How Many Browsers Should Your Site Support?
Out of all the browsers, Internet Explorer (IE) is the most painful for a web developer. Not only that it’s not standard compliant, it also has inconsistencies among different versions. Supporting it involves almost duplicating the existing css (and even changing the site design). Some web sites will use a special CSS just for IE.
While each browser has its own idiosyncrasies, IE has the most.
If you take out Internet Explorer (IE) from the mix, it would bring down the web developer’s effort by 30% or more. Supporting less number of browsers also has the advantage that you will be able to use some good-looking effects in your site that may not work across other browsers.
Some people specify “This site is best viewed with ***” on their site home page. This is done either to save development effort (which means money for the customer), or to support rich effects. To the extreme of of this, there are examples of Chrome-specific sites. The doctrine is that Chrome is free anyways, so why should the users not download it and use it?
Thus, there are pros and cons of both approaches — supporting multiple browsers vs supporting only a small set of them. It is up to the context of each application that this decision needs to be made wisely.
One median could be to use high browser compatibility for the public pages of the site. Those are the pages which one may access without doing any sort of login, and they are typically meant for general information and inviting people to sign up (or to place order or whatever). The logic is clear – a customer may come to a site through one of many possible channels (like, say google search), and she should not be put off by a site that appears distorted. As opposed to that, the private pages — or inner pages as some people call them (which are accessible only to logged in users) — may be best viewed only with a few restricted browsers.