My website does not display well in IE6 but perfectly in Firefox.

Having spent a lot of time developing, testing and validating my strict XHTML/CSS website I was shocked when it apparently does not display correctly when I use internet explorer 6. I have no problem with the site in firefox. What should I do?
The address is www.computer-repair.com.au
TIA - Gary in Sydney
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ozgaryAsked:
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b0lsc0ttIT ManagerCommented:
ozgary,

Oh, I feel your pain!  I noticed a difference in the total page width when I used your page with frames (the link) but when I loaded the page directly the width was not a problem.

The only other difference I noticed was the font in the top section above the horizontal menu.  Is this the problem?  Do you plan to use frames in the site when completed?

b0lsc0tt
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b0lsc0ttIT ManagerCommented:
What is the text size setting you are using in IE?  When I changed from medium to smaller then it definitely affected the page (center section dropped, text much too small to read).  Was this the problem you had?

bol
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ozgaryAuthor Commented:
Bol
The text size in IE is an issue because depending on each persons settings it will affect how the site is displayed. But this is the least of my problems. On one computer the page displays correctly but on each side are a series of corrupt scroll bars. I suspect that IE6 is very W3C NON COMPLIANT! But where does this leave me as I perhaps naively thought I was going to avoid these problems.
It is interesting what you said in your first sentence. I have not used or plan to use a frame(s). How did you load the page directly?
The actual location of the page is http://members.iinet.net.au/~acpl01/ This is the space provided by my ISP. They have served a framed page? Is this my problem or part of it?
Thanks - Gary
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ozgaryAuthor Commented:
I have looked more closely at my hosting. I think my problem could be that because I am essentially using a subdomain of my ISP and they are serving an interim framed page. If I address the page directly as http://members.iinet.net.au/~acpl01/ then I think the problem disappears! I think I may need a proper hosting solution. Could anybody confirm this theory?
TIA - gary in sydney australia
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CyberGhostCommented:
I can confirm that when I accessed the page (http://garybrouwer.com) directly using MSIE (6.0.2900.2180), this problem does not longer occur.

Your page, however, is a little bit unoptimized for older browsers (MSIE 5.01 SP2 cannot handle your menu correctly, however, website is readable).
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nltechCommented:
you're specifying the width of the wrapper in em's, but the page background pattern requires a width based on pixels instead (~ 770px looks good). change text size in browser to see what i mean.

there are no font-size declarations for the <Hx> text in the header. you have classes in the markup for those headings, but there are no corresponding style definitions in the css. those text sizes are the only significant difference (on this end) between firefox and ie (they are much larger in ie).

the fact that the page is loading via a frame is irrelevent, and the visible frame is full width and height. although i don't see why they cannot provide you with true domain hosting for your web space. if they cannot, you should consider a different host for the web site. the frames redirect the provider is doing isn't the most professional solution for hosting a business web site. especially for the web site of a computer-related business! :)

both the markup and css could be streamlined quite a bit, and there are many unnecessary div's and classes.
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b0lsc0ttIT ManagerCommented:
If you did not do the frame or plan to use one then it was very unprofessional of your web host to do that.  It looks like you got that corrected though.  That was the cause of the horizontal scroll bar that you mentioned in one of your replies.

It looks like you have made some of the other changes mentioned but let us know if you still need help with this question.  The suggestions were really good and will improve the look.  Let us know if you need details.
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ozgaryAuthor Commented:
Update: I use www.zoneedit.com for DNS zone management. If I switch off CLOAKING the problem disappears. It seems that if I cloak then zoneedit generates an interim framed page which seems to cause trouble for IE6. The only downside of not cloaking  is that the true address http://members.iinet.net.au/~acpl01 appears in the address bar. Does this seem unproffessional?
1. Why does  this problem occur with cloaking?
1. Is cloaking a bad idea?
2. Does cloaking affect Search engine optimisation (particularly google)?
3. Does it matter where the pages are hosted as long as they are served correctly?
4. In theory could I not put say 3 different websites at the same location by putting them in seperate folders and the pointing each domain name to the relevant sub directory?
Thanks so far- all comments have been helpful in some way so far.
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nltechCommented:
i didn't see any significant difference on your web site between ie and firefox, earlier or now.

but you still need to set the width of the wrap div in px instead of em to keep content within the borders defined by the background image. there are no definitions for the classes used by the <heading> text in the headers. specifying a font-size on these will get them to display in the same size on ie and firefox:
    <h1 id ="top" class="headerTitle">
    <h2 class="headerTitleB">
    <h4 class="headerTitleB">

and have you seen gerhard's latest incarnation of his template? http://www.openwebdesign.org/viewdesign.phtml?id=2827


1 cloaking is not a professional solution, especially for someone in a technology-related business; makes it impossible to bookmark inside pages, and frames, well, frames just suck in general. if the 'cloaking' is causing problems, get a real hosting account that can host your web site on the actual domain.

2 some search engines may not see your pages, may penalize you for using frames; and they will link to 'inside' frame pages instead of your 'domain', which means if you move your site, your existing indexed pages and links at search engines are worthless.

3 it doesn't really matter where you host your pages, as long as it's a "regular" hosting account that can host your domain properly.

4 depends on your host and your hosting plan. if you continue to use 'cloaking', you could host multiple sites in one directory where you are now, and point each 'cloaked' domain to a particular page.  

if your isp cannot providing hosting on your domain, your best option would be to obtain a regular hosting account somewhere, and if you have 3 actual domains and web sites to host, get one that can host three different sites each with their own domain.

here's a couple of 'regular' web hosts....
http://www.rochenhost.com.au/multiple-domain-hosting/
http://www.site5.com/hosting/
both of these also offer 'reseller' hosting, a special type of account plan that allows you to resell space to your own clients. (note: i know site5 is a reliable host, i don't have any eperience with rochen.)
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ozgaryAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone. I feel I should close this topic and split points between bolscott and nltech if this seems fair.
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CyberGhostCommented:
Splitting points is always your decision.
If you feel some comments helped you, split point between them.
Don't ask experts if that would be fair or you can end up with a conscience qualms :-)
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