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Online media matters

Main Page Rants

Ending the upgrades

a tiny share.

The BUC created mixed feelings in me and the Web design community. On the one hand, we wanted to see our visitors switch to more efficient browsers, but on the other hand, it seemed like an update to the “This site is best viewed with Netscape Navigator” messages there were all so prevalent in the mid-ninetiess.

When I first rolled-out my first tableless, three-column CSS layout for this site in June of 2000, I decided to keep the old version for browsers that couldn’t display the new design. At the time, that was most of my audience. Since the new design also included new features that wouldn’t be available to those visitors, I included a little note:

Producer’s Note:
To enjoy this site with more in-depth features, yet faster loading times, please update your browser. (See a thumbnail.) Here is a list of some recommended Web browsers to try:

(The homepage featured a thumbnail as opposed to a link)

Unlike many who encouraged their visitors to upgrade, continued to present older browsers with more than an un-styled page. Nevertheless, with the vast majority of my audience visiting this site with standard-compliant browsers this message, like the BUC, is no longer relevant.

Those who still visit the site in non-compliant browsers are either doing so by choice (and probably see the other version normally) or because they have to. As this site evolves, I will most likely continue serving those people the design I dubbed the Rock no one really likes being reminded their out-of-date. But the upgrade message will be gone