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Are WordPress Themes and Plugins Ready for Internet Explorer 7?

In the very near future, you may go to bed and wake up to check your WordPress blog and find the WordPress Theme web design borked or bent. Microsoft is getting ready to force feed Internet Explorer 7 onto Windows XP computers automatically in the next month or so, and your WordPress Theme or Plugin may not be ready for IE7.

“Preparing your site for Internet Explorer 7″ by Spy Journal is a good overlook at what can happen to your entire computer and Internet browsing experience when IE7 replaces IE6.

“Word on the street is that, upon its release (before year’s end), IE7 will be pushed out as a forced update to Windows XP users everywhere, as was done for Service Pack 2. The move to IE7 among the end-user masses will not be a gradual migration, but a sudden and significant shift.”

One night Windows XP users will go to bed using IE6 and the next morning they’ll wake up, install a routine update, and just like that they’ll be using IE7 to browse the web. That means, that as a site owner, you need to begin preparing immediately for IE7’s impending release.

The article continues with a list of some of the changes and new features IE7 will have, which include updated CSS behavior and fixes of many IE browser hacks. As I wrote recently in “Getting Your Blog Ready for Internet Explorer 7″, IE7 will ignore your old browser hacks, but how it responds to all CSS instructions is still a little less clear.

If you are the author, tweaker, or users of a WordPress Theme or WordPress Plugin, I highly recommend the following:

  1. Download Internet Explorer 7 and put your WordPress Themes through their paces.
  2. View all the different page views from the front page, single post view, and search, category, and archive views. Make sure all the parts and pieces fit together and stay where they are supposed to stay.
  3. Validate your WordPress Theme. Things can get messed up along the way, so test now to make sure it is in full working order before IE7 hits.
  4. Test your feeds to make sure they are working, including for your entire blog, blog comments, category feeds, and any custom feeds you may have. IE7 will automatically detect RSS feeds and ask users to subscribe, and will even offer frequent updates and alerts for feeds.
  5. Using Ajax in WordPress Themes or WordPress Plugins? According to the IE Blog, a specific order to the request changes needs to be set. Contact authors of Ajax Plugins if you’re not sure to make sure their WordPress Plugins are compliant with IE7.
  6. Check the Information Index for Internet Explorer7 to make sure your WordPress Theme or WordPress Plugin will work within IE7.

If your WordPress Theme or Plugin does pass the IE7 tests, make sure you label it accordingly.

While you are at it, why not check your WordPress Theme design and code in some other updated browsers. Or take this opportunity to update your WordPress Theme or WordPress Plugin with all the user’s fixes and suggestions so you get publicize it as “new and improved” and “works with IE7″.

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22 Comments

  1. Barry
    Posted October 16, 2006 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Download IE7? *shrugs* Bit of a bummer if you’re running on a Mac, huh?

    (Great blog: it sits quite happily in my “Daily Read” folder :o)

  2. Posted October 16, 2006 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Barry, apparently, IE7 is running on Wine. Well, they got the IE7 engine running underneath the frontend of IE6. I imagine you would be able to modify the IEs4Linux program to run on a Mac.

    I am so tempted to lay down a scathing anti-IE7 comment right here, but it’d be too predictable. I guess getting your theme working with IE is one of those necessary evils.

  3. Posted October 16, 2006 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Is Internet Explorer 7 ready for W3C standards?, this should be the correct question.

  4. Posted October 16, 2006 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Firefox

    That’s all I have to say on this matter.

  5. Posted October 16, 2006 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Oriol.

    It’s better than IE6, standards wise. However, It’s still no where near as compliant as Firefox (which itself is not quite 100%) and thus is likely to behave ‘oddly’ depending on circumstances.

    I do wish Microsoft would confirm the final W3C related rules it will actually support – not knowing what is in and what isn’t is annoying me (and I have a build of IE7 already!).

  6. Posted October 16, 2006 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe that they are going to force this on the public. It offers a horrific user experience, especially for those who haven’t played around with one of the betas.

    They are in for a massively rude awakening when unknown millions wake up and find that their trusty IE6 has been screwed with.

    That said, I’m glad they’re doing it. Because my design works much, much better in IE7 than IE6. (Of course, it works as it was designed to, in Firefox).

  7. Posted October 16, 2006 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Stephen, you’re obviously new to Windows and Microsoft, or you’d realize they always do that. Like Lorelle said, they did it with SP2, which reeked havoc on more than just a few PC’s. Heck, my IE is 6, but it did the forced update with the ultimate in crappy tabbed browsing.

    Thankfully, I use Avast if I’m desperate for IE, Opera, and FF, so I could care less what Microsoft does to screw over even more people. And if my site looks broken, guess it’s time for those people to switch, because I’m not going to make it look perfect in a defunct and crappy browser anyway.

  8. Posted October 16, 2006 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I have been testing in IE7 since May, so my themes — Cutline and PressRow, specifically — are IE7-ready.

