Is it time for an IE8 Tax?

By Ralph Vugts on Jul 17, 2013

Talk to any web developer and they will tell you about their never-ending battle to get a website to look the same on Internet Explorer 6-8.

About a year ago Kogan took it to the extreme by adding an extra tax during the checkout process if you were using IE7. Awesome yes... But... is it time to bump that up a version to include IE8?

The good news is IE7 is pretty much gone now *phew*… but IE8 is still hanging around like a bad smell and it is really holding developers back from achieving some really cool stuff with HTML5 for all.

Many large companies/corporations/governments still use IE8 as their default browser which can cause quite a few issues if you're trying to build a stylish new responsive website in HTML5. This is especially true in the B2B world where many of clients want a responsive website as they recognise that mobile viewers are an ever growing audience… but then complain when they try to view the website on their stuck in 2009 (or older web browser).

From a developer point of view it's also painful to test in IE8 (especially so if you're on a mac). You can use tools such as IETester which allow you to see how the site renders from Internet Explorer 5.5 - 10 but this is also not fool proof if you are running quite a few scripts as you will run into errors that a normal IE8 user would not see.

All this extra testing and work-arounds/fixes can add significant time and cost to a web project. So is it time to start imposing an extra cost/tax if the website needs to work in older Internet Explorer version? Kogan certainly thinks so.

If you want to jump on the anti IE bandwagon try using these lines of code to redirect users to another page promoting other web browsers (it could be easily modified to trigger a pop up as well similar to how Kogan does it).

IE8 code snippet

You're welcome!

Also, if you are like me and often get asked to help fix mum or granddads computer, take the opportunity to install Chrome or Firefox while deleting the IE icon… They might freak out initially as they can't fine the "blue internet button" anymore but they learn to love it eventually :)

Ralph has been developing websites and systems for nearly 20 years. Passionate and curious, he’s an a-typical developer who understands how users interact with the systems he builds. He understands that systems need to be human-friendly. Ralph loves working in an industry that is constantly changing and disrupting itself.

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