Almost two months ago, Microsoft released their newest version of the popular web browser, Internet Explorer 8. As usual, the update was going to bring several changes, including new features, security enhancements, and better page rendering ability.
Recently, my Vista powered laptop had Internet Explorer 8 listed as an important update, so I went ahead and added it. It’s currently running on all of our Windows computers. It’s also why I’m writing this blog post.
I was checking out one of the local websites the other day and found out that it does not look like it used to under Internet Explorer 7. The problem is with the CSS and the footer for the background. In Internet Explorer 7 it stays where it’s supposed to, but in Internet Explorer 8 it doesn’t; it rises up the page leaving the content on top to look very weird.
Fix it for Internet Explorer 8 or Change Browsers
Several web designers suggest using Firefox due to Internet Explorer’s rendering problems. To me, that’s a very silly response to a problem like this. There are many people who do not use Firefox. Some people simply can not install it due to security restrictions on their computer. Using our own website metrics, we can easily see that out of all browsers, 58% of our visitors use Internet Explorer. Firefox commands 32% of the market share on our site. I can either tell 58% of our visitors to use a different browser or I can fix the problem. This is why I design for cross browser compatibility.
The question is, have you checked your website to see if it works in Internet Explorer 8? What about Opera or Safari? It’s a good idea to build your site for all browsers, or at least the major ones. A big block suggesting I use another browser to look at the site isn’t going to make me do it; it usually means I don’t bother with the site.
I know this is mostly me being on my standards compliance kick, building for maximum visibility and all that, but it’s still worth mentioning. With Internet Explorer being updated all the time, and Microsoft’s habit of interpreting scripting the way it wants, you should make sure your website works for as many browsers as you can.