A quick request to 20% of you…

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I don’t normally use posts to advertise but as this could be mutually beneficial for some of us I thought I’d make an exception!

As you know I had the site redesigned last month, which is always tricky as people use different versions of different browsers. And the 20% of you who are using Internet Explorer 6 won’t be seeing F1 Fanatic the way you’re supposed to.

However you can try out a browser that displays the site properly for free – and I’ll earn a little money in commission if you do. How’s that for win-win?

IE6 drives web designers crazy because (for reasons that are too boring to cover in detail) it doesn’t lay pages out properly. So if you use IE6 the buttons at the top of the screen will look like this:

Instead of this:

And headlines that should fit like this:

Look like this:

We can’t have that can we? You could just upgrade to IE7 but I don’t find it much better – I prefer Firefox myself and if you download it via the button below I earn roughly one US dollar.

Even if you’re using another non-Firefox browser I encourage you to give it a try – not just because I make money out of it, but because it’s a good piece of software. I first tried it four or five years ago and I’ve not found anything better since.

And if everyone who viewed this site in March downloads on it, then I won’t have to worry about my server fees for the rest of the year!

If you’re really interested in this there’s even a campaign.

Thanks for reading. Normal service will resume shortly…

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “A quick request to 20% of you…”

  1. I can’t understand how people keep on using Internet Explorer!!! Is sooooo bad compared to Firefox! a top-class software!

    Try it, please :D!

    [Now Keith, i should also receive some of that money xD just a joke]

  2. Well, IE sucks since its birth… I dumped it right after firefox came out. People should stop using it :P

  3. The type renders much, much better in Safari/Firefox on OS X… keep up the good work!

  4. Keith — my "navigation bar" renders with unequal width, specifically the home button (using Firefox 2.0)

    By the way I suspect that IE6.0 is being used mainly by corporates rather than individuals — anyhow, I wish you success in your endeavours

  5. Most people don’t know the power of Firefox, it’s that "oh how much better can it really be" attitude.

    One of my web projects last year the only browser that would not render pages and scripts as it was told was, surprise surprise, IE6 (IE7 hadn’t been fully released yet either)!  At the time, IE6 had a 80%+ market share of browsers in the UK too, so it wasn’t like I could just let it go.

    Firefox is great not only for standards conformance (although I prefer Opera in that respect) but the customisation through extensions and scripts make the web browsing/downloading/developing life unbelievably easier, more efficient and more productive.

    Go get Firefox now (from Keith)

    *goes to pick up PR cheque from Mozilla :D

  6. Will it help you if any one downloads it through this link, no matter they have firefox on their computer or not?

  7. I get to see your site in Safari (for Mac and PC), Firefox (for Mac and PC), IE 7 and IE 6 depending on which computer I’m on. Unfortunately my IE 6 computer can’t be upgraded because the organisation I work for are a bit mad like that.

  8. Firefox is the best! (except for Safari on Mac which I use too) I don’t understand why people still use IE….

  9. Varun – I like your thinking! But sadly not…

  10. But surely you will get paid for the download Keith?  After all, they have no way of telling if you use it once you have downloaded it.  As long as your visitors actually download the file rather than just following the link you should get paid yes?

  11. You’re lucky to be working on a site where IE counts for only 20% of your users.

    However, 20% is a lot, and it’s bad practice to ask your visitors to change their browser for your site, even if your see their current choice of browser as ‘misguided’.

    The design issues you’ve mentioned in the article should be simple to patch up for IE6 users. If you’re interested, drop me an email with any other IE issues and I can help write some CSS to sort it out.


  12. I was using IE7 and your blog used to display the way it should. I’m now using IE8 and I find no problems with this either.  

  13. I prefer Opera myself!

  14. You have a valid point James but if you see what Keith is saying is that by downloading a browser that is FACT: Better, faster and safer he will be earning some money to pay for the hosting of this website which costs money.

    Patching the CSS is easy you either write a set of work-around hacks in CSS or write two CSS one for IE one for all other browsers and get javascript to select based on browser detection.

  15. Rabi: I’m not denying that hosting costs money at all. And saying one browser is better than another for an end user is opinion, not fact. For instance, a blind user may prefer IE to Firefox, because it integrates better with their screen reader. For them, IE 6 is better than Firefox 2.

