“But The Client Wants IE 6 Support!”

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Frequently, when I discuss CSS3 with other developers, the issue of stubborn clients comes up. They tell me that even though they personally don’t think a website should look the same in all browsers and they’re eager to try all of these new techniques, their clients insist that their website should look the same, so the developers are stuck with the same Web development techniques that we used five to ten years ago. Their clients just don’t “get” graceful degradation.

Is this really the issue? Are our clients incapable of understanding these things? Is the problem that our clients don’t “get” the Web and need to be educated? I don’t think so. We got ourselves into this. We are the ones who caused this problem for our industry. We are the ones giving ourselves this trouble and making our profession less creative and enjoyable than it could be. It’s entirely our fault and no one else’s.

Wait, What?

If we choose to make a website pixel-perfect in Internet Explorer 6 to 8, then we are doing up to 100% more work. No matter how many frameworks, polyfills and other scripts we use to ease our pain, we will always be doing at least 30% more work for those browsers. How many of us actually charge 30-100% extra for this work? I haven’t heard of many who do. Clients get this kind of extra work for free, so of course they will say that they want IE 6 support. If I was a client, maybe I’d say so, too, especially if I didn’t know how these technologies work. They won’t care about our extra time if we don’t care enough ourselves to charge for it accordingly.

Of course, faster download times and better SEO are compelling arguments, but let’s face it: one of the biggest advantages of the new CSS features and new JavaScript APIs is the huge chunk of development time they save us, including making maintenance easier and quicker. As long as that doesn’t translate to reduced costs, clients will not care. And that’s perfectly understandable and natural.

Money always wins.1
Money always wins the argument. (Image: HikingArtist2)

I don’t do much client work these days, but every time I’ve taken on a client project in my career, I’ve always presented options for browser support to my client. They want pixel perfection in IE 7? It will cost them more. They want IE 6 support? It will cost double. I explain to them that this is because I will have to do double as much work for this browser. I’ve never had a single client opt to pay more to fully support older browsers. If it doesn’t come free, you’d be surprised at how many don’t care about it as much as you think. But even if they do, at least I will have enough motivation to do it without hating them, my job, browser makers and the universe. It’s fairer for everyone, including me.

“They’ll Just Go To Another Professional Who Doesn’t Charge Extra”

Whatever you do, don’t let the client think that you are charging extra for doing the same work as another professional. Not only will that look bad, but it’s also inaccurate. Explain to them that you just want to give them options and not decide on your own which browsers to support and charge for accordingly, without ever involving them in the process and letting them have a say about it.

How Much More?

You might have noticed that I implied above that supporting old Internet Explorers requires 30 to 100% more time. That’s a huge range, isn’t it? Actually, it should be even wider. I remember a case of a client coming to me with a CSS challenge that his developers weren’t able to solve. Making something that worked in modern browsers took me half an hour, then an hour to make it work in IE 8, and then three(!) more hours to get it to work in IE 7. Who knows how much longer it would’ve taken if I had to support IE 6, too! And that wasn’t the only occasion when it took me very little time to build a prototype that works in modern browsers and then a grossly disproportionate amount of extra time to make it work the same way in old Internet Explorers. If you’ve been in the field for more than a year, I’m sure this has happened to you, too.

On the other hand, if you don’t use any modern technology and you stick to CSS 2.1, then I guess you would only have to face the old IE bugs, which would take some extra time but not double. Or, if you used a ton of frameworks and polyfills, you would still have to spend some time making them work together and debugging potential conflicts, but still not double the time. 30% was an estimate for cases like those.

As you can see, the range is huge and depends on a number of different factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • You
    How modern are your development techniques? The more cutting-edge they are, then the more effort you will need to put into making good fallbacks or coming up with alternative techniques for old Internet Explorers (but less effort to make the original prototype)
  • The project
    If it’s a brochure website, the main thing that will need extra effort in order to work in old IEs is the styling. If it’s a Web application, it gets way trickier (and more time-consuming).
  • Level of support
    Supporting a browser is not black and white, either no support or full support. How good your fallbacks need to be will greatly determine how much extra time you have to spend on them.

