Browser support changes in WordPress

Matt Mullenweg announced browser support changes for WordPress.

Previously, we discussed the new editor and browser support within WordPress core. Following up on those conversations, we are officially ending support for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10, starting with WordPress 4.8.

Microsoft officially discontinued supporting these browsers in January 2016, and attempting to continue supporting them ourselves has gotten to the point where it’s holding back development. I realize that folks still running these browsers are probably stuck with them because of something out of their control, like being at a library or something. Depending on how you count it, those browsers combined are either around 3% or under 1% of total users, but either way they’ve fallen below the threshold where it’s helpful for WordPress to continue testing and developing against. (The numbers surprised me, as did how low IE market share overall has gone.)

He also noted that Browse Happy would be updated, which is good, because the site is currently broken and doesn’t show the latest versions (the point of the website), but is still linked from WordPress core for users with outdated browsers.

It’s amazing to me how fast browser innovation is happening right now. For instance, the brand new CSS Grid now has major support across all desktop browsers. And browser lifespans are shorter than ever. Chrome really innovated in this regard, but what’s great is that the other browsers have followed suit.

I used to see browser features come out, but my excitement would be muted because I knew I couldn’t use the feature in the real world for several years. Now, that timeline is being drastically reduced.

It’s good for WordPress to not hamstring itself in the same way. The Can I Use usage table is fascinating to get a glimpse of which browsers and versions are being used.

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