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Five Things to Check When a Website or Web App Doesn’t Work as You Expected

Five Things to Check When a Website or Web App Doesn’t Work as You Expected

I regularly respond to emails from readers who are having issues with web tools not working as expected. Here is my short checklist of things you should check when a website isn’t performing the way you expected it to. Nine times out of ten, one of these things solves the problem.

1. Is your browser updated? This is not as common as it used to be, but in some cases a site does not function properly, the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of a web browser. If you are using an older version of a browser, not only will some sites not work properly, but you also expose yourself to more potential security threats.

2. Are cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to give you the best possible experience.

3. Are you using a pop-up blocker? It’s not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account logins. If the pop-up is blocked, you will not be able to log in.

4. Have you allowed access to the camera and / or microphone? If you’re trying to use a web-based video or audio editing tool, you need to make sure your camera and microphone are accessible.

5. Have you checked your spam folder? If you sent a help request to help desk / site administrators, they may have responded and their messages have been flagged by your spam filter. I have experienced this more than once using a school district email address.

Here is my video walkthrough of what to check when a website or web application isn’t performing the way you expect.

Last but not least, in the words of The IT Crowd, “have you tried turning it off and back on?” Or disconnect and reconnect? It’s amazing how many times this can fix a problem.

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my work (from Richard Byrne) include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured graphic created by Richard Byrne using Canva.


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