Experiment- please provide feedback

Per my post yesterday A note about WUWT fonts, readability, etc I’m going to try turning off the Google ads for a few hours. Those that have had font display issues, please advise if this cures the problem. Then I will know what to report to wordpress.com technical support. – Anthony

UPDATE: as of 4PM PST I’ve turned ads back on – those who reported problem cleared up when ads were off, please advise if the problem returns – Anthony

UPDATE2: 6PM PST OK Google ads are the problem, thanks to everyone who provided feedback. I’ve advised wordpress.com tech support. In the meantime the simple solutions you can do are:

  1. Run Internet Explorer in “compatibility mode”
  2. Use FireFox or Chrome, which are superior (and free) browsers

I chucked IE long ago, and I advise everyone to do the same.

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112 thoughts on “Experiment- please provide feedback

  1. I have lost the list of the latest comments. Also sometimes the most recent post did not show up in Recent Posts but did show up as an “arrow” at the top of the last post.
    I had no problems with the type face before this.

  2. Unless you get a worthwhile income from google ads, zap them and pay wordpress not to have any ads at all on the blog. I did that, and my readership likes the uncluttered, non-commercial feel of the place.
    Just my 2c

  3. OK here with Firefox 10.0.2, IE8, Palemoon 3.6.30 AND IETab within Firefox (which wasn’t displaying the comments properly before).
    Oooops – I’ve just noticed that my Java installation is v6, Update 29 which is now out of date…

  4. Google ads are pulled in using Javascript and the script used sometimes interferes with other scripts so there might be some interaction there, especially with what people above are saying.
    Also, many people run one or another version of ad/script blocking software. This can also cause page display issues.
    As far as the money… this site consumes a lot of your time and effort. I think you should be able to get a bit of compensation for that. Once upon a time you commented about running the occasional article pointing to your weather widgets. That seems like a good idea to me.

  5. Seems to work. I have 2 browsers on the same XP SP3 machine (2GB RAM)
    Firefox 10.0.2, this was never a problem either way.
    IE6 (yes, the ancient one) had the font problem before you switched off the Google ads and there was no way I could adjust the font size in the browser. Ctrl+ didn’t work, View Text Size had no effect, Ctrl-mouse scroll didn’t work, no View Zoom option.
    After the switch-off I can’t see the font issue in IE6, although the page doesn’t look nearly as good as in Firefox. However I found a way to adjust the font sizes
    In IE6, go to Tools -> Internet Options
    In the “General” tab, click the “Accessibility…” button.
    Check the “Ignore font sizes specified on Web Pages” option and press OK
    Finally OK the main dialog.
    Now I can switch between font sizes in IE6 using either View Text Size or Ctrl-mouse scroll.
    Still, I’d much rather use Firefox… so that’s what I will do.

  6. I’m having no font troubles on my old XP machine, one thing I have noticed of late is a slow/hanging when returning to WUWT after visiting a link from the sidebar.
    IE, I’ll visit say JoNova from your sidebar, when I hit the back button to return to WUWT there can be a 15-45 second delay before I am back to the exact page position that I left on WUWT,

  7. I had the font problems but going over to IE8 compatibility view seemed to fix it, mostly.
    As I post this I now get no problems with fonts whether compatibility view is turned on or off.

  8. Can we comment that the page loads appear faster? Even Tips & Notes? (That was a joke – Anthony reset it yesterday.)
    I didn’t have the problem before (ancient Linux system and a version of Firefox so old I’m not going to admit what it is), I don’t think I’ve seen any report from a Firefox user it was a problem.

  9. The problem would come and go with me so I assumed it was my fault and updated firefox and IE but to no avail.
    Seems OK now.

  10. I never had a font problem, but noticed the “WATTS UP WITH THAT” and the Theme info became an overlaid pane as shown here: http://i41.tinypic.com/ta6ie1.jpg , only on the main page which would load several articles and stop, with no arrow to older posts. Now I still have no arrow to older posts, but the main page seems to load all pages of posts if I keep scrolling down, and does not stop even though the overlay remains. This does not occur on the comments pages, nor on other WordPress blogs. I am running Firefox 10.0.2 on XP SP3 with 2Gb RAM.

  11. I have xp pro, ie 8 and had the problem, switched to firefox when the issues started happening, so just now i have fired up ie 8 again, and it doesn’t seem to be an issue now.

  12. Everything ok for me.
    In recent days the posts were normal but the comments were in small fontsize and a pain to read.
    Everything seems to be back to normal

  13. Viewing the site on a HTC phone have had the screen blank except for the ad banner. May be a font display issue but affects images and all other content. Happens repeatedly when ad is scrolled over and prevents viewing parts of the page below ads. No problems on pc with FireFox. No problems without ads.