    This is going to be a bigger issue than a lot of folks realize, because just like IE6, IE7 has its little quirks that designers and coders are going to have to address. Although IE7 is, in my opinion, better than IE6, it’s still a bit of a crapshoot with regard to some CSS rendering issues.

    Ahhhh design.

  9. Posted October 16, 2006 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s certainly something to consider. A vast amount of people still use IE, obviously, and with the update IE7 will become just another browser we have to target. That doesn’t mean we should dismiss IE6, though. I suspect many people will still be using it, given that not everyone is using XP SP2 — they could possibly be using IE on a Mac for all we know. I’m not sure what standards the Mac version of IE follows, but I suspect it’s roughly the same as IE6.

    Thankfully, my site looks exactly the same in IE (6 and 7) as it does in Firefox and Opera, so I’m not concerned. I’m quite happy with how it turned out. Shame I’ve not been able to get anyone with Safari to report whether or not it looks odd.

  10. Posted October 16, 2006 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    IE7 is better than IE6.
    I would even say much better, but still does improper use of cookies and completely ignores *.xsl style sheet.
    I love the RSS reader, but… Internet Explorer does not support feeds with DTDs.

  11. Posted October 17, 2006 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    The CSS support is far better in IE7 (than previous versions.) The RSS feed support is excellent and will do quite a bit to further mainstream syndicated content. One major worry is the ActiveX support changes that will break many applications. My own findings so far with a couple beta versions and Release Candidate 1 is that almost any standards-based, well coded site will survive the transition. (http://www.ptvguy.com/internet-explorer-7-is-your-site-ready/)

  12. Posted October 17, 2006 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Actually, it is even worse than you might think. I find that IE7 under XP is behaving differently from IE7 under Vista!

    Christ. I should just downgrade IE to Lynx status altogether in my css files and be done with it.

  13. iKA
    Posted October 18, 2006 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Are Internet Explorer 6 or 7 ready for XHTML and CSS2?
    No!!! *scnr*

  14. Posted October 19, 2006 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    I’ve just tried blogging using wordpress. I want to install a plugin but i can’t find the plugin option in the admin page. Can anyone help?

  15. Posted October 19, 2006 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    If you are using WordPress.com, there will be no Plugins tab in the WordPress Administration Panels. If you are using the full version of WordPress, then it should have a tab at the top that says Plugins, which will show you the Plugins Panel.

    If it is not there, I recommend you reinstall WordPress again.

  16. John
    Posted October 19, 2006 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    In my mind the great stength of Firefox is both the quantity and the quality of the third party add ons that are available. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft is able to attract developers to IE7.

    I found this on the IE7 AddOns site
    http://www.ieaddons.com/SearchResults.aspx?keywords=trailfire

    I hope to see more like this.

  17. Posted April 23, 2007 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the link! – belatedly…

  18. Posted June 22, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Great post man, keep up the good work ;-)

  19. Posted January 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    nice post.

    i have a problem with my blog. In firefox everything works OK , but in internet explorer 8 my blog looks like a mess , it’s aligned to left , distance between posts it’s huge and the widgets are positioned like crazy.

    please take an eye to my blog and if you have some time a comment reply with an opinion abou the posible causes.

    thanks

  20. Posted March 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Found on google, great article…i have to even question now even ie 8 is compatible alot of the time when i am editing i find myself switching from moz to chrome then to ie 8 and scratching my head due to the issues ie 8 has sometimes.

  21. Anthony
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Hey my slideshow plugin does not work on internet explorer for some reason…….what can i do? any ideas?


11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Einige Fragen lassen sich schon heute beantworten. Wie? Das steht im Artike bei Lorelle on WordPress. [...]

  2. [...] Lorelle gibt kurz vorm Startschuss des IE7 noch einige Tipps, wie man WordPress-Blogs und -Themes auf den IE7 vorbereiten kann: Are WordPress Themes and Plugins Ready for Internet Explorer 7? und Getting Your Blog Ready for Internet Explorer 7 Tags: WordPress, Themes, IE7 « Del.Icio.Us-Links für die Technikwürze [...]

  3. [...] Lorelle se preguntaba esto ayer: ¿Está tu tema de WordPress preparado para Internet Explorer 7? [...]

  4. [...] Are WordPress Themes and Plugins Ready for Internet Explorer 7? [...]

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  6. [...] Roger Johansson (of 456 Berea Street) and Lorelle VanFossen both remind us that the new Internet Explorer has been released into the wild and what does that mean for all our web pages? [...]

  7. [...] Page Summary: In the very near future, you may go to bed and wake up to check your WordPress blog and find the WordPress Theme web design borked or bent. (Of course, it works as it was designed to, in Firefox). A vast amount of people still use IE, obviously, and with the update IE7 will become just another browser we have to target. My own findings so far with a couple beta versions and Release Candidate 1 is that almost any standards-based, well coded site will survive the transition.read more | digg story [...]

  8. [...] יש שחקן חדש. Internet Explorer 7. כותבי האתרים מתחילים להיות מוטרדים. יכול להיות שגם אתם צריכים להיות. Internet Explorer 7 יופץ [...]

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