Right now, there is a clear and present threat to the future of the web – and it’s not some malicious virus cooked up by evil hackers, or even those annoying spammers who are still trying to convince you that there’s a Nigerian Prince who desperately wants to give you squillions of dollars. No, this threat is far more insidious – and there’s a good chance that 1 in 10 of you reading this post are looking at that threat right now! I’m talking about Internet Explorer 6.
Now that you hear it, you might not think that a piece of software that came packaged with your computer could be such a big problem. And let's not forget, IE6 was once the King of all browsers. Go back just 6 or 7 years – Netscape has just been Netscaped, and Microsoft is shipping IE6 bundled with its new operating system, XP. This strategy help Microsoft peak at 95% of the browser market share.
But the King is dead… long live the King!
You see, the problem with 15-25% of the web (and about 10% of Affilorama visitors) still using a browser which, for intents and purposes is an antique, is that the entire web development community is shackled to the past. There are a huge number of modern web standards that IE6 simply doesn’t support, particularly in terms of website design elements, meaning web designers have to write separate code specifically for IE6. (Security is another big issue; IE6 leaves you incredibly vulnerable to viruses and attack)
And it looks like the developers have had just about enough. Many of the most popular websites, including Digg, Facebook, and pretty soon Youtube have cut back or all together eliminated support for IE6, forcing users to update.
This may seem harsh. We know people don’t like change and if they’re comfortable with the browser they’re using, why should they change? Because it’s slowing down progress!
You see, there are a number of incredible new developments in web technology that have come out in the past few years. But these new technologies can’t really flourish while this old relic is still around.
One example is HTML 5. HTML is the language of the web – it’s what web pages are written in. HTML 5 is the next iteration – and some of the new developments are going to be incredible. Things that use to be hard like embedding audio and video will now be able to be embedded with a simple or tag. Webpages will also allow your browser to save stuff to your hard drive. Imagine being able to open up your laptop on a plane and look at your Gmail or Google Docs, even if you’re not online?
Pretty cool, huh?
But don’t expect developers to be using all these capabilities to their fullest so long as they have to still be supporting IE6!
Why affiliates should care
The title of this post was “why successful affiliates have up to date browsers”. The reason why being up to date is important for affiliates is that we always need to be up to speed with recent developments. Do you want to take advantage of the marketing opportunities of the next Facebook or Twitter? Of course you do! Then you need a new browser to do it! And remember – it costs you nothing to upgrade!
What should you do?
Upgrade – and do it today!
There are multiple options for browser these days. Some people would feel more comfortable with the traditional Internet Explorer interface, in which case upgrading to the latest version of IE (currently 8) would be a good idea. You can check out IE8 here.
But there are a few other browsers that should warrant your consideration.
Firefox – My personal favorite, Firefox is an open source browser from the Mozilla foundation. Probably my favorite thing about Firefox is how customizable it is, both in the look of it (you can change the entire look by adding themes) and functionality using add-ons. Add-ons or plugins as they are often called are small programs that allow Firefox to do extra things – for instance I have a few SEO plugins that give me extra information about the webpage I’m looking at (great for linkbuilding!). While I am a big fan of Firefox, it does have a problem with memory usage, especially if you use a lot of plugins. You might want to try another option if you have an older or slower machine.
Opera – While I haven’t had a great deal of experience with Opera myself, I have many friends who swear by it. Comparable in speed to Firefox, it is a really great browser for research and would probably be a great fit for a student. For example, it indexes the text every page you visit and you can search for a page you’ve visited by entering any text from the page into the address bar. It also has really impressive bookmarking functions.
While we know many of our users are beginners on the web, and the thought of upgrading their browser is a little intimidating, not to mention learning how to use the new browser – it is important as an affiliate that you learn how to adapt to the new technologies as they appear. I guarantee once you’ve upgraded and you start discovering some of the amazing features of your new browser – you’ll never want to go back!Disclaimer: Internet Explorer and the IE logo are registered trademarks of Microsoft Inc.