must be using a standards-compliant web browser.
98.4% of our audience uses a standards-compliant web browser, but
you appear not to be using one. We want to help you remedy this situation
and improve your experience on ESPN.com and the rest of the internet.
Click one of the download links on the left to freely upgrade
your browser, or read on for more information on why you got to
* Or if you'd like to view ESPN's lite site for older browsers and WebTV, click here.
am I here?
When web browsing
became popular in the mid 90s, several companies began battling
to develop the most dominant web browser on the market. Since there was no standard
on what a browser should really look and act like, these companies
all released their own browsers using proprietary methods, and the end result was a slew of
browsers which were barely compatible with each other.
As a result, anyone who wanted to run a web site often
had to write 5 or 6 different versions of each page on their site,
just to make sure it worked in all of these proprietary browsers.
As a user, you may not realize this is going on, but the end result
is a page which is not necessarily presented as it *should* be but rather
as a "lowest common denominator" for all the browsers it must be viewed on.
the last several years, companies (including ESPN) have
supported all of these older browsers because large
percentages of their audience still used them. The results were
heavier pages which took longer to load, longer lead-times on developing
to send different people different versions of each page.
Finally, along came
a set of open web standards for everyone to use. For the past couple of years, every
major web browser released has been built
around a set of open standards designated by the World Wide Web
Consortium, a non-profit organization charged with overseeing the
continuing development of the web. What this means is that one piece
of code now looks the same on every modern browser, whether it be
Netscape, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, or others. The only
catch is, the majority of users actually have to *use* these modern
browsers before sites like ESPN can present content which is optimized for them.
when we began talking about redesigning the ESPN.com front page,
the first thing we did was look at our audience. Our numbers show
that about 1.6% of our audience still uses non standards-compliant
browsers, and most of that 1.6% uses Netscape 4, which is a
non standards-compliant 5-year old browser and is easily, and freely,
upgradeable to Netscape 7 (a very nice browser).
we said to ourselves, If we can produce twice the amount of
content, create faster loading pages, and offer more features to
98.4% of our audience at a cost of having to tell less than 2% of
our audience to freely upgrade their browser, then well, thats
a pretty easy decision. If it was more like 10%, then perhaps
we wouldnt have made the same decision, but the fact is, most
people have already upgraded and most of the remaining 1.6% simply
dont realize they are using an outdated browser.
like to make perfectly clear that we are not trying to get you to
use Microsoft browsers, Netscape browsers, Apple browsers, or Opera
browsers. This is not about telling you what brand of browser to
use. It is only about alerting you to the fact that each of the
companies above, plus a few more, makes a modern, standards-compliant
browser which you can easily (and freely) switch to using the links
on the upper left side of this page.
the next year or so, you will begin to notice more and more sites
concentrating their efforts on supporting open standards and dropping
support for older non-compliant browsers. You are free to consider
us one of the first, and you may also consider this an invitation
from your friends at ESPN to get on board. If your systems
administrator has you locked into using a non standards-compliant
browser like Netscape 4, then feel free to send him or her to this
page. They already know about this issue and we feel strongly that
it is in their best interest to get you upgraded.
an influential site on the internet, ESPN is proud to help further
the cause of open standards on the web. Since you are eventually going
to upgrade your browser anyway, why not use this as your opportunity?
Were sure youll enjoy the new ESPN, as well as every
other site on the web a lot more because of it.
you prefer a simpler explanation, click here for the Short
Answer (a less technical explanation of why you should upgrade).