In the last week I've fielded a half-dozen emails from readers who were experiencing problems with web tools not working as they expected. This seems like a good time to revisit six things that you should check when a website doesn't work as you expected it to work.
1. Is your browser updated? This isn't as common as it used to be, but in some instances of a site not working properly the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of a web browser. If you're using an older version of a browser, not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats.
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. Are you using a pop-up blocker? 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/ phone? While it would be great if every site was optimized for tablets, that is not the case.
5. 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.
6. Last, but not least, in the words of The IT Crowd, "have you tried turning it off and on again?" Or logging out and logging back in? It's amazing how often that can fix a problem.
Disclosure: For years I have had an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.