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Sites should support popular browsers

Mark Edwards

Whilst most people surfing the Internet use the Microsoft browser, Internet Explorer, a growing number of people use different browsers. There are a host of alternatives like, Firefox, Opera and Netscape. However, the most popular browser after the Internet Explorer family is Firefox.

According to some sites, usage of the Internet Explorer family of browsers runs at about 75% to 80%. Usage of Firefox is about 15% to 20%. Usage of the next most popular browser is less than 3%. With Netscape browsers sitting at less than 1%.

With these figures, it amazes me that large sites, for example, parts of www.nab.com.au are optimised to support Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers only. Arriving at these areas of the site with the Firefox browser you are presented with a popup window that informs you your browser is not supported and you should download a supported browser. Either that or you can proceed (basically at your own risk) to use the site with your unsupported browser.

Now, I can understand that sites do not want to support every version of every browser, but why choose to support a browser used by such a tiny percentage of the population and not support a browser used by up to 1 in 5 of your site visitors?

Whilst many sites are upgrading to support Firefox completely, there are many others who need to lift their game.

According to most experts, Firefox is a more secure browser than Internet Explorer, sites should support their visitors in making this choice.

What can we (I include myself in the Firefox camp) do to change this situation? When you arrive at a site that does not support your browser, email the webmaster or sales department and let them know that you wanted to use their site but it did not support your browser. If enough of us do it, we will get action.

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