Supporting HTML5 in older browsers...


I am writing a website. It uses some HTML5 tags (like the nav tag). I’m under the impression, older browsers like IE6’s default behavior when it comes upon an unknown tag is to ignore it. My webpage won’t look correct at all… I found something called html5shiv. It’s located here: I originally wanted to support browsers as old as IE6. But now I’m questioning if it’s worth the work. What’s the general standard here? How old of a browser should a good website support?


Is there any reason why you want to support browsers so old? Most inform the user that a browser update is required to view the site properly and don’t worry about it. In only rare circumstances, ( a company that is using out of date software, but only the admin can update it) am I familiar with coding specifically for older browsers.


The only reason I picked supporting back to IE6 was because I knew it was an older browser and wasn’t sure how far back to go. I thought if I supported browsers from IE6 upwards, it’d cover just about everyone with a PC. So, how far back should I go? Should I cover stuff before IE9? I figure whatever you say is a good IE browser to cover, I can just check what versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari where out at around that time and support them as well.

I’m definitely okay with changing. It’s a pain trying to make sure this HTML5 stuff works with IE6. I just don’t want people not coming because my site doesn’t support their browser. That’s all.


iE 8 or 9 should be sufficient for most viewers.


Thanks. Trying to use something called media query (I think that’s what it’s called) to support mobile devices (cell phones and tablets). Do you think if someone is going to be coming to my site on a cell phone / tablet, if my site supports IE8 or 9, Firefox and Chrome, it’d more than likely support the browser they’re running? I don’t know much about tablets or cell phones. I only owned a cell once in my life, my company paid for it so they could call me when I was home at the weekends and call me in to fix the PCs. I don’t know very much about them at all.

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I really appreciate it. Sorry for all the questions! I’m slowly learning! Happy Fourth of July!!!


The best way I have found to do mobile friendly, and it was introduced by a previous company I worked for, was to design mobile first. Look into libraries like bootstrap. They are done with a mobile first mentality.

Mobile devices work off of different browsers than computers. So, targeting ie8 is not the same for a phone as it is for a desktop.


I greatly agree with Astonecipher. Look into Bootstrap! It comes with full options for mobile devices.
There is a bit of a learning curve on it. But, it has a very nice system that allows you to view your layout
differently for different browsers and different size of computers/iPads/mobiles. You can alter your code to
display less for mobile’s and iPad’s with it. Very handy!

Also, no programmer that I know of codes for IE6 ! Even Microsoft refuses to! It is not secure compared to
IE9 and newer versions. With the advent of Windows 10 now out, you should look to the future. Although
I dislike Windows 8 and 10, I still have to program for them. But, IE6 was gone a long time ago. Just my
two cents worth!


Thanks! The general consensus now seems to be to drop support for IE6. I believe I’m going to just support back to IE8. I really appreciate all the suggestions and information! Thanks guys!!!


As others mentioned, Bootstrap is what you want.