WordPress gives IE6 the boot!

It seems like yesterday when Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 garnered over 90% of the browser marketshare, and Firefox was in its infancy.  But those weren't the good old days -- there were many security vulnerabilities, poor standards support, and lack of tabbed browsing. 

Browsers really have come a long way since, and as such, WordPress has decided to drop support for IE6 in an announcement on their blog,

"With this update, WordPress has discontinued support for Internet Explorer 6. It has required increasingly complex code trickery to make the WordPress dashboard work in the IE6 browser, which was introduced 10 years ago and does not support current web standards..."

You might be wondering about how bad the new Dashboard looks with IE6, and unfortunately, it does a fair job of mangling many of the visual elements, as evidenced below:


Click the image for larger view - Source: WordPress

WordPress is certainly not alone in dropping support for IE6, Microsoft is encouraging companies to upgrade to newer browsers.  The Windows Team Blog has even posted a blog entry, thanking WordPress for ending support on IE6, and pointing out that this browser is now ten years old!

For those of you interested, Microsoft hosts the IE6 Countdown site, which breaks down IE6 usage over the globe.  According to metrics (for April 2011) listed on the site, China has the highest percentage of users on IE6 (35%!), and globally IE6 usage is at 11.4%, down 7.3 percent from April of 2010.

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45 Comments

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If a corporation comes out and congratulates you on removing support for one of their own pieces of software, in this case internet explorer 6, you should take sound advice, they're in every position to know how bad it is after years of abuse over it and endless bug fixes, exploits fixed.

Any company still using or requiring XP/IE 6 is either lazy, poor or stupid or have a bad IT dept.

I see no point in supporting Internet Explorer 6 - why put all that effort in, using so many complex tricks and time-consuming things just to make something look right for a lazy person or some stubborn person unwilling to upgrade. Very wasted effort with no gratitude.

Great! And who CARES!

Who uses IE6 anyway? Not even cibercafes in South America use it (first hand news), by now we all know it's stuck in corps and some very peculiar niches.

Say you kicked IE7 too and FF3.0 and THAT would be something.

I'll let you have a couple of guesses at how many people use WordPress vs the number of people who still drive Model Ts around.

"You might be wondering about how bad the new Dashboard looks with IE6, and unfortunately, it does a fair job of mangling many of the visual elements, as evidenced below"

Why is that unfortunate? Paragraph should read:

"Fortunately, the IE 6 warning message makes the Dashboard much harder and more annoying to use."

mollick2 said,
I'd really love to see sites start locking ie6 users out.

Some sites already do this.

although they usually use some crappy user agent string detection which doesnt work properly if yours doesnt match exactly. lol.

mollick2 said,
I'd really love to see sites start locking ie6 users out.

A lot of users would love to switch, but they cant due to being on corporate PCs that are still locked into windows xp and ie6. Sometimes just out of idiocy by the company, but also often because of custom-built software that they dont want to risk breaking (and paying to fix) by upgrading the browser.

WordPress you did it wrong.

The entire screen should be that red warning message. Allowing you to do NOTHING if you use IE6 to access it.

Shadrack said,
Is this just for the dashboard or does this also include the front end?

The front-end depends on the themes installed, it doesn't have anything to do with the dashboard itself (maybe only the top shortcut bar???), that's only for the dashboard, and it's logically to be like that.

I defnitely upgraded everything here (at work) to at least IE 8, 9 for systems that has the OS support. There is one site we use that's not so nice with IE9 but basically everything else is just fine.

nice to see such a big blog application removing support, hope blogger, youtube etc just have a warning at the top of the page saying "in 6 months your browser internet explorer 6 will be banned please upgrade to IE8".

xpclient said,

And when is Neowin:next coming? Why does it need to come?

Invision barely support IE6 in 3.x now, I am pretty sure by 4 to it pretty much be removed.

dmbandfan22 said,

Corporations that refuse to upgrade their systems with XP installed on them. =(

I would hope any corporation that uses WordPress knows better than to use IE6 still though.

The Stark said,

South Koreans? Really? Check your facts. Or at least read the article.

why dont you check your first, by starting with this: >> http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-KR-monthly-200807-201105


all their online purchasing is related with credit card stuff.. that require IE6 .. or IE at all, its the fault of the ones that made it this way and never changed it.. so they are probably aware of other browsers (probably not), but they are probably too lazy to use one browser for everything, and one for purchasing online... so think about it, and then post stupid things

dmbandfan22 said,

Corporations that refuse to upgrade their systems with XP installed on them. =(

Yet those are the company's that don't focus on security/technology as a means to their business. Most places that use technology as a business model "Banks, Schools, Retail Shops, Offices, etc" actually keep their machines rather updated. Most are running XP which is patched to SP3 from what I've seen so far if not their already running 7.

Morphine-X said,

Yet those are the company's that don't focus on security/technology as a means to their business. Most places that use technology as a business model "Banks, Schools, Retail Shops, Offices, etc" actually keep their machines rather updated. Most are running XP which is patched to SP3 from what I've seen so far if not their already running 7.

The last place I worked (quite a couple months back) provided e-learning facilities to schools and government linked organizations as their primary business model (UK). These types of clients ALWAYS wanted support for IE6, it could have just been the clients we were attracting but IE6 lives strong in schools and anything linked to government as I say. I know because I was the poor bugger that had to do the CSS for them.

Having said that IE6 isn't so bad because you could degrade it gracefully or have some sort of work around with its interpretation of css. It gets a lot of bad rep from people that generally haven't a clue, but seeing it die is great because it's one less thing to waste time with.

IE7 is in my opinion FAR worse because of its rendering bugs and half arsed implementation of CSS. With IE6 it just didn't support stuff, whereas IE7 claims to support things but basically does what it likes and you can't often work around the issues or even bug fix them. Its worse in my view and I waste more time with 7 than I do with 6 in all honesty. It truly is an awful browser.

As for banks, a mate of mine was getting money out of an ATM (LLoyds TSB i think it was) a couple of months ago when it crashed and rebooted with a WinXP pro boot screen. It was running a Pentium 3 with about 512MB Ram. Moral of what I'm saying is that these places don't upgrade because it would cause too much disruption, cost too much and they are literally afraid to take the leap because of the unknowns that could present themselves.

yowan said,
Who still uses that junk IE6?

My employer ( State Bank of India), with 17,000 + branches uses IE6 on the Core Banking System. Fortunately, our new PCs are loaded with Windows 7