Support » Theme: Bushwick » Bushwick broken in IE 8 and below

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  • Moderator Kathryn


    Hi Steven, unfortunately, IE8 does not support many mobile-first design techniques and this theme may not display as intended in IE8 and below. If you need a theme that looks the same in IE8 you may want to look for an older theme.

    Are there any plans to make this theme degrade more “gracefully”?

    No, there aren’t, as our developers’ efforts have shifted more to mobile-first design and development.

    Just let me know if you have any other questions about this.

    I believe that anyone truly concerned about design should ALWAYS work to make a design degrade gracefully. That does not mean making a theme work in old browsers. It just means that the content should be accessible to as many people as possible.

    Since the Automattic team seems unwilling to do this, anyone who cares might want to consider what I am posting below:

    Add the following to your header (try child themes, plugins, etc):

    <!--[if lte IE 9]>
    <link rel="stylesheet" id="old-ie-css" href="" type="text/css" media="all">

    In the oldie.css file, try some of the following:

    /* IF Internet Explorer is version 8 or older... */
    * {
    	font-family: "Trebuchet MS", Verdana, san-serif !important;
    html, body {
    	margin: 0;
    #masthead, #primary, #colophon {
    	display: block;
    	width: 80%;
    	margin: auto;
    body {
    	margin: 400px auto 0 auto;
    .site-branding {
    	postion: absolute;
    	top: 0;
    	height: 350px;
    	width: 100%;
    	display: block;
    .site-branding:after {
    	content:"For best results, please upgrade your web browser. Most features of this site have been disabled.";
    	display: block;
    	text-align: center;
    	background-color: red;
    	color: white;
    .site-title {
    	font-size: 200%;
    .site-title a, .site-description {
    	color: white !important;
    .wp-playlist.wp-audio-playlist {
    	display: table !important;
    	width: 100%;
    #site-navigation a.widget-handle.genericon {
    	display: none !important;

    Is this perfect? No.
    Does it look like Bushwick? No.
    Can they toggle the sidebar widgets? No.

    However, if someone is stuck with only an old version of Internet Explorer available, they can at least get to the content of my site and it will be readable.

    The latest update BREAKS Bushwick on IE 9? Really?

    Moderator Kathryn


    Hi Steven, in what way does Bushwick appear broken in IE9 – would it be possible to upload a screenshot using a free service like or by linking to an image in your Media Library?

    Do the two demo sites look normal in IE9 to you:

    Sorry Kathryn. As much as I like Buskwick, I need a parent theme designer that understands that accessibility trumps beauty.

    The site is an online portfolio. It is designed to help me get work. And, if someone on a corporate computer is limited in their browser choice and needs to use an old version of IE, the site needs to just work (probably with some bells and whistles turned off).

    I am disappointed in Auttomatic. In my opinion, I think Auttomatic should be developing themes that teach best practices (like Google does for Android with the Nexus devices). And, degrading gracefully and content accessibility are 2 core tenants of good design.

    Bushwick may be pretty, but it is not good design.




    The latest update BREAKS Bushwick on IE 9? Really?

    I was unable to confirm this in testing.

    To test, I opened IE9 and a site running Bushwick v1.2.1 on WordPress 3.9.1 then I clicked around to open some pages and posts and I was also to use the slide-out widget area without any problems. Here is a short screencast from my test:

    In the customizations you posted above, I noticed you are applying the oldie.css file to IE9. Did you mean to do that? I think you will see IE9 go back to normal if you make the following change to your child theme customization.

    Change this:

    <!--[if lte IE 9]>

    to this:

    <!--[if lte IE 8]>

    I also tried testing your oldie.css customization, but it didn’t work for me in IE8. In particular, I looked for the text content you tried to add with the white text on a red background and says, “For best results, please upgrade your web browser. Most features of this site have been disabled.” But I couldn’t see that after applying your recommended customizations to a child theme of Bushwick 1.2.1 or the previous version 1.2. I think that’s happening because the “site-branding” div is inside the HTML5 “header” tag, and IE8 won’t display it because IE8 does not support HTML5.

    I also found that the core content of posts and pages is accessible in Bushwick on IE8, but you have to scroll down on posts to see it which isn’t ideal. To get around that, I would suggest adding something like this to your oldie.css file:

    .site-header {
            min-height: auto !important;

    Automattic no longer supports IE8, and neither does Microsoft. If you think your target audience is going to be using IE8, then either making adjustments with a child theme on your own or switching to a theme that doesn’t rely so heavily on newer technology like HTML5 and CSS3 would be the best route for your audience.

    Automattic no longer supports IE8, and neither does Microsoft.

    I am not asking that all the bells and whistles of a theme work in older browsers. I know that things break. But, a good designer thinks about how things break and makes certain that the content of the site is accessible even if the site is horribly broken.

    Unfortunately, this is not the case with Bushwick. When it breaks, the site becomes unusable. Therefore, I stand by my earlier assessment.

    Bushwick may be pretty, but it is not good design.

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