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Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 1:37 pm

When 100 Million People Think Your Site is Broken

By Bryan Eisenberg
December 18th, 2007

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Have you seen any ugly pages lately? Perhaps they’re just not Firefox-friendly or they break in another browser.

I stumbled upon WalMart.com this afternoon while searching for Wii video game specials when this page rendered.

It looked fine in Safari on my Mac, but horribly broken in Firefox. This could hurt sales. Hopefully someone from Wal-Mart is reading and can get it fixed soon.

Is someone in your organization responsible for helping your site speak to multiple browsers?

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Comments (22)

  1. Ouch. No reason for cross-browser mistakes like this anymore. I test my site at work on multiple browsers regularly — no reason why the big guys shouldn’t be doing the same.

  2. Amazing how the simple things get you. Where is testing and QA??

  3. Good reminder to always do basics

  4. Broken in Firefox, but working for Safari? Sounds like the PC-centric Wal Mart has its priorities all screwy!

  5. Wonder how long it will take them to realize it?

  6. 25 hours later and they still haven’t fixed it. I have been keeping an eye out for it.

  7. Will they ever fix it? I think it will take atleast more than couple of months for them to spot it.

  8. Looks fine to me in Firefox on my Vista PC. Is this a Mac+Firefox-only issue or have they fixed it?

    Since Mac only has about 4-7% market share, and Firefox overall has about 20-30% of the browser market share, I would say 100 million is a bit overstated.

    However, there’s no excuse for Wal-Mart to have cross-browser or cross-OS issues of any kind.

  9. [...] it can happen to Wal-Mart, it can happen to you. GrokDotCom reminds us why testing your site across different browsers is important, perhaps more than ever now [...]

  10. It looks fine to me in Firefox on XP. What’s the problem everyone sees?

  11. David, you can click on the thumbnail above to see the issue.

  12. I once told the CEO of a client that their website was not rendering properly, and their IT guy refused to believe it until I sent screenshots. This year a very successful company sent out a good follow up email for gift deals that were still available. I tested it on multiple browsers on multiple machines. Some worked, some didn’t. I called them twice to let them know and it never got corrected.

  13. Pitty i couldnt see the error. the problem you mention seems to have been fixed now.

  14. Andy it is 6 days later and I am still seeing the same issue on my mac as well as several others using the firefox browser. Andy, what configuration are you using?

  15. I’ve had issues like this – our website developer informs me of a text related rendering issue but I cannot duplicate it on any pc or any of our store’s pc’s using explorer or Firefox….strange. Guilty as charged- we havent fixed it.

  16. It might be a problem with the version of Flash – I saw another site that had floating scroll bars with one version of Flash, but the bars were fine with the next version of Flash.

  17. Not sure what this issue is, but 10 days later and it is still broken.

  18. Considering that there are numerous browsers out there it’s valuable to check compatibility with all the common browsers on the market. It is also good to consider what kind of plug-ins that are needed to use your company web site. If you are using recently released plug-ins there are of course fewer web surfers who have them installed…

  19. People still using Mac?

  20. I’m using firefox and not seeing that bar error.

  21. This is actually not a Firefox problem but GTK/GUI Libs/Tiger (OS X 1.4.x) problem. It has to do with order of rendering elements on the page. Scrollbars are ALWAYS rendered last. Safari actually cheats/hacks around the problem so it is transparent to the user.
    This seems to have been addressed in Leopard (current version of the OS). Or at least is no visible with the current browser/os combination.
    Mozilla, it seems, will address this in version 3 of the browser, mozilla’s bug page: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=187435
    There is no clean way of getting around this, there are hacks, but the problem would re-surface once there is a redraw.

  22. Simple but brilliant way of presenting

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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