This just in. WordPress has been making some serious updates this year, and we’re not in the least bit mad about it.
When I was in elementary school my favorite day was a snow day. In the days before smartphones, the only way a 7-year-old would know if school was canceled was to wake up the following morning to see if your school name was listed on the news as closed. It was pure joy seeing your school listed there. As a kid with little to no responsibilities, a snow day meant I could enjoy all the fun things I could not usually do during a school day. There was no feeling quite like a snow day.
The closest I’ve ever been able to get to achieving that feeling as an adult was the day I found out that our agency would no longer have to support Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10. Then, for added bonus, WordPress announced that their next version, 4.8, will end support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. I knew this day would come, and it couldn’t have come soon enough. The writing has been on the wall since last January when Microsoft, in an effort to upgrade users to a more current browser, decided they would no longer provide security updates for versions prior to IE 11. As an agency, we still supported IE 9 and 10 because there were still enough users on those versions to justify building a site for them. However, with usage for those versions now falling to below 1% it didn’t make sense to continue to provide support for such outdated browsers.
From a developer’s perspective, this is truly amazing news — almost as good as a snow day. We can implement new CSS features such as FlexBox or CSS grids without having to spend additional time to rebuild layouts for older browser versions. While CSS features will probably never support every browser at all times, it’s substantially easier to use vendor prefixes (if available) or polyfills than to re-code from scratch.
From an agency perspective, it may be tough getting clients to agree to drop support for older browsers. At this point, it’s important to mention how vulnerable and insecure those browsers have become as they are now no longer supported by Microsoft.
In the end, it’s great that companies are finally willing to ditch outdated browsers. I may even be so bold to call it exciting, as it allows for developers to continue to push boundaries through innovation and allows agencies to create the best possible product. So, we ALL win!