Even better news is on the horizon: IE 7 supports the required CSS functionality necessary for CSS drop down menus (hover on lists). Other CSS support in IE 7 isn’t too bad but is still several years behind browsers such as Opera and Firefox. As an example, negative margins still don’t seem to work in nested lists (the current menu tab in this site does not have a line under it if viewed using a good browser; IE 7 will display a line, as did earlier IE versions). We also noted that the max-width attribute doesn’t seem to be supported. Users should migrate to a modern browser such as Firefox or Opera due to belated, mediocre web standards support in IE.
Required CSS drop-down menu functionality can be simulated in the antiquated IE 6 and earlier using csshover.htc. While this file does add overhead the first time a user visits your site, it will only need to be loaded once – and only for old IE browsers if you code your site properly.
A sane approach to implementing CSS is to first create a master CSS file compatible with all of the mainstream web standards compliant browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari). IE defects can then be addressed by using an additional CSS file after the main css file, depending on the IE version. Any entry in the additional file will override the main standards, taking advantage of the cascading aspect of CSS.
<link href="/c/sito.css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" type="text/css" title="Screen Stylesheet" /> <!--[if lt IE 7]> <link href="/c/ie6.css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" type="text/css" title="Screen Stylesheet" /> <![endif]--> <!--[if gte IE 7]> <link href="/c/ie7.css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" type="text/css" title="Screen Stylesheet" /> <![endif]-->
The elegance of this approach is that users with modern browsers (IE 6 was released 5 years ago based on even earlier technology…) aren’t burdened with extra baggage needed to support IE < 7.
A note about CSS and hidden text is in order.
Search engines have made it clear that the use of hidden text to manipulate a site’s ranking is grounds for removal from their indices. Use of CSS to hide text on your site may trigger a manual review by a search engine. Make sure your site has nothing to fear from an audit! Some companies, such as BMW have had to learn the hard way.
- Keep sections of web pages out of Yahoo! with class=”robots-nocontent”
- Web Analytics and the Missing Right Clicks Conundrum
- Web Text as Images: SEO & other problems overcome with @font-face
- Google’s Own Chrome Browser Inflates Google Analytics Data