So, I’m sorry but I can’t tell you how much extra you will need to charge to support old Internet Explorers. You’ll have to decide yourself, case by case, taking all relevant factors into consideration.

“But What If They Just Want To Pay For Firefox?”

Of course, there is a baseline of browser support that I won’t go below, even if the client doesn’t want to pay for it. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the Web to follow the principle of universality3. Even if a client wants to pay only for Firefox support, for example, my responsibility is to ensure that the website is still functional in the other browsers. Even if they are not willing to pay for mobile support, my responsibility as a Web developer is to at least add some media queries and make it decent there. Even if they don’t care about accessibility, my responsibility is to make the website somewhat accessible. These things don’t take up much time anyway, and they should be factored into even your lowest price.

So, What To Do With Old IEs?

So, what do I do for those wise clients who don’t want to pay for support of old Internet Explorers? Usually, I try to keep graceful degradation in mind and provide decent fallbacks for old browsers, so that at least the content is accessible in them. But in cases of really naughty browsers, like IE 6 and 7, sometimes even graceful degradation doesn’t work very well. Then, what I usually do is split my CSS into three files:

  • base.css
    Fonts, basic colors, etc.
  • screen.css
    Everything specific to the screen. Most of the CSS goes here.
  • print.css
    Print-specific styles, such as for hiding contact forms, etc.

Then, I just don’t serve screen.css to IE 7 and below. They get something like a print style sheet, without the hidden elements. It’s not very pretty, and it’s not modern, but at least they get the content. The same could be done with JavaScript. Check whether an API is present before using it, or simply don’t serve those script files to old Internet Explorers. If you’ve coded your JavaScript properly and it’s unobtrusive and all, then old browsers won’t get that extra functionality, but they won’t get JavaScript errors and broken functionality either. All of those require minimal effort on your part.

“Does That Mean I Always Have To Charge Less For Using Modern Stuff?”

While discussing my point of view with another developer, he asked me, “So, you’re saying that I shouldn’t charge more if I use responsive design and add a bunch of media queries?” Absolutely not! I’m not saying we should feel sorry for being cutting-edge or punish ourselves for that with less income! What I’m barely advocating is the common-sense idea of charging more for more hours of work. If you code some JavaScript that does the same thing that media queries do, then of course you should charge more for the JavaScript, because it will take you more time. But if you weren’t going to do anything like that, and the media queries were icing on the cake, then of course you should charge them more than you would for a non-responsive version of the website.

Conclusion

We may love what we do, but we certainly don’t love catering to the whims of old browsers. We do a lot of extra work to hide their incompetence, and that work needs to be compensated for properly. You don’t have to work for free, especially on something you don’t like doing. Explain the situation to your clients and they’ll understand how it goes, I promise. After all, “extra work = higher costs” is an established rule in every industry. The concept is not hard to grasp, and it makes the benefit of modern Web technologies much more tangible for technologically unsavvy clients.

What do you think?

How do you account for browser support in the pricing of your work? Do you charge extra for legacy browsers or do you provide a basic version of the design to legacy browsers? Let us know and leave a comment!

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hikingartist/5727283114/sizes/m/in/photostream/
  2. 2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hikingartist/5727283114/sizes/m/in/photostream/
  3. 3 http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/UU.html

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Lea works as a Developer Advocate for W3C. She has a long-standing passion for open web standards, which she fulfills by researching new ways to use them, blogging, speaking, writing, and coding popular open source projects to help fellow developers. She is a member of the CSS Working Group, which architects the language itself. Lea studied Computer Science in Athens University of Economics and Business, where she co-organized and occasionally lectured a cutting edge Web development course for 4th year undergrads. She is one of the few misfits who love code and design almost equally.

