We Don’t Support Internet Explorer and Here’s Why
Have you ever tried to view your GovHub site in Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) and noticed that it doesn’t look quite right? That’s because IE11 doesn’t support certain web standards, such as styling, assistive technologies, and security. In short, it simply does not perform at the same level that most modern browsers do. In light of Microsoft announcing that it will stop supporting the browser, we decided to stop supporting it too. We have a few key reasons why we made that decision.
As we continue to develop GovHub, we want to make sure we comply with the most recent web standards. Following these web standards set by W3C ensures that GovHub offers a good user experience and that our sites are accessible and usable by all Georgians. The guidelines set in place by the W3C not only help websites to look their best, but they also make sites usable by everyone.
A good user experience and better support for assistive technologies means ensuring that GovHub sites are accessible to everyone. By law, federal websites and State of Georgia websites are required to comply with accessibility standards, which address issues related to: text and its formatting, images, webforms, multimedia, and documents. Unlike most modern browsers, IE11 doesn’t abide by the same standards and guidelines. This means that developers have to add special coding in order to get sites to display correctly on IE11. Extra effort costs additional time and resources.
For an actively shrinking user base, the cost and risk of supporting IE11 isn't worth it. From August 2020 to August 2021, GovHub’s overall user percentage of IE11 was 2.2%, whereas Google Chrome was 36% and Safari was 50%. Prioritizing our efforts toward the browsers that account for higher percentages of visits makes more sense.
In addition to not supporting modern web standards and a dwindling user base, IE11 is a major security risk. August 2021 is when Office 365 stops supporting IE11. Microsoft stopped releasing security updates in March 2021 and Microsoft Teams stopped supporting IE11 in November 2020. We were hesitant to support a browser that would have compromised security for GovHub users. We added a friendly note for our end users to move off an unsecured browser to something that would provide a safer browsing experience.
IE11 also lacks support for Google Maps. Google announced that the use of the Maps on IE11 will be fully decommissioned by August 2022. Since GovHub sites rely on Google Maps to display locations on our sites, this would break an important feature.
If your agency intranet or legacy applications are optimized for IE, there is a solution! Your IT department can implement policies at an enterprise level that will open those sites within Microsoft Edge in “IE mode”. If your agency doesn’t rely on IE, here are a few modern browser options: