Are you still using a browser from the prehistoric era? In terms of the computing scene, prehistoric could be as recent as five years ago. Holding on to an out-of-date browser hurts the development of the web, and affects how your own site performs for you. Some people naturally resist change, however we think it's high time for your comfy old browser to quietly fade away, and in this blog post we'll explain why you should always stay up-to-date.
The Web Is Constantly Evolving
The world wide web of today is completely different from the web of ten, or even five years ago. At that time, for example, responsive design had not yet been invented or perhaps even needed due to the emerging market of smartphones and tablets. Now, virtually every site we make is responsive and there is an ever increasing trend of responsive sites due to the web becoming a predominantly mobile-based affair.
Because the web is constantly evolving, you should upgrade your browser to follow suit and take advantage of the latest technologies the web has to offer. In essence, if you're browsing the web with an older browser, you're missing out on the best the web has to offer. Newer browsers also enhance performance, and as such can greatly enhance improve your web experience.
Security is another important reason why you should upgrade, and upgrade often. Browser developers are constantly fixing bugs and issues with their software, and the most important of all are security-related issues. A security bug in your browser could result in your personal information being stolen by an attacker, so it's highly recommended that you use an up-to-date browser at all times.
The Internet Explorer factor
Many users browse the web with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer (or IE as it's commonly known) is a venerable stalwart of the web browser scene, having first appeared as part of the Plus! package for Windows 95. It underwent many changes throughout the past twenty years, and was indeed the first browser of choice for the majority of Windows users, particularly in corporate and government environments. The latest IE versions (10 and 11) are greatly improved browsers, but if you're still on IE8, IE7, or heaven forbid, IE6, you really need to upgrade or change to a better browser.
Versions of IE less than 9 were generally horrible pieces of software which do their darndest to break web sites and create an overall unsavoury experience. As developers, we couldn't even begin to tell you the amount of time wasted fixing IE-only bugs, or the sheer number of swear words uttered because of these old browsers. At Praxis Interactive, we no longer support IE8 and earlier versions, as they are just too old, too bug-ridden, and there really is no reason why they cannot be upgraded to a newer version, or replaced with a superior browser.
Try on a New Pair of Shoes
If you're able to install a different browser other than Internet Explorer, we strongly encourage you to do so. At Praxis Interactive, we typically use Mozilla Firefox as our platform of choice while developing sites and applications, and Google Chrome also has a solid look-in. Both are modern, fast, powerful browsers that can greatly improve your experience on the web. Other alternatives include Safari (on OS X), and Opera, the impressive underdog browser that refuses to give up. All of these alternative browsers are free to download.
Don't be afraid to give a new browser a go. We recommend trying it out for a week or so, and feel the difference from your old browser. If it's not for you, try a different browser and see if it's a good fit. We're confident you'll love either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, but really anything is better than an old version of Internet Explorer. Take the plunge and download a better web experience today.