  14. Hello Anthony
    Everything looks fine, now – thanks!
    I am running XP SP3 with IE8 – there was a problem before you did this but I got around it by clicking the Compatibility View button (next to the Refresh button on the IE toolbar), sometimes a few times……
    Thank you for your wonderful blog site.

  15. Had the problem (intermittently) with IE8 running on XP SP3 (my default – was fine with Chrome & Firefox) over past couple of days – now appears to be displaying perfectly…

  16. u.k.(us) says:
    March 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm
    I’m having no font troubles on my old XP machine, one thing I have noticed of late is a slow/hanging when returning to WUWT after visiting a link from the sidebar.
    IE, I’ll visit say JoNova from your sidebar, when I hit the back button to return to WUWT there can be a 15-45 second delay before I am back to the exact page position that I left on WUWT,
    ===========================================
    During the above “hanging”, my browser has indicated it was waiting for “Googleads”.

  17. As in my previous post – I experienced the problem in IE9 on Win 7 for about a day and a half. It is difficult to tell when you turned off the Google Ads (being in Australia EST) but without me doing anything the problem went away again about 36 hours ago. All good at the moment.
    Hope this helps.

  18. just a further comment, just went over to “the air vent’ and the font issue is back for my IE8…

  19. I never experienced the font problem, but had an issue with how comments displayed a few weeks back. Refreshing the page usually fixed that. I assumed it was a browser issue and the problem went away after a recent Firefox upgrade. WUWT is a very slow load here in Tas, presumably because of the ad tracking.

  20. From Gail Combs on March 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm:

    I have lost the list of the latest comments. Also sometimes the most recent post did not show up in Recent Posts but did show up as an “arrow” at the top of the last post.

    Anthony got rid of Recent Comments, finding it of limited value. I found it good for noting when comments were made to threads I thought long dead, found some spam that way, and otherwise found it useful, but I can live without it.
    Recent Posts sometimes taking awhile to add in the new pieces is something I got used to, I’ve been “notified” of new posts by seeing them in Recent Comments before Recent Posts picked up on them. While that’s likely the fault of a wordpress script that’s scheduled rather than auto-run, sometimes the lag is so great I’m convinced the mods have to manually update the list.
    Oh, Debian Linux (Lenny), Iceweasel (Debian Firefox variant), no problems, but AdBlock was keeping the Google ads away (loading problems, slow connection). When the experiment ends, I could unblock them and see if that causes problems.

  21. All OK here, checked on Windows 7 (4 Gb RAM) with
    Firefox
    IE9
    Opera
    Chrome
    and on Android with
    Opera
    Dolphin HD

  22. I’ve never had a problem with WUWT fonts or display that wasn’t solved by rebooting Firefox.
    Please continue receiving revenues from Google Ads. You have them well placed and sometimes they are actually humorous in their juxtaposition with the articles. Makes me laugh.

  23. I block everything possible from Google servers in my proxy server so I never see the ads nor any of the Google javascript, and didn’t see a font problem when others did. Looks like you found the culprit.

  24. The ads being the culprit makes sense. I never had an issue at home (using Firefox with an ad blocker) but noticed font issues viewing the site at work* with IE and no ad blocker.
    * @ boss: in my lunch hour. Ahem.

  25. Earlier in the day, up to about 2:00 PM EST, the problem’s was appearing and disappearing, but now all seems ok. I thought it had something to do with my refreshing the site and kept on doing it with varying results, but might have been indulging in Cargo Cult magic. My mini laptop’s still on XP, and I haven’t had a chance to test things on my PC at home.

  26. FWIW – it has fixed a horribly annoying issue I was having reading (or trying to read) on my Android phone.
    Very often, not 100% of the time, but well north of 50% as I was scrolling through the comments, the screen would refresh. The result would be a page as long as the original, but entirely blank, apart from that huge and mostly content free add that sits between the article and comments.
    Refresh doesn’t help, and going back a page takes you out of the article completely, so you have to start again, and quite often, while scrolling back to try to pick up again, the same thing would happen.
    Its not obvious if its the WordPress integration of the ads, of if its some Javascript crap that Google is using to try to gather usage info, but removing the ads removes the problem.
    Philip

  27. OK, over three hours now with ads turned off.
    Thanks for the feedback, off topic or “never had a problem” comments have been deleted since I plan to use this to show WordPress.com tech support about the problem. Sorry to those whose comments I deleted, nothing personal just gathering data.
    AS OF NOW, 4PM PST, I am turning ads back on to see if problem returns (again sorry).

