating websites for businesses when you continue to use IE.


So what do I do now?


  1. Install Firefox – Firefox is “is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, Mozilla Corporation.” It is widely used by corporations and is particularly popular among government agencies and not-for-profits who have restrictions on the type of software and licensing their organizations can use. You can download the latest version of Firefox here.
  2. Install Chrome – Chrome is “is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google”. It is a highly functional web browser with a huge selection of features including add-ons and continuing support. Chrome has the largest share of any browser on the market with 63.9% of worldwide market share. There are some privacy concerns related to the way that Chrome stores and shares data, however, these issues can be remedied by customizing the privacy settings in the browser. You can download the latest version of Chrome here.
  3. Edge? –  Edge is Microsoft’s follow-up to Internet Explorer. Edge is a fairly functional browser but it also continues to lag behind in browser support for features such as CSS filters that are supported in browsers like Chrome without issue. It also has similar privacy concerns as Google Chrome. For some companies that do not allow users to install third-party software Edge may be your only choice. If you have Windows 10, Edge is likely already installed. If it’s not then it might be time to call IT…