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Internet Explorer 6 hangs on

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Design

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

Following an analysis by Shapeshed, I have carried out an analysis of the browsers used by website visitors to a local website that I maintain. The website in question gets around 5000 unique visitors per month, which is not a huge number admittedly, but it is a website used by the general public, rather than a particular audience with web design or geek leanings, so I reckon that it is partly indicative of websites that I build for clients. My main aim here was to see whether I could abandon web design support for Internet Explorer 6 any time soon.


For this study, I used Google Analytics and the figures are for the six months ending 10th June 2008. Firstly, no surprises that Internet Explorer is the dominant browser (81.2%) with Firefox following in second place with 12.2%. I was mildly surprised by the Firefox figures because I imagined that the general public’s exposure to Firefox was quite low, certainly lower than some of the headline figures that are often cited. I was half-expecting Firefox to be 10% or less but it is easily in double figures.

Browser versions pie chart

Subsequently, I looked at the IE usage in more depth to see what proportion of visitors used IE6. In fact, at least a third or more (38.8%) used IE6 compared with IE7 (61%). This IE6 usage was higher than I expected considering that IE7 was released in late 2006.

Pie chart showing IE6 and IE7 usage

I also compared the above six-monthly figures for IE with the past month’s figures [not shown] where IE6 has 36.5% and IE7 has 63.5%. This means that there is only a very slow decline in IE6 usage. With IE8 due for release before the end of the year, I was hoping that IE6 usage was in freefall. But no.

It looks like I need to retain an old PC with IE6 installed for testing purposes for some time yet.

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  • 13 Jun 2008 16:15:45

    If you wanna keep an eye on IE6, you don’t need no assigned PC. IETester will do the trick, or set up Microsoft’s Virtual Machine (until the 3rd of July 2008).

    My two cents.

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