Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Browser Upgrade Script updated

For some months now this site has popped up a warning message to users of old versions of Internet Explorer (i.e. less than version 6.0, or any version on the Mac), encouraging them to upgrade. It links to the latest version of IE, but also mentions Firefox, Safari and Opera and links to the Browse Happy site.

Today I updated the script to improve its handling of users of IE 5.5 (who weren’t previously getting the message) and also notify users of Firefox 1.0.x that they should update their browsers. Although 1.0.8 was released very recently, it was the last in the 1.0.x line and in future users should move to 1.5.x and higher. The upgrade notifications aren’t very obvious in the 1.0.x line so some users may be unaware that a new version is available so hopefully this will encourage a few converts. Around 4% of the visitors to this site in the past week were using obsolete browsers – most of them 1.0.x versions of Firefox.

The message is not shown to Internet Explorer 6 users. These make up for 45% of my visitors even now and I do not want to alienate them for the sake of browser fanboyism.

Update: At the request of James, I have added a ‘[Do not show this warning in future]’ link which hides the warning and sets a cookie so that it won’t appear again in future (the cookie expires in a year’s time). You’ll need JavaScript enabled for it to work, though.


  1. Not sending it out the ‘the masses’ (45%) misses the point of this whole script then? Surely, the only reason for doing this is to point out this to those people.
    If you don’t want fanboyism, then just remove the script. I just looked in IE5 and didn’t get the message. But I’m assuming that it just recommends Firefox. If you’re not wanting fanboyism then you should recommend a range of browsers (screwed if you’re on Windows, Opera no thanks (waits for the repecussions))

  2. The problem with IE6 users as that there’s no definite way of checking whether their browser is secure or not. We know that IE4.x and IE5.x are insecure, so they get the warning – same for users of old versions of Firefox.
    I’m not going to go into the relative security merits of a fully-patched IE6 versus Firefox
    The fact is that many people use IE6 because they have to and not out of choice. If they use the internet at work they probably won’t be able to install anything else. There are also those who are perfectly happy using IE, or those who use something like Maxthon.
    The script recommends Firefox to existing Firefox users, but recommends Firefox, Opera and Safari to IE users.

  3. What you really need is some way to acknowledge the message and stop it appearing again. I’m (for the most part) using Mac OS9. The most up to date browser I can get is IE5. It’s slow and buggy, and I don’t need you to tell me that I should be upgrading. Layouts tend to be broken enough without superfluous extra boxes for it to render. Unfortunately it’s going to be a good few months until I can afford one of those nice shiny new MacBook Pros, and having the fact that I’m too poor to upgrade pointed out every time I visit your site is, frankly, downright offensive.
    Thankfully, with bloglines I don’t need to visit very often. 🙂

  4. This very good idea IMHO 🙂

  5. Any chance of publishing this script, please?

  6. Yeah, publishing the script would be fantabulous!

  7. FYI, a google search for ‘upgrade browser script’ places this page first SERP. It would be nice if you had it available for download.
    For anyone using WordPress, there is a plugin available that targets IE6 here: Upgrade IE.