    Fixing the CSS probably doesn’t require hacks, just some adjustments (judging by the examples given).

    It’s bad practice and a maintainability nightmare to have 2 CSS files doing the same thing with slight changes in one. Using JavaScript to select them is also very unreliable and requires JavaScript.

    If it can’t be done in one CSS file, then an additional CSS file can be served using IE conditional comments (doesn’t require js). This additional file would use specificity to make small changes that fix the layout.

    Jake (not James)

  16. MacademiaNut
    1st April 2008, 18:37

    So, everyone must work extra for Microsoft not being able to write a proper browser?  I see it from Safari and the new site looks just fabulous.  Also, notice that Keith is not talking about the site rendering really crazy.. these are just minor points.  If you are browsing only from IE6, you would think the site is supposed to be like this. To Rabi:"Patching the CSS is easy you either write a set of work-around hacks in CSS or write two CSS one for IE one for all other browsers and get javascript to select based on browser detection."I would suggest that if you are reading this blog so regularly and if you think this could be done easily, then why not donate say 15 minutes of your time in writing the code required to pick IE6 vs. other browsers and give it to Keith? :)

  17. I’d love to help out . but I can’t see a CLEAR linkage to make sure you get the $,  must be IE6 hiding it….

  18. All you have to do is click the banner to download it mate, you don’t have to click anything else!

  19. Fine then I will, Keith can e-mail me if he’d like to be IE compatible i ain’t got no problem doing it.

    And Jake it is a fact not an opinion that FF is better than IE in security, so much so that it’s not even close. IE have made a useless browser and their engineer’s know this, the only reason it dominates the market is because it is shipped along with their operating system and is the default browser. Many people, as you and I both know very well, are complete novices and don’t move away from the "popular" products but do remember if it is popular it doesn’t mean it’s any good.

  20. I’ve been using Firefox for months now after my daughter pointed me in that direction. When I got my new pc I tried IE7 but almost immediately went back to Firefox.
    I had to get it (the pc)  built, as all the off-the-peg computers had vista, and I still prefer XP

  21. Rabi: Now, I’m a Firefox user, I’m not saying I think IE is better than Firefox, but if you can’t say something is a fact when it isn’t.

    Firefox also suffers from security issues, as do all browsers. For instance, they only just fixed a referrer spoofing issue that was known about for 6 months. But yes, Firefox has more to offer in terms of security than IE6.

    Firefox is quicker than IE? At what? Firefox has major speed problems at the moment that they’re addressing. I’ve been speed testing DOM manipulation recently and in many cases IE6 is faster than Firefox 2. When it comes to animation in JavaScript Firefox 2 is much slower than IE6. Do some research :)

    Who on earth are you quoting when you say Microsoft engineers knew IE6 was useless when they made it? IE6 was decent in its day (remember it was released in 2001), IE7 was a reasonable step forward and IE8 looks set to be a good browser.

    To be honest, I’d rather the site didn’t work in IE6 than have your javascript-switching hacky CSS all over it. No offence, but the web could do with less of that sort of thing, not more.


  22. Can we draw a line under this row now please I’m sure there are one or two tech websites out there where this discussion is being had – this is an F1 site after all!

  23. I usually browse F1Fanatic at work, which means I can only use IE7. If I could use Firefox, believe me I would, but installation of non-approved software on corporate equipment is strictly verboten (fires up iTunes).

  24. Im surprised only 20% use IE, I think they still own like 65% of the overall market (becuase it is bundled with Windows, atleast in the US…. You Europeans actually know what "anti-trust suit" means).

    The only reason I am using IE right now is becuase I am at work. I will try the link for Mozilla (use it everywhere else) just to earn you a dollar…. Next time you see my lemonade stand on the side of the road I expect you to stop!

  25. For the record, Firefox is updated regularly with security and preformance updates. Microsoft likes to use the policy of waiting three years and fixing everything at once ( which means you were vunerable for longer). How long did it take to get SP1 out for Vista?

  26. I’m using IE7 now. I think it is OK, at least much better than IE6~

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