One of the most frustrating limitations of less-than-modern browsers is their inability to easily vertically center align content. I’m not the first to write about this, and there are many different strategies out there already. I’ve tried several over the years, looking for an as-close-as-possible pure CSS solution that is cross-browser compatible (I’m one of the unlucky ones who still needs to support IE8). Flexbox has solved this issue for the latest modern browser versions, but cross-browser support is still too lacking for me to implement it in my work. I think I’ve arrived at a good solution that relies almost entirely on CSS and only requires minimal JS to handle IE8 and cases when the content’s height exceeds the height of its container.

An Overview of the solution

My solution relies on using absolute positioning and 2D transformations to vertically center content using nothing but CSS. For browsers that don’t support the transform property (IE8, Opera Mini), I’m using JS to set a negative margin-top. And to handle edge cases where the content height is greater than the container height, I’m using JS to set the min-height property of the container to be equivalent to the content height.

More details

Here’s a simplistic example of how you might implement this solution.


<div class="container">
  <div class="content">
    [content goes here]


.container {
  height: 100vh; /* or whatever height you want the container to be */
  position: relative;

.content {
  position: absolute;
  top: 50%;
  transform: translateY(-50%);
  -moz-transform: translateY(-50%);
  -webkit-transform: translateY(-50%);
  -ms-transform: translateY(-50%);


// Function to set min-height of container
var setMinHeight = function() {
  $('.content').each(function() {
    $(this).parent().css('min-height', $(this).outerHeight(true));

// Call that function on load

// Recalculate min-height on window resize
$(window).on('resize', setMinHeight);