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Easy Steps to Get your Web Site to Support IE8 

Posted By:  Neil Hutson 
Publish Date: 8/21/2008


Any users accessing your site using the Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) browser ( currently in Beta ) will typically not get a very good rendering experience if your site was designed for Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) because of new standards that IE8 is supporting around HTML and CSS formats. There are two ways to resolve this.

1) The longer term option is to re-write your web application to render IE8 correctly - However this would not be my first choice.

2) The best ( to choose first off ) is to instruct any IE8 browsers to browse your site in IE7 emulation mode so that the current rendering is maintained. How do you do this? Simple

On a Per-site basis, site owners and administrators can include the following custom HTTP header to force Internet Explorer 8 to render Web pages like Internet Explorer 7:

 

X-UA-Compatible: IE=EmulateIE7

 

To add a custom HTTP response header at the Web site level in Internet Information Services 7 on a Windows Server 2008-based computer, follow these steps:

       
  • Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  •    
  • Under Connections, double-click the server that you want, and then double-click Sites.
  •    
  • Click the Web site where you want to add the custom HTTP response header.
  •    
  • Under Web site name Home, double-click HTTP Response Headers in the IIS section.
       Note In this step, Web site name is the name of the Web site.
  •    
  • Under Actions, click Add.
  •    
  • In the Name box, type X-UA-Compatible.
  •    
  • In the Value box, type IE=EmulateIE7.
  •    
  • Click OK.

You can also modify the IIS7 configuration file with the following details ( or you can check the config after the changes made above )

<system.webServer>
<httpProtocol>
    <customHeaders>

       <add name="X-UA-Compatible" value="IE=EmulateIE7" />

   </customHeaders>

</httpProtocol>
</system.webServer>

To add a custom HTTP response header at the Web site level in Internet Information Services 6 and earlier versions, follow these steps:

       
  • Click Start, click Run, type inetmgr.exe, and then click OK.
  •    
  • Expand the server that you want, and then expand Web Sites.
  •    
  • Right-click the Web site that you want, and then click Properties.
  •    
  • Under Custom HTTP headers, click Add.
  •    
  • In the Custom header name box, type X-UA-Compatible.
  •    
  • In the Custom header value box, type IE=EmulateIE7.
  •    
  • Click OK two times.
Per-page basis

Site owners and administrators can include the following special HTML tag after the <Head> tag on the page:

 

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

 

The following example shows use of this Internet Explorer 7 compatibility mode tag on a per-page basis:

 

<html> <head> <!-- Use IE7 mode --> <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" /> <title>My Web Page</title> </head> <body> <p>Content goes here.</p> </body> </html>

 



For more information about the EmulateIE7 tag, visit the IEBlog Web site:

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2008/06/10/introducing-ie-emulateie7.aspx

To download IE8 for testing, you can go to the following location

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/default.mspx