Why Web Developers Hate Internet Explorer (and Why You Should, Too)

“Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.” Sound familiar? Internet Explorer, or IE, is by far one of the most recognizable browsers in the world, but it is also one of the most hated. Web developers and technology buffs alike avoid it like the plague, but why? What is so wrong with Internet Explorer? As it turns out, there are a few different things that take IE to the bottom of the browser ratings.

Things Just Don’t Work in IE

When a web developer creates a set of code, it often works in other browsers without a hitch. This means that while a website may run flawlessly on Chrome or Firefox, it looks like a mess in IE. Because of this, developers often have to go back and re-work a lot of things just to make a page display properly in Internet Explorer. When you consider that Microsoft has had well over a decade to get it right, it is quite frustrating, indeed.

New Versions of IE

One of the most frustrating and unbelievable things about Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the fact that they launch a new one about every two years, along with a new version of their Windows OS. Although this is coming to an end (supposedly) with the launch of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge, web developers still have to compensate for all of the other versions of IE that consumers might have at home. This means that web developers need to create hacks for several versions of IE to make a page display properly, and they need several real or virtual machines to test them.

They Just Stopped Trying

Once Microsoft realized that it dominated the playing field (about the time they released IE6 in 2011), they had 95% of the market share. Everyone used IE and Microsoft knew it, so they stopped putting so much effort into it. Then, Firefox and other browsers came along and made web developers really take notice of all of IE’s vulnerabilities. What’s more, whereas the new browsers followed standards that should have been followed all along, Microsoft continued to do things their way. Over time, developers realized how easy it was to create code the right way, and they began to despise the flaws and vulnerabilities in IE.

Why You Need a New Browser

If you still use Internet Explorer for all of your browsing, you might be surprised if you give Firefox or even Chrome a try. These lightweight browsers use very little CPU power and memory (unlike Microsoft’s products) but provide a significantly better – and faster – browsing experience. What’s more, you might also find that websites look better, they are more user-friendly, and most importantly, they are more secure. Firefox and Chrome lack the vulnerabilities of IE because web developers have the tools they need to make sure those vulnerabilities do not pose threats.

Web designers spend many frustrating hours attempting to create a cross-platform site that works well with not only the beautifully-designed Chrome and Firefox, but also with IE. Although Microsoft has attempted yet another new browser with Edge, it still presents frustrations and problems for developers and end users alike. Perhaps it will get better in the future, but until then, a different browser is the best solution.