Tips On Reporting Web Site Errors

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, January 18, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

In the ever-changing and rapidly-developed world of the Web, errors happen. From browser incompatibilities to outright bad code, bugs occur and can cause everything from minor discomfort to outright pain for the Web visitor. Like any good Web consultant, we here at Dunkirk Systems, LLC want to fix them as quickly and efficiently as possible. And in order to do so, we need as much information as can be provided to me to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

partial screen shot of Web site error message

The following is a list of types of information needed in order to research and fix a Web error, as well as detailed information for each area. Though it may not be possible to provide all of the answers to these questions, as much information as possible will help in getting the Web page or site back up and running properly.

Where are you and when?

  • Computer type – PC, MAC, mobile device
  • OS – Windows, OS-X, Linux, etc. and what version
  • Monitor/screen resolution
  • Browser – IE, Firefox, etc. and what version
  • How connected to the Internet – work, home, public WiFi
  • Any plugins or toolbars in the browser that can impact behavior?
  • Any popup blockers?
  • Date/time error occurred - not always vital, but can be used to check against Web server

What are you doing?

  • What link/URL are you accessing?
  • What were the steps that lead you to the error?
  • Does the issue happen every time or just on occasion (e.g. when first opening the browser)
  • Have you been able to recreate this issue on another computer?
  • Have you recently cleared their browser cache? If not, do so and try again

What happened?

  • Details of the error
  • Screen shots of the entire desktop, not just the window at issue
  • Any error messages that appear in the browser or on the desktop that the user observes but does not appear in a screenshot

What were you expecting?

  • I ask this as there may, in some cases, be an issue with expectations

As you can see, there are a lot of issues that can play into a Web site error, and the number variables in play with the Web will only get larger as the number of devices and ways people connect to the Internet are created. Help us help you, as well as everyone else, build a beautiful – and functional – Web experience.

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