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  1. 1

    I totally agree with what you told. We have to educate clients on what is better for them.
    I have convinced some clients to totally not support IE6 by only show them the pros of modern browsers.

    It is our obligation to start moving forward.

    2
    • 102

      Let me be more specific.

      First we have to found what is the audience of the site, so if you are a freelancer and you just got to build a site for a country that the largest bandwidth speed is 1GB then you absolutely must support IE6. Because:
      1) Your site has to be lightweight; when designing for IE6 you have in mind this.
      2) It’s clear that this country will not be using computer which has the best performance.

      For this reason there also analytics. For redesigns of course we must check analytics first. For newer sites we can always make a research for similar sites.

      So, lets not count on when HTML5 or CSS3 will be a standard and let’s start pushing to be a standard asap.

      Just my 2 cents.

      2
    • 203

      I was really thinking most people using Firefox or Chrome and was never serious about old browsers even Microsoft’s, but looking at the google analytics shown there are still 30% users having IE7 and few use IE6 too. My client was really unhappy and that made me researching more and more. Adobe BrowserLab is good place check to check old browsers.

      I think having separate css files for IE6 and IE7 serve the purpose, where even we can put png/jpg to support different browsers.

      0
  2. 304

    I found that to avoid the most problems, coding a site that is within IE6 standards works best. yes, there is no png support, yes some scripts dont work, and yes new techniques arent applicable. but it all comes down to target audience.

    you cannot tell a client you dont support so and so browsers. its not a good pitch to say you only fix japanese cars. To take it a step further i see is as a better pitch to say our site will work on all browsers. of course i have had a client that was still running on windows 95 and idk what IE…maybe IE4?

    troubleshooting for IE6 does take a large amount of time, but with experience you start to do things that you know it will work. but for developers, that’s our job. we solve problems. i would love to do css3 all day and mess with awesome javascript libraries. but that wont happen until html 5 becomes standard and that will take another 15yrs until that too becomes outdated.

    -18
  3. 405

    Agree! Can’t believe people still using IE, specially older versions. Nice article.

    -2
  4. 506

    Interesting article, but perhaps overly dramatic? You’re either taking way too much time to support those older browsers, or your normal site development time is very rapid… For example, it should only take an hour or two to fix things in IE, does this mean your main development time is only 1/2 hour to 1 hour?

    I use CSS3 PIE, which adds things like corners and shadows to IE, all the way back to 6. I don’t usually have to do anything for IE7+, and if I do, it only takes a few minutes. In the head of my sites, I use a short bit of code that adds a version specific class name to the HTML element for IE. Making an IE7 specific rule is as easy as .ie7 #main {position: relative;}

    Anyway, once you’ve integrated these simple things into your workflow, it doesn’t take much time to implement. That being said, I stopped supporting IE6, though I always take a peak just to see. And while it doesn’t always look pretty, the content is usually perfectly accessible.

    However, I do like the _idea_ that it takes twice as long to develop for IE6, at least when discussing the option with the client… nudge nudge wink wink

    5
    • 607

      I guess it’s a mix of both. In the past few years I’ve been focused on mastering the new techniques we have. Thus, the space I reserved in my brain for IE bugs is getting more and more compressed. Naturally, the benefit of that is that the time I spend on developing something with newer standards is really short. I guess you can’t have both.

      CSS3PIE is an excellent script, but I’ve found it quite buggy in cases of complicated CSS with lots of CSS3. Like in browsers, the interplay between different CSS3 features results in a higher chance of bugs. I’m not trying to put down Jason’s work, what he did there is amazing. But polyfilling CSS is an extremely hard task to begin with and it’s bound to be buggy.

      3
      • 708

        I guess it just comes down to: if you use a buggy browser to access content on the internet, you’re likely to have a buggy experience…

        And there’s only so much we should have to do as developers to compensate for for a user’s poor choice in browser, whatever the reason. For me, using a polyfill like CSSPie seems like a healthy amount of effort on my part.

