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IE9: Not quite ready for primetime

Guest Post by Richard

There is a lot of buzz around Microsoft’s beta release of Internet Explorer 9, and it even rated a (sponsored) fawning on the official blog, but there are issues that people are running into trying to use it on and I suspect on self-hosted WordPress blogs as well.

One issue is that you cannot add or move widgets around on the widgets admin page, or rearrange them in the sidebar panel. IE9 in this respect has resurrected the ghosts of IE past. IE 6 had this issue as did IE7 when first released.

The important word to keep in mind is “BETA” as in not finished. It still has missing and loose nuts and bolts. WordPress is highly unlikely to address any IE9 compatibility issues till the browser goes full public release. If they did, they might end up chasing shadows as MS changes this and then changes that and then changes both of those again.

Never use a beta release browser as your main browser. If you want to download it and try it out, fine, but always keep the latest stable release around for your main work.

From looking at the new features and improvements though, IE9 promises a greatly improved user experience. As with any software though, only time will tell.

12 thoughts on “IE9: Not quite ready for primetime

  1. Thanks for posting this blog. I’m glad I’m not the only one experiencing tremendous headaches when using IE9 with WordPress 3.0.1. I can overcome most of the issues by using compatibility mode, but then doing that opens the door to other issues. Gotta love beta releases. My primary browser is usually Chrome and/or Firefox.

    • @Steven
      The only time a complete post can be legally re-published is when prior written permission has been received from the copyright holder. In other words, the same rules that apply to the world of print also apply in cyberspace. Republishing an entire post without the prior permission of it’s author as you have done with this post is content theft.

      Under a DMCA complaint to your web host I can require you to remove the post from your blog or have the web host remove it for me but as it appears that you are a new blogger I am choosing to ask for your compliance with my copyright personally first. I want you to read very carefully the copyright policy on this blog. Then I want you to cut the entire post that you splogged (stole) and cut the entry to a 75 word excerpt in accord with my copyright policy.

      A brief excerpt of content that does not exceed 75 words may be quoted as long as a link is provided back to the source page on this blog and authorship is properly attributed.

      I would also like you to read this article and comply with the law as it relates to copyright.

      Suppose content thieves took the whole post and gave you a no-follow link ie. a link that will not be crawled by search engines.  Well, that’s  a detriment to you and to your blog. Why would any reader on the splog site click through to your site using that link to read the whole post when they have just read whole on the splog? Interpret the end result as lost traffic – no hits will come your way from the splog site.And, how would you feel if the copy of your original post on their blog ends up placed higher in the Google search results than your original does and the splog site get far more hits that the original post does? Be aware that this can happen. Worse still it creates duplicate content which Google can penalize sites for.

      Please reduce this post you helped yourself to and posted in it’s entirety on your own blog to an excerpt of no more than 75 words and never ever do this again.


  2. As a person who is not a web-designer and rarely has time to investigate the strengths and pitfalls of various applications, I have often found myself in the default position when it comes to MS endorsed products. I was an IE user for years. Recently, I switched to Firefox. I can’t believe how much better it is for blogging. IE 9 won’t win me back any time soon. As someone before me commented, using alternative browsers to check compatibility of views is necessary, but I’m done torturing myself with IE in my daily work.

    • Firefox is a very solid browser, very compatible and very trouble free. I think you’ve made a good choice. Interestingly two of my die-hard, Windows-using friends switched to Apple Safari about a year ago (on my recommendation because of problems they were having) and both of them would fight to the death with anyone who would try to take it away from them.


      In my opinion IE’s main problem has been that they tried force their “standards” on the world due to their long time dominance in browser market share, but that tide has changed and web standards has won. The problem with MS is, like in so many instances with them, they have been slow to realize that the ship has left the dock and is not going to turn around and pick them up. They are going to have to row their own boat and catch up.


  3. I use Firefox as my primary browser. I know IE isn’t friendly at all to my site. The pictures don’t work in IE (at least for me) and my Enterprise Theme menu’s in IE are squared and not rounded like there supposed to be.

    It’s a frustrating thing in some respects so hopefully in the new beta version things will start to work properly.

    • MS has alway been either slow to embrace changes in CSS standards – or any standards for that fact. They have preferred to try and make the web follow them, and for a while while they enjoyed browser dominance, they could to a certain point do that. Everyone designed for IE and only then thought of making things work with other browsers (and in some cases would just tell you, you need to switch to IE).

      Those days are over. Web standards, aided by the Open Source community are now driving the bus.

  4. I don’t know if they fixed the post making issue either. IE9 blanks them due to a format error. But ya its beta so it won’t be perfect.

    At least it supports web standards.

    • I have hopes MS has seen the light with IE9, but only time will tell. IE8 was a big step in the right direction, but it was so schizophrenic with compatibility views.

      Some of the issues we are seeing at WordPress.COM are due to the latest version of the TinyMCE editor they use. It has a plethora of bugs and right now is causing me a lot of extra work with a few of my clients. WordPress is at the mercy of Moxiecode, the designers of the editor.

  5. Speaking personally, the time I ever look at anything with Internet Explorer is to check the cross-browser compatibility of the design of a site.

    For that purpose I use Litmus ( and NetRenderer (from

    I think it is sad that the thing I hear and read most about IE is that it is a pain for designers who want to make sites that are cross-browser compatible.

    I know some people hate IE: I just wish it were more amenable to the kind of things that Safari and Firefox can display through CSS.

    I think I have read that IE 9 is supposed to support CSS features such as shading and rounded corners.

    I hope so, but I just put ‘OneCoolBloggingTips’ through netrenderer and with IE 8 (the latest version of IE that I can see) the rounded corners on the tabs have disappeared.

    • Speaking as a web designer, I can echo your frustration with IE and have always been puzzled as to why they would not fully support web standards. I don’t know if it was a control or power thing, but looking at their dwindling browser market share, I would have to thing that strategy backfired. The web has pretty much decided to move on without them.

      Who knows how close to standards compliance IE9 will actually end up being, but I hope it will be near 100%. It is always good to have competition and choices. Remember what it was like back when IE dominated? We don’t want that again by any browser.

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