If you ask a web developer what they think of Internet Explorer they will probably tell you how awful it is in very colorful language.  If you ask them specifically about Internet Explorer 7 they will either burst into tears or punch you in the face.  You see, over the last four years that web developer is likely to have wasted hundreds of hours implementing hacks to make theirs sites work in IE7, which doesn’t support many modern web development techniques.  That pain runs deep.

It didn’t have to be this way.  IE7 was originally released in October 2006 and a new version hasn’t come out since April of 2009.  If it followed a normal adoption cycle it would have been forgotten years ago.  But due to some poor planning by Microsoft and the ubiquity of Windows, IE7 has shown amazing resilience.  Sort of like a cockroach.  IE7 maintained 5-10% market share for years after its last release.

Over the last year IE7’s market share dropped below 1% and developers finally feel free to ignore it completely.  However I still get the occasional client that requests IE7 compatibility.  As a way of helping make the argument against IE7 compatibility, I’ve made a list of some popular websites that look awful in Internet Explorer 7.  If these folks can completely ignore IE7, can’t we all?

(1) Tumblr

Signing up for Tumblr is a little challenging in IE7.


(2) Gawker

The entire Gawker family of web properties (Deadspin, Jezebel, IO9, etc.) look completely awful in IE7.  God bless them.



(3) Mashable

It should come as no surprise that Mashable’s cutting-edge, scroll-tastic design has problems in the ancient IE7.




You would think that a site operated by Microsoft as recently as last year would work in IE7.  Not so much.


(5) Atlantic

Like many, The Atlantic includes a note telling you very nicely to install a real browser.


(6) Salon

The IE7 version of the Salon website skips the whole site branding/navbar thing altogether.



(7) NBC News

Users of IE7 are probably quite used to seeing overlapping text like this.



(8) YouTube

Before you are even allowed to browse YouTube in IE7 you get a giant warning saying that your browser isn’t supported.  Site looks ok, with the exception of none of the video thumbnails being visible.



(9) Twitter

Twitter appears to be showing the mobile version of their site to IE7 users.




(10) Healthcare.gov

This one is sort of piling on, as www.healthcare.gov still functions pretty well in IE7.  But if you look at the screenshots below you’ll see the bottom half of the homepage is pretty different in IE7 when compared to Chrome.

Internet Explorer 7




About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.