        Anyway, thanks again for providing yet another place for people to vent about IE ;)

        2
  5. 809

    Interesting article. I agree with the author’s point of view regarding IE6 for a myriad of reasons, including PNG, box model and CSS support.

    But charging more for IE7 ? This I don’t understand. I develop websites on IE7 with no major issue. I use PHP to create my CSS files, so I have a single code for things like gradients or shadows. And jQuery for javascript cross-browser compatibility.

    I’m also don’t find it professional to present an optimal experience to clients who upgraded after 2009 only (IE8).

    0
  6. 910

    Or the client can go with a PROFESSIONAL web developer who doesn’t gripe and cry about supporting IE6 because seriously we’re talking a handful of techniques that you’d have to know IF you happen to encounter a problem. IE6 has been around for how long – and you still haven’t figured it out??

    -64
  7. 1011

    Very good article!

    It’s well-wrote and is very fluid to read.

    Great job.

    2
  8. 1112

    I had a client recently that replied “No need. People need to learn how to upgrade their browers” when asked about compatibility with browser versions other than the latest. Made my work a whole lotta easier.

    16
  9. 1213

    Sorry, but I think, most of you are on a totally wrong path, starting with this very bad article start.
    No, it’s _not_ our (the developers) fault, and no, we are _not_ responsable for this issue that lives today.
    It where those damn no-brainers, that wanted some “easy application”, for example their accounting, and those greater idiots, who made them roll in a web browser. That’s the stupid fact. And out of that araises the problem, that a company can’t update their browser, because this “great program” would not work anymore.
    First and biggest shit.
    Now second are those developers, who still support a official dead browser at any cost. And this literally. I impute those peeps to be only hobbiests, they hardly can do this work on a regular basis.
    It seems noone really understands the cycle of production and what comes with it and how to handle it.
    It looks, most of you belive all can be solved with money.
    Wrong. It all turns around _time_. Time is importand, even more if you are freelancer.
    So a normal production cycle is like:
    Gain project, prepare project, make project, get cash
    And after that, it starts again
    Gain project, prepare project, make project, get cash

    All this has a pretty predictable time schedule. And now comes the point: If you develop more than necessary _you lose time_. And this time can’t be outweighted with money. It’s sure nice to get, but honestly: I rather do a new project with more money on it than hanging 30% and more overtime on one. And only because I have to support a dead browser. So if you spend 50% more time on one project, you have 50% less time for the next one OR have to re-schedule the next project. This adds and very soon, you get completely “out of sync” and you will have trouble to get normal going again, without losing money AND time.
    Sorry, I’m not with this.

    We as developer have the responsibility to make the best for our money and in a realistic time frame. And making “the best” doesn’t mean “for all”. You can only have one or the other, not both. At least not now.
    So the right way would be to say “We only support all browsers below 1 version number of the actual version number.”. So coming to IE that would be 8 and that’s really all it takes.

    Now to all who cry out now “And what about all those poor pigs in banks, govs and what not …?”
    I say firstly: Fuck them. For Intranet they should use whatever they want, I don’t care. But for the Internet, there is _no single reason_ why a IE6 should be used.
    And secondly: Most of you all forget a important point: You are developing _for the users_ and NOT for the client. So, even if the client whines about how bad the website looks on his IE6 he uses in the bank, the only right answer would be: “Too bad to hear you have to use old crap, but in the free world outside, everyone can see your website, because they use the right tool.” Maybe starting developing for the 1440×600 laptop of the CEO because “the website isn’t visible here in it’s entireness” is a no-go anyway … sorry.

    So no matter how “necessary” a developer needs money, he should never ever let it happen to support old and insecure software. It’s better to drop the client and move on to the next. Make it a principle and stick to it, no matter what. If we all do this, we get changes much much sooner.

    11
  10. 1415

    Supporting Iexplorer 8 and behind with custom css classes and so forth. Is a totally shameful waste of time and effort in 2012, no matter how much you get paid for it.

    In fact I do not give any kind of support to those browsers at all.