  28. Everything is back to normal.
    Oddly enough, I have NO probs at all with fonts, if I looked at your site on Mozilla. However we have a very old Internet Explorer browser for our normal viewing (also extremely limited rural internet), and we’re a bit concerned about updating it… in any case, it seemed to flip-flop each time I came to your site.

  29. Heh. And now that I posted that comment, the fonts have flipped again. No worries. It won’t stop people who want to Learn, from reading here.

  30. Never detected the problem in either case.
    I run a java script blocker (noScript) an ad blocker (adBlock Plus) and a custom host file that redirects all google page requests to 127.000.000.001

  31. tallbloke says:
    March 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm
    “Unless you get a worthwhile income from google ads, zap them and pay wordpress not to have any ads at all on the blog. I did that, and my readership likes the uncluttered, non-commercial feel of the place.”
    I like the ads. I made it a habit to click at stuff I want to see, not buy… So I always get some random pretty pictures… and I can reward blogs by clicking at them…

  32. Problem is back on WUWT ‘home’ page – top post/first story in normal TNR font, below stories in small caps! when coming ‘into’ the thread to make a comment it all seems ok though.

  33. Philip Peake says:
    March 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    FWIW – it has fixed a horribly annoying issue I was having reading (or trying to read) on my Android phone.

    I too have exactly the problem Philip reports on my Android phone. I did not test using the phone while the ads were off, so sorry, cannot add to the diagnosis.
    This is simply to record my vote that whatever is causing the issue is very annoying.

  34. I thought it was my phone. I was on the site via phone all weekend and was getting all kinds of weird things showing up. If I tried to scroll down to the posts, it would just click into the advertisements.

  35. Still have the problem of a small faint block capitals font, but clicking “Continue reading” brings up your normal font.

  36. Yep the problem has returned for me… IE9 on Windows 7 all updates installed!
    Chrome on Windows 7 is not affected – ie it displays as usual.
    Android works well although it is a different sans serif font to Windows browsers.
    IE8 on Windows XP with all updates works as expected (no small capitalised fonts).

  37. In addition my phone is a Motorola Deny running android V2.2.2 with the standard browser.

  38. Anthony
    When in problem mode there appears to be no bottom limit to the scroll bar.
    I got back to Jan 2012 before I gave up and it was still autoloading at that point.
    The font of all articles (not just the comments) was affected.
    (This post is now back in normal mode)

  39. The problem is now back exactly as it was before: if I refresh once or twice, the problem is temporarily fixed, presumably while a different Google ad is being displayed.

  40. Pompous Git
    I don’t find WUWT a slow load.I have ADSL 2,and WUWT loads in no time for me?I’m in Tassie also.

  41. As mentioned, testing with AdBlock off. This page loading fine, no problems.
    Front page is a mess, but has been for awhile. Maybe I get served a “special” version on dial-up, but it only really loads part of the posts, gets done, when I scroll down I briefly see the smiley face which is supposed to load last after everything else successfully loads, which is quickly replaced with a little square as the loading of more posts starts with a page divider line between the chunks. This apparently never finishes, there is no “older posts” link, just another square below with more older posts to load.
    With AdBlock off, the front page loads as described. Until I get to the square, then something kicks it off the front page to an infinitely-(non)loading white page I figured out is the wyciwyg “What You Cache Is What You Get” alternative, requires going Back to get to the front page even though the address bar doesn’t change. Apparently conflict with add-ons can trigger it. With AdBlock on it doesn’t happen, thus a conflict with the Google Ads is indicated.

  42. I was gonna suggest it all started with the missing “Recent Comments”, yet our benevolent webmaster trashed that theory 🙂

  43. On your site with the google ads on hangs my android up on a pop up, ” reliable energy systems” I have to exit your site then go back on , then the ad is back in about 10 seconds I cant find a exit button on the add so I have given up visiting your site with my android phone

  44. Thanks for the effort Anthony.
    Ads do take bandwidth, and may come from various sources which adds risk.
    Worst I saw was a website naiively coded to display the PayPal logo served form PayPal’s site rather than as a locally-served graphic with a link behind it. For some reason the feed from PayPal was often very slow, thus her page loaded very slow.
    However, Tips&Notes has often been slow due volume of messages, and sometimes comment entry there or on article pages is very slow, but no corrupted font problem.
    Now, can you charge WordPress for your troubleshooting time? Well, since you are gettng n/c service from them I suppose not. 😉

  45. Host: Use FireFox or Chrome, which are superior (and free) browsers …
    Cough – cough … what about Opera? Cough – cough …
    Can’t we use Opera which has demonstrated itself to be ‘superior’ as well*?
    Cough – cough …
    .
    (* A relative term, all contrasted w/MS IE; comparison based on running versions of Opera on this end from version 6 on a 500 MHz Pentium III under Win98SE through to Opera version 11 under Xp SP3 on Intel “Core 2 Duo” based PCs …)

  46. Still having a problem with the site using my phone browser (I have no idea what browser it is, it has a blue and white globe icon). The computer browser IE is okay.

