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How to detect Internet Explorer with PHP

abstract 
It is possible to use PHP to check whether your site visitor uses Internet Explorer and output some IE-specific text or HTML/CSS markup.
compatible 
  • PHP 4.1.0 or newer
  • In PHP superglobal array $_SERVER there is usually HTTP_USER_AGENT element which contains browser-specific id string

    Internet Explorer uses something like

    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)"
    as id string

    Internet Explorer uses something like

    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)"
    as id-string, depending on platform and version. Every version of IE has "MSIE" part in HTTP_USER_AGENT string, so it is possible to detect IE simply by scanning $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'] for string "MSIE".

    Example: function ae_detect_ie below returns true if Internet Explorer has been detected.

    source code: php
    <?php
    function ae_detect_ie()
    {
        if (isset(
    $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']) && 
        (
    strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'MSIE') !== false))
            return 
    true;
        else
            return 
    false;
    }
    ?>

    For a maximum speed, we use strpos function instead of strstr, preg_match or other PHP string-search functions. Note, that if you want to check for IE in several places, it is better to store function value in some variable, to avoid serveral similar string-searches.

    Here is the example of detecting Internet Explorer and suggesting user to get another browser:

    source code: php
    <!-- function ae_detect_ie (see code above) is pasted here  -->
    <?php  if (ae_detect_ie()) {  ?>
    It seems, that your are using MSIE.
    Why not to switch to standard-complaint brower, like 
    <a href="http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/">Firefox</a>?
    <?php }  ?>
    tested 
  • PHP 5.0.5 :: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
  • PHP 5.0.5 :: Firefox 1.5
  •  


     
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