Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) was released over 7 years ago and is currently used by less than 1% of all users on the Internet, with usage rapidly declining. Many popular websites have already stopped supporting IE11 (including Microsoft Teams in 2020), and even the Microsoft 365 apps and services will be dropping support later this year.
WordPress 5.8 Will Drop IE11 Support
When WordPress 5.8 is released in July of this year, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be supported. If you are currently using IE11, you strongly recommend that you switch to a more modern browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. If you are already using one of the more modern browsers above, you will only be positively impacted by this change, as there are performance benefits to dropping IE11 support. However, if any other users of your site are still using IE11, they may be affected.
What Does “Dropping Support” Mean?
When support for a browser is removed from WordPress, new features are no longer tested on those browsers and are not guaranteed to function optimally. In addition, automated tools that generate parts of the WordPress Core source code are also updated to exclude unsupported browsers. Unfortunately, this means that any feature relying on these generated files will likely have bugs or stop working for users of those browsers.
The block editor will be the area of WordPress most heavily impacted by this change because almost all of the files related to the block editor are compiled using these automated tools. In addition, other areas of the WordPress dashboard also use CSS built with these tools, and their appearance will potentially be impacted when using IE11.
All other areas of the codebase that are IE11 specific will need to be identified, evaluated, and removed on a case-by-case basis as the rest are manually maintained. This process will begin in the WordPress 5.9 release and will likely happen gradually over several major releases. Additionally, any bugs which are reported for IE11 will not be fixed.
Need Continued IE11 Support?
If IE11 support is important to you and you are unsure whether your website supports IE11, it is recommended that you reach out to our team to confirm. We can help prevent updates that remove this functionality while working on your site to ensure non IE11 compatibility in the future.