WordPress is considering giving up support for IE 11, the usage rate is less than 1%

A new proposal from WordPress.org is exploring the possible impact of dropping support for Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11). First of all, Héctor Prieto summarized the usage of IE by WordPress users and applied 3 indicators to indicate the decline in usage, and the overall usage rate was below 1%.

StatCounter’s GlobalStats records show that IE11 fell below 1.0% for the first time in August 2020, and has since continued to decline steadily. The numbers quoted in the proposal are similar to those used by contributors when WordPress 4.8 officially abandoned support for IE 8, 9, and 10.

 

However, whether to give up support for IE 11 still needs to be carefully considered, because considering the current user scale of WordPress, although the number of uses is less than 1%, the actual impact on users will be more than expected. Prieto said: “It is important and needs to be emphasized that these percentages represent tens of millions of users. If you give up support for IE11, the impact on them may be very large.”

 

Most users who are still using IE 11 are often unable to decide by themselves, and they may not be able to simply download an alternative browser. This situation is more common for users who work in large institutions such as banks, governments, and education.

 

For WordPress, giving up support for IE 11 can bring many benefits. Improving the performance of the editor was a driving factor in this decision. Prieto shared a statistical data from Gutenberg’s publisher Riad Benguella. He estimated the impact of dropping IE11 support and showed that the Gutenberg JavaScript build file was reduced by 84.9 kB (7%).

Prieto said: “Abandoning support will result in smaller scripts, lower maintenance burdens, and reduce build time. Smaller downloads will have a positive impact on all users, especially those on slower networks or computing devices. We expect that the result of abandoning IE11 support is to improve performance for the vast majority of users.”

 

Most of the people participating in the discussion on WordPress.org strongly support giving up support for IE11, but a few people also reminded that it must be done in a controlled manner, and the EOL date must be announced several months in advance. Some organizations choose WordPress for their projects, based solely on its IE11 support, and they need time to plan the transition.

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