My computer is very old and I use Internet Explorer 8. Why doesn’t my website work properly?

When we create a development site, we ask our clients to review the website’s progress on a temporary URL (address) and send us feedback. Occasionally, a client will report that odd things are happening on screen. Perhaps alignments are wrong, drop-down menus look odd or image galleries don’t seem to work properly.

The first thing we check is the age of the computer being used to review the site and the browser version. If a client reports any strange happenings on screen, 99% of the time it’s because the client is using an old computer (which uses an old operating system) and an old browser. We then ask the client to review the site on a modern computer/browser, perhaps belonging to a family or friend, or at the local library (although you need to check that their computer’s are up-to-date too!). In most cases, the display problems will have disappeared.

So what’s happening? Why does a website look out of sorts on one computer, but fine on another? The simple answer is that web technology moves forwards very quickly as new computers and web software versions are released. All our sites are designed to run on modern configurations (browser/computer/operating systems) and comply with modern web design standards. This means they will run perfectly on a modern computer, modern operating system, modern browser and will use the very latest web design technology. As systems age and web design standards and software evolve, older computers/browser set-ups get left behind. This can result in display hiccups.

Of course, if you have a very large budget that runs to many tens of thousands, you could have a bespoke version of your site made for each of the older configurations. In practice, this is neither feasible or sensible. It is impossible to create a versions of sites to run on all configurations – there are simply too many. And it’s not sensible or cost effective either because most people using the Internet have modern configurations – ie they keep their computer/browser up-to-date. For example, very few people use Internet Explorer these days and even fewer use old versions of Internet Explorer.

Browser statics

This is an interesting link which provides statistics on how many users use each type of browser:

At the time of writing (2016)

71.4% use Chrome
16.9% use FireFox
5.7% use Internet Explorer (of which only 1% use Edge)
3.6% use Safari

These statics change by the month.

In summary:

  • Our websites are built to run on modern computer set-ups and use most up-to-date development techniques.
  • Our websites are built to run on the most modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox).
  • Our websites will only run on the most recent versions of Internet Explore (1o and 11). In fact Microsoft is phasing out Internet Explorer and replacing it with Edge.
  • Our websites are designed to run full-screen.
  • We test your website on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari before we send you the review link.
  • If you have an old computer/browser, you will need to find someone who has a modern set up to review your development site.
  • When you report display errors, we will ask you to provide these details so we can investigate and try to recreate our problem: Type of computer and age; Browser used (and version); If possible, we ask for screen grabs to show the problem.



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