  47. Problem has returned but Compatibility View fixes it after several clicks.
    M

  48. IE is not a bad browser, please stop knocking it! Here’s a test: if you have hundreds of favourites like me you have to do a lot of scrolling to get to the right one. Now in IE when you want to select another favourite it remembers where you were in the list and the chances are this is near where you want to select the next one. With Chrome and FF they start at the top again so you have to scrol all the way down again! Grr. For this alone I do not like Chrome or FF, to me they’re clunky to use and not very user friendly. No, it’s IE for me!

  49. I run Opera and have never had a problem with this site. Actually I can’t think of any sites I have had a problem with recently.

  50. I am not going to post all day but now they are big again! Is posting causing the problem to toggle on and off?

  51. Your HTML is very broken, as evidenced by running through the W3C validator, so it’s unsurprising that browsers are having issues. As much as people love to blame IE, it’s “compatibility mode” basically forces it to act like IE6 to accomodate websites that don’t follow HTML standards so if people need to enable it to view your site, your site is broken.

  52. “Use FireFox or Chrome, which are superior (and free) browsers”
    Most computer magazines do tests on browsers and it seems that which one is “better” changes from day to day and depends on the criteria. The (by far) biggest german magazine had IE in first place last year! Chrome was the fastest, though, but the other two have improved since then. But they also consider security etc.
    The whole thing get much more complicated when add-ons are included.
    Since there is little difference in use, and all are free, it is best to have all aviable, and change to a different one when a problem arises.

  53. IE 9 and my Google/Android cell both work fine, but then I never had a problem. I’ve tried toggleing between compatibility mode on/off and see no difference.

  54. Wow, I agree that the bookmark feature on Chrome sucks, but other than that, it is far superior. I have to use IE for work, and when I get back to Chrome, it is like coming up for air.

  55. From rbw152 on March 12, 2012 at 1:28 am:

    Here’s a test: if you have hundreds of favourites like me you have to do a lot of scrolling to get to the right one. Now in IE when you want to select another favourite it remembers where you were in the list and the chances are this is near where you want to select the next one. With Chrome and FF they start at the top again so you have to scrol all the way down again!

    Huh? I run Iceweasel, the Debian Linux Firefox variant. I don’t have “favorites,” I have bookmarks. Instead of a giant unsorted list I have bookmark folders and sub-folders. Some have so many bookmarks in them that scrolling may be necessary. They hold their position at where I left them before.
    When I click on Bookmarks in the tool bar, I do get a long unsorted list. But that’s normal command toolbar action, the long list is under all the commands and under the bookmark main folder list. It has to start displaying from the top to show the commands. For me, the long unsorted list just tells me I should get around to thinning out the junk ones and filing away the good ones.
    Seriously, you put up with a “favorites” list of hundreds of entries, and are grateful for the “advantage” of not having to scroll through it from the top every time? How long have you been suffering under the forced-at-purchase M$-IE regime that you find that to be so spectacularly wonderful?

  56. It’s back. This post was fine until the comments section and the fonts changed. Same with the main display of the site, the first article shows fine, the rest don’t. I thought it was just me.
    It starts at the ” Rate this:”
    Looks like right in here:
    I chucked IE long ago, and I advise everyone to do the same.
    GA_googleFillSlot(“wpcom_sharethrough_viplite”);

  57. I’m using IE8 without any issues. I would use Firefox but it takes forever to load and crashes frequently on my fairly plain vanilla laptop (yes I’ve uninstalled what few addons I had).
    I refuse to use Chrome in the same way I refuse to use any Google products,
    Mike.

  58. I chucked IE long ago, and I advise everyone to do the same.

    Which is why I’ve always referred to it as Internet Exploder.

