As the Internet evolves, so does your user experience. However, your experience is often limited to the browser you’re using. And if that particular browser is outdated, you’ll find that your user experience will be as well.
There are several reasons why it’s important to not only keep your browser up to date, but to also choose a browser that won’t restrain what you can see and experience on the web.
When web browsers are updated or released, they come with improved/added functionality, new plug-ins or features, and corrected bugs or issues from previous versions. If you are still using an outdated browser, there’s a good chance that you will not be able to see a website as it was intended by its designer. Features, buttons, or tools may appear broken. Layouts may appear disoriented. Colors and fonts may also be affected. When a designer or developer creates a site, their intended audience is for those users with the most up to date browser. Often, a developer will add additional code to compensate for older browsers; but the optimized experience will always be with the most recent version of a browser.
In addition, updated browsers make efforts to keep your computer safe from viruses and other attacks. Just like with your email, Internet browsers are getting smarter about the kind of traffic that may be malicious. If you are not updating your browser, you could be allowing a third party to access your information without even knowing it. With every new version of a browser, previous security threats are addressed and patched.
As websites become more intelligent, the code that supports them becomes more powerful. With an emphasis on media, newer browsers allow for better performance of audio, video, and photos. In some older browsers (I’m talking to you, IE7 users and below), enhanced media may not display correctly or even at all.
Think of it like this: 15 years ago, we listened to music on cassette tapes. They fit maybe 10 or so songs, and skipping tracks was difficult. From there, we had CD’s; thinner, larger capacity, easier navigation. Then MP3 players, iPod’s, etc. We’re now able to fit entire music libraries on one small device that can play anywhere. We’re still listening to music; but the experience is completely different. And that’s why you should update your browser.
What browser are most people on the Internet using?
According to w3schools.com, as of March 2012:
Chrome – 37.3%
Firefox – 36.3%
Internet Explorer – 18.9%
Safari – 4.4%
Opera – 2.3%