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Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Not You, It's Everyone! - How to Tell If a Website Is Down

We've all had that feeling of frustration that rises up when you want to use a website and it just won't load. Sometimes the problem is on your end. Sometimes the problem is the site itself. A quick way to check is to enter the site's URL at Down For Everyone Or Just Me? Down For Everyone Or Just Me? won't fix the problem of not being able to access a site, but it will at least let you know if your computer or network is the cause of the problem.

Along the same lines of determining if a site is down or not, the incognito mode in Chrome and privacy mode in Firefox can be useful when you want to see or demonstrate how a site will look to your students when they visit it for the first time.

There are two other occasions on which I use incognito mode in Chrome. First, I use incognito mode when I'm demonstrating how to use a web app or website that requires my username and password. Second, I use incognito mode when I want to show people what a shared or published Google Document looks like when you're not signed into a Google Account. In both cases opening a new browser in incognito mode saves me the hassle of signing out of an account when I know that I'm going to be back into it in a few minutes. Incognito mode thinks that I'm a new user and doesn't have my saved usernames and passwords so I'm able to show sites and documents as they appear when I'm not signed into them.