    I don’t care.

    And if you people, ignored iexplorer bugginess as soon as new browsers have been launched, as I did, today we will not discussing this stupid topic over and over again.

    Cheers!

    5
  11. 1516

    My Android always fails me, the device keeps freezing or switching off.

    -16
  12. 1617

    Personally, I think the whole ‘old version ie’ stuff is an overused excuse from people who don’t know what they’re doing.

    When it comes down to it, there’s 5-6 serious css flaws that take 2 lines of CSS each to compensate for (3 in the case of the box model issue, read: boo-hoo). It’s not a legitimate issue or time-sink if your applications are written correctly to begin with. The vast majority of incompatibilities I see come from the following:

    1. People abusing the hell out of tables because they won’t don’t want to learn the box model
    2. Using javascript (generally frameworks) that are themselves specifically-typed to a browser. (this is generally because they don’t actually know javascript)
    3. PHP devs who think they know how to code/Java devs who think they know how to dev UI

    Fact of the matter is, UI isn’t that much of a chore anymore.

    -26
    • 1718

      Writing your website in such a way that it can easily compensate for IE6 means writing websites like it’s 2002.
      We have HTML5 and CSS3 now, and if we didn’t leverage these new techniques we’d be ignoring a decade of progress.

      IE6 is an ancient browser with serious issues. It’s got massive security leaks, poor standards support (even back in the day) and should have been phased out years ago. Even Microsoft wants to get rid of it.
      It’s not even like VHS to DVD or something like that, because browsers are free.

      0
  13. 1819

    You Should support only the latest version of each browser.
    Dont support IE at all
    IE users dont care how your website looks, otherwise they would use a good browser.
    Fire your stubborn clients
    If you want to know which client to fire?
    when they call you, you see their number and you know you dont want to answer.

    -14
  14. 1920

    Hi Lea,
    Excellent post. We would like to translate your post in french and repost it on our website, plz contact me to see if we can work this out.

    Syg

    1
  15. 2223

    I wish the webdesigners would collectively charge +300% more for “Legacy Browser Support” rather than to consider all this crap. These old techniques to support costs too much time and they inferior innovations by consuming the web designer’s time to make it and by blowing overhead.

    For those are not willing to pay +300% or not willing to upgrade at least to the present (if not to the future), I’d like to show up a lock for yesterday people and a key next to the download links of modern browsers. Or I show the website for yesterday’s users as it would look yesterday: Times New Roman, blank background, just text all around, some images where the contents dictate it, no forms and no JavaScript. (Better than the not-so-yesterday marqueed blinking gif-stunning ones…)

    As we have to consider mobile, different desktop browsers and even still the IE bugs, I don’t see why the whole legacy has to be supported. If some people consider IE6, why they don’t consider Netscape Navigator? Because it’s not as widespread as IE6? Why support Opera then? And why would I need accessibility for YouTube or browser games? From economical points, this simply doesn’t work and this article about obligations of the web is spare. There is no obligation. There are market shares; and the majority wins.

    4
  16. 2324

    yeah, the article is good. Before few months, i faced weird issues for the normal static pages, which is really disappointed with the requirements. May be it takes time to take for people to foget their own cumbersome old browsers :), to make the Web developers Happy :)

    0
  17. 2425

    I totally agree. We have supported legacy browsers by default for all our projects, but I guess it’s time to change.

    5
  18. 2526

    FlashPoint Network

    November 7, 2011 7:08 am

    Totally agreed. The problem I run into is that customers often times don’t care about browser support. Granted, my clients are the small, 0-10 employee start-ups. They (most of them anyway) don’t have a concept of cross-browser support. The only time I hear from them is if they see a problem when browsing the site on their IE 3.something browser.

    Personally, if we as developers/designers stood our ground and *ONLY* developed for standards-compliant browsers, I believe The People would get tired of looking at crappy-looking sites and switch to a browser that displayed the site as intended.

