Ghostery and other extensions may block the content you seek.

Tools are developed each month to help us protect our computers, our privacy, our data, our habits while surfing the web. These come in the form of browser add-ons and extensions. Chrome offers them, Firefox does and even Internet Explorer has them. We also use these add-ons and extensions for increasing our productivity. Sometimes we can over-widget our browsers, too – it’s not limited to websites.

If you use these tools, have you ever gone to a website and there are blocks of blank spots, or the site doesn’t load all the way and it looks like a text only website that is misaligned? Then perhaps you have overused and add-on or have too many extensions, locked items down too much and may have to loosen the reins a bit in order to see the content you are seeking.

ghostery-logo-250Ghostery is an add-on I’m fond of for Chrome. They even have a website efficiency product to protect the data you are collecting through those third-party apps. It blocks lots of tracking cookies, privacy invaders and more. BUT, it can also block valuable content, depending on how websites are constructed and what third party tools they use, such as Marketo, Leadlife, Kenshoo and others. You may work for companies that use these tools and your blocking them will block your experience of your own company’s website.

You can find a peaceful in-between place in the customized settings area of any of these tools. At least with Ghostery, you are able to select which specific items in each category you want to block, or block all. You can then visit a site and under the Ghostery icon in the upper right of your browser see the list of items permitted and blocked. If a site looks very strange – that tally of blocked items may hold your answer.

incognito-dropdownWhen I’m not sure what is happening with a client site or resource site, I will open an “incognito” window in Chrome. I can change my Ghostery settings to not engage while in this incognito mode. Sometimes it’s quite surprising how much is blocked, sometimes I discover I’ve simply landed on a website that is poorly constructed.

If you are a web developer and you test your client’s site in all browsers and all devices and they call panicked that they cannot see the site as you do ask them these questions first:

  1. Which browser and version?
  2. Which device and operating system?
  3. What browser ADD-ONs and EXTENSIONS are they running – they may need you to walk through how to find these.
  4. What firewall, internet security, malware, adblockers and anti-virus programs are they running?
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