IE8 – Standards Mode and IE7-Compatibility Mode

IE8 logo (beta) As you all know, the Internet Explorer team has been working hard to make IE8 the most standards compliant browser around.  Unfortunately, not all web sites confirm to these standards today.  If you have concerns about your web site rendering correctly in IE8 standards mode, then there is some help for you out there:

First – you can address the issues on a page-by-page basis using the following HTTP meta-tag:

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

This tag, when seen by IE8 will render the page in IE7 compatibility mode regardless of whether or not you’ve set IE to run in IE8 Standards mode or not.  This is a great solution for that one page in the site that doesn’t quite render correctly in Standards mode.

Second – you can add this header via IIS to all of your pages either via the config files directly:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
        <add name="X-UA-Compatible" value="IE=EmulateIE7">

or using the IIS7 admin tool (which, as we all know, just updates the config files for you)


Lastly, for those of you running Apache instead of IIS (shame on you!), Hanu has something to help you - he’s just released a blog post on how to configure your Apache server to render pages in IE7-compatibility mode.  You can also get more information about IE8 Compatibility Mode can be found on the IE8 section of the MSDN web site.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Comments (4)
  1. Ben Voigt says:

    This is pretty ridiculous, because it requires changes to existing web sites to preserve the existing behavior.  Even sites with different versions for IE and standard-compliant break.

    What should have happened is that the User-Agent for IE8 should be different.  Maybe "InternetExplorer 8.0" instead of "Mozilla x.x (MSIE)", so that browser-detection logic won’t send the IE6/7-specific code that fails in standards-complaint mode.  InternetExplorer instead of IExplore so that a simple search for "IE" won’t match.

    Where’s the right place to send this sort of suggestion?

  2. ChrisKoenig says:

    @BenVoigt:  This is the right place!  I will forward your comments on to the IE team.   Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your feedback!



  3. Danny says:

    From what I’ve seen of IE8’s compatibility options so far I’ve been impressed. There’s no magical solution but the thought going into moving forward whilst maintaining existing support is highly appreciated.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content