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How Important are IE and Edge visitors for my business?

how-important-IE

Fast forward several years since Microsoft officially retired support for their lead web browser Internet Explorer and replaced it with Microsoft Edge, you may still be wondering do I need to be concerned with visitors still using old browsers. The truth is that it is uniquely individual. In this article we will explore the following:

  • How you can review your website visitors and understand if your site has many visitors from non popular or older browsers such as Internet Explorer.
  • How to make a decision on what you can do knowing your site visitor stats and if you do make changes, which one is best for you.
  • Using Plugin popup requests 
  • Making changes to your website (Flotheme)

The First Step is to analyze what browsers your visitors are using. There are 2 tools that allow you to do this very easily.

WP Statistics

  1. Upload the downloaded zip file from the link above into your plugins tab inside WordPress 
  2. Activate the plugin and make sure that the Date and Time are correct in your WordPress > settings tab.
  3. Go to your plugins page, and click on the settings for WP Statistics to configure (your location) and then it will take up to 24-48 hours to show your first stats.
  4. Once you click on WP Statistics a dashboard with your visitor data will be displayed which you can view those visiting using all browsers.

Google Analytics (Our Recommended Option)

(If you need to setup Google Analytics check this tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8DzjfRUCH8)

To view what operating system and browser your visitors are using follow these steps:

  1. Login to your google analytics account – https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/ 
  2. Click the Audience tab on the left side panel.
  3. Click Technology and then Browser & OS. 
  4. It is advised to change the date overview to a month (tab above the chart graph)

Your results will look as below which have been taken from 3 real photographer websites from the US / Germany and the UK. You will find that both Edge and Internet Explorer are the least used browsers and one with no IE visitors at all. 

As a Comparison, I am attaching stats from a non creative logistics company. The purpose is to share that Internet Explorer users still exist and with this business the number of users may require site amendments specifically for those browser users. 

It is important to separate visitors from client leads. You can do this by filtering which visitors complete a contact form/contact page on Google Analytics (If you would like to watch a tutorial on this leave a comment below).

Note: In late 2018, Microsoft decided to re-build its latest browser Edge. It will be soon powered by Chromium engine, which is the same open source project that powers Chrome browser. This means that the old versions of IE and potentially the old Edge browser will also be no longer supported. The date for these changes are currently unknown but are happening. 

What Is Best for you?


Depending on whether you value the number of visitors to your site using an older dated browser will allow you to make 2 simple decisions.
Either use a plugin to notify users that they should use another browser for a better experience or update and make amendments to your site so that it works for older browsers. Just note that in doing this you will potentially be stripping a more intuitive experience for many others by simplifying your site. The reason to simplify is for one reason only… Older browsers such as Internet Explorer do not support HTML 5 (ie responsive) correctly. My personal suggestion is to opt for a plugin. Though those visitors will still not be able to view your site, at least they will know that your site isn’t broken. (However gut feeling is that most of the web is not pretty for Internet Explorer users)

Using a Plugin


WP Browser Update

Once you install this plugin users will be notified to update their browser to a new browser that supports your website. 

Making Changes to your Site


After Internet Explorer retired in 2016 and WordPress also stopped supporting IE (Internet Explorer) https://make.wordpress.org/core/2017/04/23/target-browser-coverage/, we also stopped support of IE and limited our designs and functionality to focus on innovative and modern trends. However while currently not all of our theme sliders support IE and Edge fully we are releasing an update to our last 15 themes launched since January 2016 to offer this support.

UPDATE: we have pushed a recent update for the following themes, so that the slideshows and the majority of blocks (that are possible) are displayed properly with IE & Edge. Fiji II, Osaka & Cube will get updates in a few days too:

  • Narcisse – v. 0.4
  • Milea – v. 0.4
  • Rosemary II – v. 0.3.1
  • Cannes – v. 0.3.1
  • Evora – v. 0.9.2
  • Lvy II – v. 0.7.3
  • Leon – v. 0.6.1
  • Porto II – v. 0.9.2
  • Trento – v. 0.6.3
  • Crowd II – v. 0.8.1
  • Kyoto – v. 0.7.2
  • Osaka – v. 1.2
  • Cube – v. 0.8.2

Note:  In case you have the Fade Effect enabled on your website, we recommend disabling it to ensure a smooth experience for your IE users.

Here are a few examples of how our themes display on IE:

The Milea theme.

The Rosemary theme.

As shown within the Rosemary screenshot there will still be limitations and workarounds needed for the number of words per row due to the support IE has for these type of sliders. The workaround is easy, to resolve this you can use this code snippet <br> (tag) when creating the text beside the slider to format the line paragraphing. The  used in order to make sure that the text is not overlapped by the slideshow images.
The most important note for IE compatibility is to:

  • Avoid using any rollover thumbnails. ie. side by side features.
  • Check the text from IE and add HTML tags for it, so it will look better visually.

What are your thoughts?

Have you had clients book you who use Internet Explorer?

We would love to know!

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