So your new website is launched. Back40 designed it and everything went well. You’re proud of the new site. You’ve been showing it off, promoting it to your Facebook groups, and then…then you start getting feedback from your Facebook friends about a random website issue. That’s what happened with one of our recent launches. We don’t like random problems. They’re time wasters.
The recently completed Hallett Motor Circuit Racing website has a Facebook feed on the Home page. They manage a very active Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hallett-Motor-Racing-Circuit/101355393258345), so we wanted to incorporate the group activity feed on their website Home page. Not a problem, we took care of that. Then, shortly after launch, members of their Facebook group were contacting the Hallett website admins and telling them they could not see the Facebook feed on their Home page. There was just a big open empty space where it was supposed to be.
The Hallett website admin checked multiple browsers on different Hallett PCs and came back with mixed results. Most browsers pulled the feed, but others didn’t. The Hallett admin contacted us through Basecamp and initiated a request for support.
First we checked the Facebook developer code that allows the feed to exist on the Home page. That checked out. Then we did our best to recreate the non-feed issue…we couldn’t. We tried viewing the Home page design in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. We even went “legacy-on-it” and tried multiple older browser versions on PCs and Macs. We couldn’t re-create the issue.
Then Reyna Wilcox, our Back40 Design web manager, had an idea. She went back to the source and read through the Hallett Facebook group posts regarding the issue. She studied who was having issues and made an unusual observation. She surmised that the users having issues belonged to a demographic that probably used antivirus browser extensions or protective browser settings. Settings and add-ons that would block ads and possibly social media feeds. Working with the Hallett admin, they quickly tested and resolved the issue – it was antivirus extensions in some cases and browser settings with the others. Mystery solved.
In one case, Avast Antivirus’s browser add-on blocked all social network feeds and in another example, the Chrome Tools settings blocked the Facebook feed. It’s getting to be a lot of work to surf the web.
I have to hand it to Reyna on this one. She solved it with experience and intuition. I think other web developers and web managers might have given up. Nice work Reyna.