    **Stepping off my soapbox now**

    8
  19. 2627

    I do really think that now, we should stop the support for old browsers, they evolve, we should too.

    Because is like make actual things to function in the past. That’s not only impossible, is also stupid.

    1
  20. 2728

    My take: Microsoft should kill ie6 over the air…

    8
  21. 2829

    If they want IE6 support, DUMP THEM. They’re a waste of your time.

    3
  22. 2930

    Sebastian Sulinski

    November 8, 2011 8:08 am

    It is a difficult one, but quite frankly – if we all ignored it – no one would ever use it as they would be forced to upgrade to a modern browser.

    1
  23. 3031

    Double quote in URI = FAIL

    4
  24. 3132

    Fuck ie 6. I / we offer no support for that piece of crap. the best way to deal with this is not to mention ie 6 at all to clients. the less they know about this stuff the better. otherwise they want to play art director and project manager.

    hopefully the very small number of people out there using it will see how poorly pages look and upgrade. and if they don’t upgrade, fuck it, execute them.

    2
  25. 3233

    Understand the Real Issue – they are required to use IE 6 because of compatibility issues related to some very expensive software thet they might have and your app is not a whole hill of beans in comparison. Get a grip, if you want the business learn to support your customer rather than trying to get the customer to support you.

    5
  26. 3334

    Designing Studios

    November 9, 2011 12:58 am

    We do for free. IE6 compatibility is included in all the orders we do and its default browser added on our check list and never opt to pay more/extra to fully support older browsers.

    -12
    • 3435

      This is one of your sites right? If I were your client and you said you included IE 6 compatibility free I’d probably expect you not to use transparent pngs.

      In fact, in such a basic layout browser compatibility is probably never going to be an issue, so I’m surprised you didn’t fix this in your testing.

      11
  27. 3536

    Great article!!
    I think charging the client for IE6 support is a must. It also is a very frustrating process to get the site working on IE. Even with the new browsers – IE 9 behaves very differently. There’s a lot of potential to standardize this and make life a lot easier,

    2
  28. 3637

    I’ve recently started to build ngo websites which will will be viewed in developing countries, a lot of people around there are still running windows 98 (perhaps even 95!) on a 256kb/s connection.

    And I reckon Africa is one part of the world that is quickly in the rise when it comes to internet usage. So before we completely abandon ‘legacy’ browsers consider unobtrusive progressive enhancements instead.

    4
  29. 3738

    Oh come on! For my projects i charge for compability with IE6 & IE7 but seriously, is this compability is such a big problem ? If U know what You doing just inform client that advanced part of site will may be disabled (slideshows, animations, etc.) If clients want this you inform him that You need use flash and it will be cost extra. But rest You can achived by additional 1-3 hour of works. For design is no problem at all. We have boilerplate and so many cool stuff that i think now is easier make project that will be compatible with older browser than speaking about this ;)

    0
  30. 3839

    johny the browser

    November 10, 2011 3:50 pm

    If all of Us will do what clients wants (i.e. coding for old browsers), then we can’t be angry that clients still want it…

    I don’t see movies on VHS or even CD today – why? Because not consumers decide about that but people from industry, experts and men who want’s go forward, not back.

    Don’t support old browsers – ie6, ie7 or old versions of modern browsers – this stops evolution of the internet. This is not clients fault but only web developers – remember that!

    P.S.
    Sorry for my english :)

    6
  31. 3940

    Hans Christian Reinl

    November 13, 2011 3:20 pm

    Thanks for this post, Lea. I really like the idea about serving content pretty “plain” for older browsers. In fact I try to do the best I can for oldIE as far as the budget for a project covers that point at least a bit.
    Aral Balkan said something in his talk at Fronteers this year that is somehow a really good thing to consider: We as developers want to show what we can do and should therefore serve the best possible experience for as many users as we can. And to my mind this is a true statement and I like to strive for this.

    For all the customers who you want to convince not to support oldIE anymore you may want to check out Paul Boag’s booklet “Where are my rounded corners?“. I’ve published a german translation of this booklet.

