Dropping support for Internet Explorer 8 may or may not be an option for you yet, depending on your target audience. If you review your website’s analytics and find that dropping support for Internet Explorer 8 is OK to do then get ready for some great benefits!

1. You Can Take Advantage of Extremely Useful Features

Some examples:

  • Various CSS3 selectors (e.g. :nth-child())
  • CSS3 colors (e.g. rgba())
  • The calc() CSS3 function
  • Media queries
  • Viewport units
  • The SVG image format
  • Canvas

2. Development Is Faster (and, Therefore, Cheaper)

Internet Explorer 9 fixes many bugs present in Internet Explorer 8 (see the “Same Script, Same Markup” section of IEBlog’s “Enhanced Scripting in IE9: ECMAScript 5 Support and More” article for some examples). Because of this, workarounds don’t need to be implemented for those bugs.

3. You’re Helping to Move the Web Forward

As more and more websites stop looking good and/or functioning properly in Internet Explorer 8, people will be more inclined to upgrade their web browser. Once they upgrade, not only will more websites both look and function better, but the users will be much better off when it comes to security.

Final Thoughts

A bonus benefit if you use jQuery is you can use version 2.x, which has a smaller file size.

Keep in mind that starting January 12, 2016, Microsoft’s support for Internet Explorer 8 will be dropped completely for Windows desktop and server releases (see IEBlog’s “Stay up-to-date with Internet Explorer” article). This means that in seven months from the time of this writing, Internet Explorer 8 will most definitely be unsafe to use. Thus, if you need to hold off on dropping support for Internet Explorer 8 for the time being, feel free to do so, but don’t keep supporting Internet Explorer 8 past January 12, 2016. Otherwise, you’re doing your users a disservice.