alt131 - 9:50 am on Feb 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Hi joliett89 and welcome to css.
In terms of you specific question about ie, I suggest consider your target market rather than internet percentages. Certain demographics are sloooow to up-date and will remain tied to winxp for quite some time into the future, others will already be primarily using small-screen hardware. If you must indulge in the latest techniques choose between "graceful degradation" and "progressive enhancement" and code accordingly.
Aside from that Rocknbil and I seem to have a similar approach, so unfortunately my comments won't vary much. For general sites without specific needs, some things I would add/reiterate are:
1. Start with your content: Mark it up with semantically correct, valid HTML.
2. Code for usuablility and accessibility - then style.
3. Style for timelessness not current fashion.
On coding specifically, use less, not more - eg:
4. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Use the most simple techniques, the most resource conserving methods and the least client-dependent technology possible.
5. Code for what user agents can do, not what they can't. It is fashionable to assume ie is a problem - but no browser conforms 100% - every single user agent is a "problem". As Rocknbil has said, code to avoid issues rather than coding to create them.
6. Code only what you need. The generic resets are a good example - unless you are using kbd, samp, or tt don't waste time/code/bandwidth resetting them.
7. Lose control. Unless you have a specific design issue you don't need to control every pixel, and can't anyway. Make styles flexible enough to accommodate difference - especially the differences you can't possibly predict.
8. Be organised. I agree with Rocknbil about hacks, but if you really must use them or a client demands a newer effect that depends on vendor-specific extension then organise your code so they are easily identifiable and searcheable for when they can to be replaced.
I'm not planning anything special to avoid headaches in the future, but as an example I have a site coded in 2001 that still gets positive comment. Few commercial sites remain unchanged for that long, but zero headaches in more than a decade suits me fine. The timelessness and flexibility of the design and layout draws the favourable responses, but the reason the code is performing with minimal adjustments is because the site was built according to the above principles.