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Monday, September 12, 2016

6 Things to Check When a Website or App Isn't Working

This is the time of year when you might find yourself trying to use an app or website for the first time after a few month layoff due to school vacation. This is also the time when you might be trying a completely new-to-you app or site that you saw demonstrated during a PD session during the summer. When you visit that site or app you might find that it's not working the way that you expected it to work. Before throwing your hands up at it, try these simple fixes.

1. Are you using a modern and updated web browser? In a lot instances of a site not working properly in a school, the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. If you're using an outdated version of a web browser not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats. Find out which browser and version you're using by visiting WhatBrowser.org

2. Do you have cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to offer you the best possible experience. Explania and Common Craft offer good explanations of how cookies work.


3. Do you have a pop-up blocker turned on? It is not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account log-ins. If the pop-up is blocked, you won't be able to log-in.

4. Are you using the site on a tablet/ iPad/ Chromebook? While it would be great if every site was optimized for tablets, that is not the case.

5. Have you updated your operating system? New apps and sites may not function properly on an outdated operating system. Take the time to run the update on your iPad or computer.

6. Have you checked your spam folder? If you sent a help request to the help desk/ site administrators, they may have replied and had their messages flagged by your spam filter. I've experienced this more than once when using a school district email address.

And just to bring a little humor to this, in the words of The IT Crowd, "have you tried turning it off and on again?"


Disclosure: For years I have had an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.