Years ago, when I wrote my post about blocking newsletter popups, I was feeling pretty smug because I was finally getting back at all those sites that throw popups at you before you ever get to see the content. In the years since, I’ve noticed some things that I thought I’d talk about as a follow up to that original post.
I used to love commercials as a kid. I loved all types of advertising. However, it wasn’t until I ordered the sea monkeys from a comic book and got something that wasn’t quite up to snuff (what the heck was that anyway?) that I started to distrust certain kinds of ads.
Last week while I was over a friend’s house, I wanted to show him my local Syracuse blog. He uses Internet Explorer (seems there’s still a lot of those out here lol) so I pulled up the main page and all looked fine. Then I pulled up an individual post and… ugliness!
I forgot about it until I was reading a post on a blog called IBlog4Dollars titled 35 Serious Blog Design Mistakes That You Should Avoid At All Costs written by Dennis Marshall. I got to #10, where it talked about making sure your website is cross-browser compatible, and then I remembered the problem I was having with IE.
I pulled it up on my IE and I had the issue like my friend did. I then went to work, and for the next 4+ hours I went through all the CSS code and checked all the PHP files, looking for something. I ran it through the W3C CSS Validator, which found some errors but nothing causing the issue. Man, was I frustrated.
I went to the theme and then had to search for where I’d put it. Most of the time Google Analytics script works best in either the header or footer, but I realized I’d put it somewhere else, and then I remembered why. For some reason I can’t save many of the files on this particular theme. I get sent to a 404 page after attempting to do so, which was irksome. I found the script in a PHP I’d never put it on anywhere else because it turned out to be one of only 2 files I could actually save.
Once I removed it the site came back to life for IE8, which was great, but I still had a problem; how to get that Google Analytics code in. After all, if I couldn’t track my traffic, I wouldn’t know how I was progressing or digressing right?
Then I remembered that sometimes you can fix things through your FTP program. I use something called WS_FTP for that purpose, so I opened that up, went to the plugin file and clicked once on Header.PHP. Then I right-clicked and went to Edit, and I popped the code in and saved it.
Came back to both my Firefox browser and IE, ran my tests, and all is working perfectly still. Just to make sure I also tested it in Chrome and Opera; looks good so far. Whew!
You can pick up things from other blogs, that’s for sure; heck, even this one I suppose. I had obviously taken time to see what that blog looked like before, but only the main page; that was a mistake, one I need to remember not to do again. One little code; with IE, sometimes that’s all it takes to mess stuff up.
On Friday I got my first alert that there was an upgrade to the Firefox browser. It also said it wasn’t compatible with one of the add-ons that I liked, and I thought about not upgrading to it. However, Saturday night it popped up again, and I decided okay, fine, I’ll go that route. After all, one add-on does not a perfect browser make, right?
They also did something where the scripts will all run asynchronously, or independently from each other, which is what slows things down often. You know how you visit some blogs and you’ll notice something hanging, which is preventing your page to fully load for awhile? That’s not supposed to happen with Firefox 3.6, and so far in my own little tests it seems to be working great.
They’ve also added something new, which will probably pretty much get rid of themes. Instead of themes, now you can add a “persona”, of which they have more than 30,000. This bad boy changes the look of your browser to whatever you want, and I have to tell you, I’ve changed mine to some pretty bright colors, and just looking at it is making me smile because it’s always been dark since I bought the new computer, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
Firefox 3.6 will also now tell you if your plugins are out of date, rather than waiting until you get to a site and suddenly realize you can’t access something. I like that as well, and of course you always have the option to tell it to leave you alone for awhile.
I have to say that I feel they did a great job with this new version. Everything is easier to see, and I’m not even missing the one add-on that’s not compatible anymore, the AnyColor add-on, because what they’ve done is made the print on your open tabs bigger and easier to see, and the transparency also makes it easier to read, so you know exactly what each tab is. And obviously you don’t need it with the persona’s option.
The only minor gripe I have thus far is that, for some reason, every once in awhile instead of opening up a new tab it opens up a brand new window. There was that same issue with Firefox 3.5 initially, something they called tab tearing, and they quickly came up with a bug fix for it. I’m hoping they’ll do the same with this browser.
If you’re not using Firefox, well, I’m not sure why, but trust me, you’ll love this new version of Firefox whether you use it now or not.
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