Why Standards Matter
If Chewru looks a bit out of alignment or otherwise screwy, that’s probably because you’re running Microsoft’s Internet Explorer v6 or v7 browser. While it is certainly the dominant browser via market share, these versions of IE simply do not interpet code like other browsers do. That’s a pretty big headache as far as website is concerned. In one corner, we have a slew of browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, K-Meleon, etc..) that all play nice and will display Chewru the same across whichever browser you prefer. In the other corner we have Internet Explorer, who has a lot of Microsoft-only rules and code-reading that skew how our site looks.
As a small site running WordPress with a caravan of plugins, it’s simply impractical for us to try to tweak every bit of code to comply with the one browser that doesn’t play by the rules, even if it’s the one that most people currently use. That’s the reason why standards were developed. People browsing should be allowed to use whatever software they want and still have the same experience. Microsoft, at least in its v6 and v7 browsers, wanted to go its own way because, well, they can. While we’re optimistic that their v8 browser will finally adhere to the same web standards as everyone else, we still encourage people to seriously consider switching to one of the other high-quality browsers out there.
By doing so, you’ll have a much better experience across all of your favorite websites. In fact, you might find out that there was another feature/button/link that you never knew existed simply because you were using IE instead of another browser that would have rendered the site correctly. We’re not saying IE isn’t a good browser. We’re saying that, for a lot of sites, IE is speaking a slightly different language.
By switching to a standards-based browser, you’ll send a message to Microsoft to abandon its ‘our way or the highway’ mentality and resume contributing, not dictating, technology to the rest of the world. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by pressuring Microsoft into universal standards already adopted and in use by most other browsers. In fact, most independent reviews cite that the standards-based browsers not only launch faster than IE, but are capable of rendering pages faster, too. Less time waiting and more time browsing. Who doesn’t like that?
To illustrate just how much IE controls the market, check out some of the stats below. We also threw in our browser break down to compare.
2008 Market Share (year-end)
National % vs (Chewru %)
IE 6/7 – 73% (68%)
Firefox – 17% (15%)
Chrome – 3% (3%)
Opera – <1% (<1%)
Safari – <1% (13%)