    1
  32. 4041

    The best (read: worst) experience of this that I have ever had was when one client complained the site didn’t look “right” in… IE5. To my eternal shame, several layout tables followed thereafter…

    (This was 2011)

    5
  33. 4142

    surprised by -2 votes, on my old posted comment. though my comment is in harmony to the
    money bag race illustration >> Money always wins the argument. (Image: HikingArtist)
    :-D

    0
  34. 4243

    Great article! But it’s a little far away from my reality.
    My problem is that my clients are city halls of small cities in a poor state of Brazil, with computers with IE6 installed and without updated. And the customers think it is absurd to charge more for something that should be the basics for them. ¬¬

    *my english is not that good. Don’t care about mistakes.

    1
  35. 4344

    Awesome article – can’t agree more. I vote for 2nd option. I really never though about this like that. Maybe this is the best solution. And everybody may do that.

    0
  36. 4445

    My personal belief is that any site that has a dollar attached to it (meaning is some type of e-commerce site) that you automatically provide IE6/7 support.

    Additionally, mentioned above, if a site is getting a large segment of users using IE6/7, then you support it and work it into your quote. To call out “charging extra” for supporting IE6/7 is like blackmail to a site that has a large segment of those users.

    I work for a major US retailer, and unfortunately the in-store kiosks are IE6, so I have to support IE6 for everything I do. Additionally, even if the segment is small – 5% for example, this still equates to millions of dollars for some companies.

    I would love to say I work for a boutique that churns out CSS3 and HTML5. But I don’t. I work with real world applications that have to work in all browsers. And it’s made me a better developer for it.

    -1
  37. 4546

    Mark Joseph Rivera

    December 22, 2011 2:24 am

    Ok, base on my experience, I literally hate old IE browser too. Although we need to admit that all things and part of our job are 50/50 for that matters. Why ?
    “Customers is always right. / Visitors are just passers by only.” Make note of that to your mind.

    But, we have to do our best here.
    I will recommend Google Chrome Frame plugin for “Customer is always right”. At this part, we can avoid waste of time defying broken layouts in all old IE browsers. With this, you can also educate your client with far behind idea over modern browsers and latest outputs of design compatibilities. In result, Win-Win for us if you will insist this to your clients.

    Now, how about “Visitors are just passers by only”. These users are actually out-of-reach from your goal.
    I have few cases of this situation in which too funny for me questioning about the alert window of Google Chrome Frame. I’m like, what the…? they didn’t read or don’t understand what is the purpose of that thing to that site. “My Goodness”. At this, you will notice people who just visit the site is just a crap visitor and don’t pay attention to your alert info. All they have to do is their purpose. “ignore alert, read, read, and read.”

    What will be the best solution here.
    Currently I’m tired of this, but we should be more patient here (since it is not our site). All we need is to simply do a fallback-code. It is not that hard to create IE hacks where it is developed and researched by best developers. Again, short-temper is a loser.

    Im using custom BOILERPLATE HTML5 of Paul Irish and customize UAX-Compatibility to EmulateIE7 which IE7 is more closer to IE6.

    TIP: when designing website, make sure first that you’re aware of clients default browser, and try to eliminate fancy designs so that it is not that difficult to integrate while coding your final output.

    @Lea: thanks for this good article.

    1
  38. 4647

    This article is hilarious! 30 – 100% more for cross browser compatibility. I have to agree with all the comments that say you need to brush up your CSS skills if it takes you this long to modify a site!

    If you had a serious grip on the CSS and the techniques to solve the common cross browser issues you would be charging an extra 5%.

    Also, it’s interesting that anyone who say this receives lots of thumbs down. I guess they don’t know how to code either or just fancy you.

    Will you let my post stand or just remove it?

    -7
    • 4748

      I agree with you in here: “…brush up your CSS skills if it takes you this long to modify a site”.

