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Skepchick Hates Internet Explorer

It’s true. According to recent reader feedback, IE has been gruelingly slow to load for the past week, and I’m trying to fix it but haven’t got a clue where to start. So, I’m taking a page from Clue, the board game, and will track down the killer. Because I suspect that a plug-in is at fault, I’ll be shutting down plug-ins one by one until I figure out the source. Those of you who have IE can help by logging on and periodically commenting below to let me know how IE is behaving for you.

Thanks to those of you who have written in to let me know! And by the way, everything appears to be working with our new contact form, so I’ll officially announce that it’s available for anyone who wants to write in!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Okay, I turned off two things — the Digg plug-in and the automatic sitemap updater. Both these things help our hits. Hm. I’ll wait to hear back from a few more people to tell me it’s working fine now, then I’ll turn on one or the other and pinpoint the culprit. Thanks!

  2. Anytime! I don’t know what any of those things are, but I have navigated away from the page and then back again, and it seems to be running squeaky-cleanly and it had been a bit iffy before. Hope you’re well, cheerio!

  3. Wow, it’s 6.30am over there and you’re already self-lessly toiling away, for our convenience!? Thankyou!

  4. IE is the bane of any web designer’s existence, because it insists on doing things no other sane browser does.

    Since I use it for testing purposes, though, it looks like IE 7 is now fine, and IE 6, while it has some display errors, is loading the content okay.

  5. Okay, I’ve reactivated the Digg plug-in. IE users: did the delay crop up again?

    Wow, it’s 6.30am over there and you’re already self-lessly toiling away, for our convenience!? Thankyou!

    Oh, it’s my pleasure! Actually, I complete the bulk of Skepchick-related work from 7pm to 7am. That’s just life, until an anonymous benefactor starts paying my rent!

  6. In the immortal words of the Mythbusters: ‘there’s your problem’! Whatever you just did has made the site slow again.

  7. I don’t know how long the delay was before the change but as of 9:38am ET IE takes longer for me than Firefox (12s vs < 2s).

    IE (v7.0) shows a ‘Done, but with errors on page.’ message. This problem, which may not be related to the slow loading, appears to be related to digg as the lines kicked out as errors are trying to set a string variable named digg_bodytext.

    In some cases the the intended content for the variable falls to the next line with a character and that seems to confuse IE.


  8. I also noticed things were a little sluggish lately. But I use Firefox, so I don’t think it’s specific to IE. Looks fine now, though.

  9. Just FYI, the sites snappy in the latest Firefox 3.0 beta.
    But then again, ALL sites are snappy in the Firefox 3.0 beta.

  10. Cool, thanks very much to everyone for helping! I’m going to leave the Digg plugin disabled for awhile, and hopefully tonight I can figure out a way to integrate it back onto the blog without gumming up the works. It really is a handy tool for bringing in new readers.

  11. Wow, it’s loading fast and smoothly now! Thanks for responding on this so quickly.


  12. I use Firefox, and it had been loading very slowly for me over the past week. Maybe it was conflicting with one of my plugins, or maybe it’s because I haven’t gone up to 3.0 beta yet, but the problem definitely wasn’t just with IE (which, yes, sucks in many ways anyway.)

  13. Well, aside from “That makes two of us” in reaction to the title, I’d like to point out how Opera has had no problems at all. So whatever is the problem, it’s probably MicroSoft’s fault.

    (as always)

  14. Rebecca,

    I would recommend one of the “social buttons” style plugins that add small icons to the bottom of posts letting people submit them to digg and lots more.

    I use one called “Sociable”

  15. Yes, Sociable was my next step. I hoped to find a cure for the Digg buttons because I think they’re just nicer, but it looks like a new problem related to the most recent WordPress update and I haven’t found a fix yet. :(

  16. And, an immediate update: I’ve activated Sociable. Let me know if there are any problems, or if you have any sites you’d like linked on our Sociable (there are a lot of options, so I just chose the ones I’d heard of).

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