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Browser Compatibility Consensus

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #1460
    Jonathan Goodman
    Participant

    What browser versions do you support when building a client site?

    I am running into a problem with a client whose internal employees are using IE7 and refuse to upgrade.

    My client contract states: Testing will be conducted prior to site launch confirming best practices were maintained; HTML, XHTML, and CSS is WC3 compliant, and the design is supported in all current generations of browsers and popular platform environments.

    I believe “current generations of browsers” to mean:

    Chrome 18 & 19

    IE 8 & 9

    Firefox 11 & 12

    Safari 5.1

    Your opinion will help shape the discussion with my clients as well as redefine my contract.

    In a ‘big world view’ I’m also wondering if the WordPress Community shouldn’t come out with a strong statement on what we will and won’t support.

    #2497
    D.K. Smith
    Participant

    Good morning Jonathan,

    Browser debates keeping you up at night?

    Most people do not upgrade their browsers. This is a fact, based on three broad-demographic B2C focus groups we’ve conducted this year (and several from prior years. WP security is just a small part of what we do).

    We define “current” as anything in use in the last two to three years.

    Cutting-edge may be okay if your client’s market is B2B, since most corporations have IT departments that keep things updated. Otherwise, IMHO, I suggest you support IE7 and get over it.

    BTW, go ahead and develop that strong statement on what you will and won’t support. We’ll be happy to take on all the clients you’ll lose, 🙂

    Best, D.K.

    #2498
    amylaneio
    Spectator

    A little bluntly put, but D.K. is right, for the most part. Many people don’t (or can’t) upgrade their browsers. While only a small number of people still use IE7 (4% of the web over the last 12 months, according to stat counter), it’s not an insignificant number. (For instance, a site with 100,000 uniques a month would be turning away 4,000 potential customers every month)

    You can, however, explain to the customer that making their site compatible with more browsers would cost extra money, as it entails more work. Or you could start with a design that already works in IE7, and progressively enhance the experience for more capable browsers. (See http://www.alistapart.com/articles/understandingprogressiveenhancement/)

    #2499
    D.K. Smith
    Participant

    I agree with Christian, on my bluntness and his example of lost potential customers. You’re stepping onto a slippery slope when you start telling clients (and consumers) that they must do XYZ to view a website.

    BTW, web browser stats are typically skewed because mostly techie and more savvy users download the toolbars and other things that record that type of data.

    Definiitely agree with making clients pay more to get more.

    #2500
    amylaneio
    Spectator

    Actually, DK, most web servers (good ones anyway) will keep user agent statistics based on who actually comes to a site (no toolbars or embedded javascript necessary).

    #2501
    D.K. Smith
    Participant

    I was speaking of global data you can find on the web, like http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php and http://gs.statcounter.com/

    Site stats are always better for working on a specific website, but it’s hard to develop a policy with just that data. We use stats from well over 5,000 sites (almost half in the last five years) but that’s because I’ve been doing this since 1997.

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