      Yeah, there is definitely some ‘additional’ CSS skill required to tackle IE6 (and let me throw in IE7 too).

      However, I don’t agree on charging only 5%, we can’t be that… I just leave it at that.

      BTW, I up-voted your comment.

      1
  39. 4849

    Mostly they wants IE6
    for web apps because they have others older systems are running and specially designed for IE6.
    For web shops: support as many browsers as possible, to access and serve more customers.

    0
  40. 4950

    As someone else pointed out, virtually every IE flaw is well documented now, and in all cases, if you write good code to begin with, then at best it’s going to take about 12 extra lines of code, and about an hour of your time, to fix anything.

    100% extra for IE support, the fact that you admit you don’t take on client work that much anymore, and the fact that you’re a conference speaker and college lecturer just show what an amateur you are.

    Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach.

    -10
  41. 5051

    I would love to drop IE6 but the reality is some of our sites would lose many thousands a year if IE6 users couldn’t use them. I don’t go all out to make everything pixel perfect in IE6 but it just needs to work and be usable and to be honest most of the time it doesn’t take any extra effort to make that happen.

    0
  42. 5152

    Internet Explorer itself is dead. I’d say most people don’t use an alternative browser because they don’t know there are better browsers. If they did, we would see less people browsing the Web using IE.

    0
  43. 5253

    what if “your boss” said he want the support for IE6, 7 ?
    i had that kind of request before. even i show the data from http://www.ie6countdown.com/ some people refuse to understand the reality and still stick with yesterday rather than move forward to tomorrow. :/

    0
  44. 5354

    Hasan Hüseyin Çakır

    August 10, 2012 1:06 am

    I totally agree with your article! People who doesn’t know the acknowledge can’t tell us add some more features for free. Before starting a project there must be a written agreement that protects customer’s and developer’s rights…

    1
  45. 5455

    At first I was asking myself who could have writen such a good article. But then I saw the author’s name. Classic.

    Anyway, I don’t charge my clients yet because I don’t have to (I work with agencies that mainly want modern browsers and mobile/tablet support). But the idea of charging the client, depending on their own will to have prehistorical browsers support seems to be really good to me.

    I’ll keep that in mind when I’ll get stupid clients. (Oops, did I say stupid?)

    2
  46. 5556

    I am impressed, as usual, by this article. I see some people are commenting, however, why would anyone still be using IE6 and IE7? Well, let me say this: Some companies require their users to use IE7 because of security reasons. I won’t name names, but they have all of the potential security issues resolved with that browser and will not move forward until they’re completely sure they’ve cleared all security risks for the next step up. This means hundreds of thousands of employees working there are stuck with that browser. Although, I guess they could wait until they got home to look up something that wouldn’t pull up for them at work…

    1
  47. 5657

    Normally i just support IE7+. I don´t loose my time coding on IE6. What i do is create a conditional comment to detect IE6 user and educate them to updated their IE to a decent version (a good example can be found here – http://www.richterwebdesign.com/blog/2010/11/simple-browser-detection-and-redirect-with-conditional-comments/ ). Let´s educate them…

    If you guys visit this link -http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_explorer.asp – you will see that just 0.5% of the internet users use IE6. Again, let´s educate them.

    Sorry about my english…

    My 2 cents

    0
  48. 5758

    I develop amazign sites with css and jquery, but I have to say if it takes 3(!!!!) hours to fix an IE7 bug, you really need to brush up your css skills. All my sites are crossbrowser compatible but if you have good code base, you really dont need to spend that much time fixing bugs

    -1
  49. 5859

    Never had problems like this, I charge based on how much time it takes me, new or old tech is are just on how much time they take to implement.

    As for argument of “they will take it to others who do not charge for IE6″, well if it ruins your work motivation and you end up with smaller hourly wage(well you did not got payed more yet wasted more time) then let others handle such clients. I work to live, not live to work.

    On other hand I always check how to speed up my development as it makes me more competitive + allows me sometimes to raise my income as I do more productive work.

    0

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