Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), released in March 2009, is the latest web browser from Microsoft. At this point many people have already received an automatic update from Microsoft. With new security features, “accelerators” meant to save you time and faster performance, this sounds like a good thing.
The only problem is that this brand new web browser causes a lot of old websites to break. Web developers have long coded around Microsoft’s quirky browser settings. The newest version is a lot less quirky – a good thing, long-term – but this means all that special code may backfire.
Microsoft knows this, which is why they added a compatibility button. They tell you to use this if a website isn’t “lined up right.” Parts of your website may be misaligned, or overlap, or entire sections could be hidden. Interactive features like drop-down menus may not work properly, or text formatting may be wildly inconsistent.
The problem is that you have no control over whether people use this compatibility button for your company’s site. Besides, do you really want a prospect’s first impression to be that your site is so old, you have to use a compatibility setting to make it display properly?
The bottom line…if you haven’t checked out your website in IE8, you need to do so right away. Be sure to test out anything interactive, and take a look at each page. Check it out with both Windows Vista and Windows XP, as our website tests have found sites sometimes display differently depending on which version of Windows you are running. If everything looks good, thank your developer for building a “standards compliant site” that is holding up well as technology evolves.