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Tricks: Making Your Site Compatible with IE9

You’ve built a beautiful website, or are at least in the process of it, and it looks great. You’ve been using all the best practices you can think of and you’re just about to hit publish when you realize the worst – your website doesn’t work in IE.

Internet Explorer broken

First thing’s first. Don’t panic. Internet Explorer is notorious for causing web designers with years of experience constant headaches. Its continual switching of standards has made it a merry-go-round of sorts and getting your site to stop at the right horse is bound to have a bit of trial and error attached to it.

If you are using the latest verison of IE, currently IE9, What is most likely the case is your site is trying to display in what is called HTML5 natively. What this means, is that Internet Explorer is trying to interpret all the code that runs your website using the latest and greatest release of the HTML standard. While this may sound like a good thing, it can cause problems if your site doesn’t strictly meet the guidelines setforth by the W3C – the makers of HTML5.

If this is the case, don’t worry. The vast majority of sites don’t yet meet these new standards and many of those never will. Luckily, IE provides backwards compatibility by allowing your website to trick Internet Explorer into interpreting your website as if it was running in an earlier version of IE where the HTML standard isn’t as strictly enforced. This is called IE Compatibility Mode.

Typically, IE9 will recognize the need for compatibility mode and automatically transition to it in order to display web pages the way they were supposed to be displayed. However, this is not always the case. In situations such as these, there is a quick solution – meta tags

Meta tags are invisible background information that your website gives to the web browser. In this case, we will need to insert a meta page into the top of all of your webpages just under the <head> or <header> tag. If your website uses a CMS or has a file called a header, you can simply place the following meta tag in this document once and your whole website should begin to display properly again:

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=EmulateIE8″>

Once you have saved your website with this added meta tag, delete your cookies from your Internet Explorer web browser (by holding ctrl + shift + delete) and reload your webpage. Presto! Your site should now be working again.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

3 Comments to “Tricks: Making Your Site Compatible with IE9”

  1. Traveler2091 says:

    Taking your personal experiences and writing about them. I like it Dave!

    Keep up the good work,


  2. Hey there , I am forming a new website almost the same as ehow and your articles would fit the context good. Would I be able to copy your article?

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