You’re trying to use your online software and it’s not working, or a certain website won’t allow you to navigate through the site correctly, or a page won’t load or is loading very slowly.
If you use the internet, these problems probably sound familiar to you. And often, but not always, it’s an issue with how web designers and programmers design their sites for browsers.
What are browsers? Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are all web browsers, and you probably use one of those web browsers every day. But what do you do when they’re not working properly for you?
Read below for our best troubleshooting tips on websites and web browsers.
Try a different Web Browser
This week I needed to order business cards for one of our new employees. I thought this would be a simple process, because we already had a design, and I just needed to upload that design into the business card site and then purchase.
Unfortunately, it was not. I opened Firefox, navigated to the business card site, selected the file to load, hit the load button, and it would not load.
I tried again. And again. And then, you guessed it, again. All I saw was the progress bar frozen halfway from completion. No movement. At this point, I was, lets say, frustrated.
I fixed the problem through one simple trick. I switched website browsers.
I opened up Internet Explorer, navigated to the business card site, and with ease, I loaded the business card file and purchased. It was such a stark contrast to when I tried it in Firefox.
My first browser troubleshooting tip is that when something doesn’t work in a certain browser, try a different one or a few different ones. The reason that certain sites don’t work well on certain browsers is because every browser is designed differently, and programmers need to make slight changes to their code for their website or application to function properly. More frequently than you would think, programmers don’t do this effectively.
By switching browsers, there’s a good chance that you’ll eliminate your issue. This won’t fix every problem, but I’ve found that it fixes many of them.
Update to the Latest Version
Sometimes sites won’t work correctly on an outdated version of a web browser. I would recommend routinely updating your web browser to the latest version. Newer versions of web browsers often have patches that fix functionality or security issues in past versions.
Generally, you will automatically receive browser updates, but you can easily check if you are on the latest version and then update the browser through a simple Google search asking how to do it.
Make Sure You Are Connected to the Internet
Some of you probably think this tip is from a section of the Dumb Tips for Dummies book. But this can be an easy mistake to make. Browsers will open and display website pages even if you have no internet connection.
But they will only display static information from sites that you have visited recently. It appears like the internet is working, but when you navigate to other pages, it doesn’t. Just make sure you are connected to the internet.
Clear Your Browser Cache
Your browser cache stores information from websites to help improve browser and website speed. Your browser caches things like images that appear multiple times on a site (think logo), photos and webpages to store them for later use. When you visit a page for which your browser has cached information, that page or website may load faster, because the browser will save you from uploading already cached data.
Caches are good then, most of the time. But occasionally, cached information causes problems, and by clearing your browser’s cache, you can make recently changed web pages appear correctly.
Why is this? Websites are constantly being updated. When a site is updated, the files saved in your cache may conflict with the website code. This is why clearing your cache sometimes fixes website malfunctions.
The process for clearing your cache is different for each browser, so make sure to follow the correct steps for your particular browser. You can search Google for instructions on clearing your specific browser’s cache.
While these 4 tips won’t eliminate all of your browser headaches, they are the 4 top tips from our team of tech support nerds here at Skybox. Subscribe to our blog for more tech tips from our super nerds!