How we think about browser support

By Javier Rios
March 12, 2014
4 min

Not all browsers are the same; and they do not all behave the same. Some users understand this, but definitely not all. So, let me break this down a bit first. As internet users, there are myriad browser choices we have to surf the web: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Konqueror, etc. But, just because these options are available, doesn’t mean they all work or behave the same. This is an understood fact of building for the web, but it’s something that we, as software builders, should try to do a better job of: educating the user on browsers and why any website is the same across different browser. We won’t go into that here, but if you’re interested, check out these results on Google.

Here are a few links to a more in-depth article on browser issues and how to upgrade them:

Plus, it’s not just the browser that can be different; it’s also the operating system (OS) a user is on: Mac versus PC, as well as the version of that OS. So, why write about this? Because we want to do a better job of educating our partners and their users about this issue. Here’s a little rundown of how we approach this at LeagueApps:

What browsers we support

Browsers we supportWe support Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera

For your public sites, we support all major, modern browsers. But what does that mean? It means we support Google Chrome (10+), Mozilla Firefox (4+), Apple Safari (5+), Internet Explorer (8+), and Opera 12+. And, for every release we do, we test every scenario in these browsers in as many instances of them as we can. However, we highly encourage all of our users to use Chrome or Firefox, but whatever you choose we suggest you turn on auto-updating of your browser. This allows you to always have the best version of the browser, and mainly to have the highest confidence in the security of the browser.

We also take an analytical approach to everything we can here at LeagueApps, and browser support is definitely one. By  looking at recent (~2 months) data in Google Analytics, we can see what browsers are users are on.

For the public-facing site

In this last sprint, we added in a message/notification for all users who are using Internet Explorer versions older than 8. Users on these browsers get a message about their old browser and that by using this, they get a less than stellar browsing experience (across the whole web). It also suggests updating to the most recent version of Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer available for their OS.

Our current browser usage for the public-facing site on desktop is as follows: Chrome at 38% (of which 80% are on 30 or higher), Safari at 25% (all users are on 5 or higher), Internet Explorer at 18% (of which 70% are on 9 or higher), and Firefox at 12% (of which 80% are on 24 or higher).

For the manager console

We added the same thing here, but we targeted all users who are using Internet Explorer versions older than 9. We decided to do this with the hopes of getting those users who are using those browsers to opt for a better browsing experience. We know how important the manager console is to your business, so by opting for a better browser you will give yourself a better experience while doing what you need to for your business.

Our current browser usage for the manage console on desktop is as follows: Chrome at 48% (of which 80% are on 30 or higher), Firefox at 20% (of which 80% are on 24 or higher), Safari at 18% (all users are on 5 or higher), and Internet Explorer at 12% (of which 80% are on 9 or higher).

I’ve seen this before…

Have you ever been doing something in one browser, and had issues with that task? But, when you switched to a different browser, the issue was gone? We’ve all come across this before, and that’s exactly what we’re am referring to here. All companies who build software for the web have to deal with this issue; and it’s something we wanted to bring up and keep our partners informed about.

Future plans

We also want to add in support for other users that are on older versions of non-Internet Explorer browsers. By doing this way we can provide the best possible experience to all our users. However, we also just wanted to let you know we do extensive browser testing before pushing updates to the live sites. And by doing so, we give the best effort we can to make our application work in as many browsers and OS’ as we can — but there are just somethings that an older browser does not handle well. We give our best effort to make the site still usable for older browsers as well, knowing that these users just won’t get the same experience on LeagueApps, nor anywhere else on the web.

Need help, or have a question?

Hit us up; that’s what we’re here for. This is not the simplest concept for everyone, so don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them.