No, I don't want to download a new browser

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Or, "Why you should not excuse a bad website with a list of 'approved' browsers"

This is what I got when I clicked an "Order Online" button on


For reference, here are the current popular browsers and their latest version (since versions are mostly arbitrary in browsers, I've also included time since the versions in the image were surpassed), in rough popularity order:

  • Chrome (Version 20). Not Listed. Passed Firefox around version 15, 8 months ago.
  • Internet Explorer (Version 9). 17 months old.
  • Firefox (Version 14.0.1). Version 4 was released 17 months ago.
  • Safari (5.1.7/6.0 as of today). Safari 5 has been out for two years.

Do your users (and your reputation) a favor, and stop relying on "recommended browsers". Those should have died 10 years ago:

Free Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Netscape Now! 3.0!

It's not hard. Just build your website:

  • A) to web standards that have staying power, and have already been stable for years
  • B) with progressive enhancement and graceful degradation in mind.