Web Developer Versions of Internet Explorer

While Internet Explorer was once the reigning browser on the Internet, with a 90 percent share of the market, it has fallen so far out of favor that less than 10 percent of all Internet users browse the Web with it. In fact, Microsoft itself is encouraging users to stop using the most commonly used version, Internet Explorer 6. Though there are three more recent versions of IE, IE6 remains the one used by almost all Explorer users. Less than 2 percent of Explorer users browse with a version other than IE6.

For the small percentage of Internet users who do use Explorer, it’s important to ensure that a website can be viewed just as well in Explorer as it can in any other browser. Web designers who don’t take Explorer into account cause their clients to miss out on a number of potential customers who won’t be able to see the site well.

Internet Explorer Testing

To ensure that a site is compatible with various versions of Explorer, there are downloadable virtual hard drive programs that assist in the testing. Because there are several versions of explorer still in use, there are a large number of files that must be used to ensure the highest level of compatibility. With each version’s testing files, it is possible to see exactly how well a site will work for a user viewing it with each specific IE version.

Explorer was created during a time when website standards were different. There were no mobile versions of websites to be used on smart phones and tablet computers. Many large sites, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and YouTube, have removed their site’s support for Explorer completely because of this incompatibility. Many sites that are being started today don’t take the browser into consideration at all when the sites are created. However, there is still some support for the aging browser.

The official Microsoft website has versions of Internet Explorer available for free here

Who Uses Internet Explorer 6?

While most home users don’t browse with IE6, there are many large organisations that do. The British government is just one such example. Some portions of the U.S. government also use the browser. There are also regions of the world that favor Explorer over other browsers. Burgeoning economic powerhouse China largely uses IE6 to browse the Web. More than one-third of its Web users and almost a quarter of South Korean users still use IE6. Intel and other IT companies often use IE6 because of the expense of changing their technological infrastructure. With five years between IE6 and IE7, IE6 had plenty of time become firmly ingrained in some sectors of business and technology.

The way Explorer use currently stands, with the vast majority of its use being an outdated version more than 10 years old, it may be phased out in the next few years. Its use around the world is falling dramatically each year as organizations and individuals upgrade to better, more modern browsers. However, IE testing is still performed by Web developers who want to ensure a consistent viewing experience no matter what browser a reader may have.

Must-Have Tools for Web Developers

Web developers can improve their workflow and simplify their tasks when they make use of web development tools. Web technology is constantly evolving and improving, and web developers must have constantly increasing skills to keep up! It’s no longer enough to be skilled with HTML, and no web developer can compete if he or she attempts to create every application from scratch.

When you get ready to design and develop a website for yourself or a client – you should rely on many of the following must-have tools for success:

PHP

http://php.net

Web developers should be familiar with PHP, a great programming language to create functional websites. The code itself borrows much of the syntax from Java, C and Perl, with the addition of new PHP-specific features created. PHP is specifically useful in web development applications because it can be embedded directly into HTML code, and is designed to help web developers create dynamically generated webpages quickly.

MySQL

http://mysql.com

MySQL is the industry standard for databases. It’s easy to use, offers high performance and is extremely reliable. It’s used in some of the largest and fastest-growing applications like Google, Facebook and Adobe, and can be used on more than 20 different platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linus and Solaris.

Kuler

http://kuler.adobe.com

A web-hosted application, Kuler helps you create colour themes for your web development projects. You can start from scratch and see how colors look together, or you can browse thousands of themes other Kuler users have shared with the community. The site is free, and can be used from any computer with a web browser. It can also be used in conjunction with Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks, and InDesign software programs.

W3C Markup Tool

http://validator.w3.org

You need to develop websites with code that is up to standards. Not only with your website look better and function better, but it will often perform better in the search engines if all your web design code is compliant to the industry standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) determines what the current standards for web coding is, and offer a validation tool for validating your html, xhtml and css code. They’ll give you the green light if your code is up to standard; or let you know if it needs to be changed.

Lipsum

http://lipsum.org

Use the industry standard for sample filler text on any web design you create for a client. It helps the client focus on the design and layout of the website, rather than worrying about what the content says. Once the design is approved, you can remove the sample text and replace with the real words that make up the website.

Photoshop

http://adobe.com

Photoshop is a professional graphic system to create designs. It allows professional web developers to create a toolbox or asset library, which will save you a lot of time when putting new websites together. You can save different brushes, colours, patterns, backgrounds, textures and more – and each item you add to your Photoshop toolbox can save you valuable design time.

How to Become a Web Developer

In the age of the Internet, web developers are a career choice that makes sense as it appears there will always be a need for technical assistance by the technologically savvy. Web developer may be too vague a term for many people to understand but if you are interested in the field, it pays to know what you need to learn to become a web developer.

Whether you plan to start with a company or venture into your own business, here is a brief overview of what a web developer is and how you might become one:

What Does a Web Developer Do?

It is first to understand the two basic types of web developers. These two groups include:

  • Client Developer- this type of web developer assists clients by writing code that is translated by the Internet browsers. This type of code includes HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Some developers may also need to know XML.
  • Server Developers – this type of web developer will write code that needs to be translated by the server. Within this group there are several other types of developers including ASP.NET developers, PHP developers, Java EE developers, and ColdFusion developers.

What Should Developers Learn?

If you are just starting out on the road to a web developer career, it is best to start at the beginning. Learning HTML will teach you the basics of designing web page basics like titles, paragraphs, headings, and lists. Typically it can take a few weeks to grasp the concepts in HTML that will allow you to move on to the more complex information. Learning HTML will also allow you to begin working on web site design while you learn other tools of the trade.

The next step in learning will involve CSS and JavaScript. CSS is the language used to control what is displayed and how information is formatted on a web page. JavaScript is the scripting language that is used to make individual pages of a website more interactive such as in drop down menus. CSS is generally simple to learn and the details will take a few weeks to grasp. JavaScript has been found to start off easy to learn but become more complicated as a person moves along. It can take a few weeks to learn enough JavaScript to start producing but it will take time and experience to continue learning.

If you are interested in developing for the server side of the equation, there are several things you should consider learning. Most people find that PHP and ColdFusion are easiest to learn but both concepts are not as common as other areas of web development. However, depending on your interests you may find the competition in different areas to be work developing your skills in these areas.

The harder programming like ASP.NET and Java EE require the learner to understand complex programming languages. These jobs are certainly higher paying than other areas of web development but there is also a lot of competition for work.

Where to Learn Web Development

There are a multitude of ways to learn web development theories and skills but it depends on your needs to find the ones that will suit you. If you are already technically savvy and are able to be self-taught, there are many books, online video tutorials, and blogs that teach the basics of web development. People who choose this route will need to already have technology skills and be able to learn on their own.

Others would do well in college courses or technical school training where a formal education on the fundamentals of web development as well as other aspects of computer science will be learned in order to earn a degree.

Whatever path you take, web development can be an exciting career that will grow rapidly as technology changes. There will likely always be something new to learn and multiple avenues to pursue for finding work.