  59. Factual part
    The problem is nothing to do with compatibility mode. IE is thrown by a Google ad rotator.
    WUWT sometimes works OK on normal IE8, always gets messed up using ‘InPrivate’ browsing.
    Same for CA.
    Opinion part
    The slightest problem with IE and the fanboi hordes of Firefox, Chrome, Opera et al swarm out to tell us that how terrible IE is. Boringly predictable.
    I use IE8 day in, day out. I can’t remember the last time I had a problem on a website. It works for me.
    Google/Wordpress messed up. Period.
    What is so bad about expecting web developers to make their product work on IE, the second most used website in the world?
    Get it fixed.
    Quite frankly, I resent Anthony Watts telling me to change my browser just so his (and CA’s) website works.

  60. I don’t know if the problem I am having is caused by google ads or what, but WWT does not finish loading (the churning never stops) and if I scroll down far enough, the browser window eventually goes white and I have to reload the site for it to come back. Hitting the stop button to cancel the churning seems to help, but it is still doing it today.

  61. Also, I am using firefox, but an older version because my company is too cheap to buy a current version of linux.

  62. woodNfish said on March 12, 2012 at 11:57 am:

    I don’t know if the problem I am having is caused by google ads or what, but WWT does not finish loading (the churning never stops) and if I scroll down far enough, the browser window eventually goes white and I have to reload the site for it to come back. Hitting the stop button to cancel the churning seems to help, but it is still doing it today.

    Screen going white? Please read this comment of mine, last paragraph. This can be diagnosed by right-clicking a Forward or Back button or the little arrow next to them, whatever shows you the list that shows where you’ve been and where you actually are when the white page shows up.
    woodNfish said on March 12, 2012 at 11:58 am:

    Also, I am using firefox, but an older version because my company is too cheap to buy a current version of linux.

    Debian GNU/Linux remains free, and while the current Stable version spans over 50 CD’s, that’s with all the many many free packages and programs that are part of the official distribution. Rather than download and burn the entire set (CD or DVD available) or buy a set (only one copy needed per architecture for an entire office), with a fast internet connection you can download a small “net install” version that’ll download and install just what you need and want.
    But that means providing your own tech support or buying it elsewhere. Personally I was “on my own” with Windoze for so long I’ve found Debian to be remarkably easy to maintain, no need to defrag or “reinstall” to fix problems, don’t need Norton to keep the OS stable. All the help I’ve needed for Linux I found free on the internet. But many people and organizations are comforted with the idea of ready OS tech support, despite the reality, and opt for buying the Ubuntu brand of modified Debian, or Red Hat.
    Just let them know they can get Debian for free and convince them to try it out on one machine, see if they like it.

  63. Browser usage statistics, as at the end of February 2012 : –
    Browser Version Total Market Share
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 27.85%
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 12.60%
    Firefox 10 8.44%
    Chrome 16.0 8.09%
    Chrome 17.0 8.06%
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 6.87%
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 4.69%
    Firefox 9.0 4.45%
    Safari 5.1 3.61%
    Firefox 3.6 3.10%
    Opera 11.x 1.48%
    Firefox 8.0 1.38%
    Safari 5.0 1.09%
    Firefox 4.0 0.62%
    Firefox 6.0 0.57%
    Firefox 7.0 0.51%
    Firefox 5.0 0.50%
    Chrome 14.0 0.45%
    Firefox 3.5 0.44%
    Firefox 3.0 0.44%
    Chrome 15.0 0.39%
    Chrome 12.0 0.34%
    Firefox 11 0.27%
    Chrome 18.0 0.25%
    Proprietary or Undetectable 0.24%
    Chrome 13.0 0.21%
    Safari 5.0 – Maxthon Edition 0.20%
    Microsoft IE 8.0 – Maxthon Edition 0.15%
    Chrome 11.0 0.14%
    Safari 4.1 0.14%
    Safari 4.0 0.14%
    Chrome 10.0 0.14%
    Microsoft IE 6.0 – Tencent Traveler Edition 0.12%
    Microsoft IE 8.0 – TheWorld Edition 0.12%
    Microsoft IE 8.0 – Tencent Traveler Edition 0.11%
    Opera 10.x 0.11%
    Firefox 2.0 0.11%
    Chrome 16.0 – Maxthon Edition 0.10%
    Opera 9.x 0.10%
    Chrome 18.0 – Maxthon Edition 0.10%
    TOTAL 98.72%
    Note: – does not include Internet Explorer 10.

  64. With Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP (I am limited to using Windows XP on at least one system because the later versions of Windows do not support a required software functionality provided by Windows XP) I have experienced occasional extreme page-loading delays on this website beginning around the first of the year. The latest version of Fire-Fox has no such problem.

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