Are We Compatible?

Posted by on September 7, 2009

When it comes to marriage, it’s important that you be compatible with your spouse. When it comes to SEO, it’s important that you be compatible with everyone – those who use Internet Explorer and those who use Chrome; those who embrace every new technology the web has to offer, and those who surf on waves of text-only browsers.

How do you know whether your site will be compatible with them all?

One useful service for checking how any particular URL will display on different browsers is BrowerShots. They offer the ability (free!) to check how your URL will display on numerous different browsers, with the options to choose the screen size and color depth, as well as whether you want Java, Javascript and/or Flash enabled or disabled.

Although highly useful (especially if you don’t have all these browsers installed on your computer), oftentimes BrowserShots would time out before loading all of the screenshots I wanted to view.

In these cases, or if you want to check multiple URLs on a single domain quickly, the following are directions on how to disable Javascript and Flash in common browsers. The version in parentheses is the version that I tested the instructions on; they may well work in earlier/later versions as well – but you’ll have to try that yourself. If you have any comments or tips about other versions and/or browsers, please enlighten us all in the comments below!

Internet Explorer (8.0)

Disabling Javascript:

  1. Go to the Tools menu.
  2. Click on Internet Options (all the way at the bottom).
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Click the “Custom Level” button.
  5. Scroll down to where it says “Active Scripting” and click “Disable”.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Yes.
  8. Click OK.

Disabling Flash:

The Toggle Flash add-on disables and re-enables any Flash banner by clicking the Toggle Flash button in your toolbar. To install and use Toggle Flash:

  1. Download Toggle Flash. In order to use Toggle Flash, you must have Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework or one of the later service packs installed.
  2. Close Internet Explorer and install Toggle Flash.
  3. Re-open Internet Explorer. The Toggle Flash button (a red circle with the Flash “f” symbol in the middle and a line through it) should be present in your command bar (the toolbar with the homepage button, printer button, etc.).
  4. If you don’t see it, you may need to resize your command bar. Right-click on an empty space in the command bar and uncheck “Lock the Toolbars” in the pop-up menu.
  5. Put your mouse over the line that appears and the cursor will change to a bi-directional arrow. Drag the line to expand the toolbar until the Toggle Flash icon appears. You can then re-lock the toolbars.
  6. Click the Toggle Flash button to turn Flash off. The button will not show a depression, making it hard to know whether it really worked or not, but if you visit a site with Flash, the Flash will not display and you may receive a message telling you that you need to download the latest Flash player or a similar message.
  7. In order to show the Flash, click the Toggle Flash button again and reload the page.

Mozilla Firefox (3.0.13)

Disabling Javascript:

  1. Go to the Tools menu.
  2. Click on Options (towards the bottom).
  3. Uncheck the “Enable Javascript” box.
  4. Click OK.

Disabling Flash:

The Flashblock add-on automatically disables any Flash banner, indicating its presence as a grey button that fluctuates between the Flash “f” symbol and a “play” arrow. If you click on the button, it will display the Flash. This add-on is incredibly convenient, not only for testing browser compatibility, but also for eliminating annoying Flash ads from displaying during your regular surfing of the internet.

Google Chrome (12.0.742.122)

Disabling Javascript:

  1. Click on the Wrench menu.
  2. Go to Options.
  3. Go to Under the Hood.
  4. Click on “Content Settings.”
  5. In the Javascript section, click on “Manage exceptions.”
  6. Write [*.]yourdomainname.com in “Add a new exception pattern” and choose “Block.”  Click somewhere else on the page that is not one of those two fields for the exception to be added.

Disabling Flash

This Flashblock extension works the same way as the Firefox one does.  In order to display Flash permanently for any site, press Alt+F.

[The following is no longer relevant, because it was from the original writing of this post, which was before Chrome had developed settings and officially supported extensions, but I'm leaving it here just for the sake of those who would find it amusing how complicated it was as opposed to the few lines of instruction written above:

Disabling Javascript:

  1. Right-click on the Google Chrome icon found on your desktop.
  2. Click on Properties.
  3. Click on the Shortcuts tab.
  4. In the "Target" field, where it says something to the effect of "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe", add a space and then "-disable-javascript" (without the quotes)
  5. Restart Chrome.

Disabling Flash

Okay, this Flashblock works the same way as the Firefox one, but the installation is a tad more complicated than clicking "Install". Hold on tight…

  1. Go to the page containing the Flashblock user script. Copy the script into a Notepad file and save it as a text document as "Flashblock.user.js" (the name "Flashblock" is not crucial; the ".user.js" suffix is).
  2. Find your Default user data folder for Chrome.

· In Windows XP, the pathway is: \Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

· In Windows Vista the pathway is: \Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

* If you are using Explorer to find the folder, you may need to tell it to display hidden folders by going to the Tools menu, clicking "Folder Options", clicking the "View" tab and selecting "Show hidden files and folders" (towards the bottom of the list of options).

3. Create a new folder within the Default folder entitled User Scripts.

4. Copy your Flashblock.user.js file into the User Scripts folder.

5. Right-click on the Google Chrome icon found on your desktop.

  1. Click on Properties.
  2. Click on the Shortcuts tab.
  3. In the "Target" field, where it says something to the effect of "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe", add a space and then "--enable-user-scripts" (without the quotes – and make sure the first hyphen is doubled)
  4. Restart Chrome.

Note: In order to display Flash permanently for any site, press Alt+F.

Yet another note: On Chrome, you cannot block Flash and Javascript at the same time. Putting "-disable-javascript" into the target field will disable your userscript that runs Flashblock. *sigh*]

Happy browsing!

References:

www.mistered.us/tips/javascript/browsers.shtml

http://www.simplehelp.net/2008/04/07/how-to-temporarily-disable-flash-in-internet-explorer-7/

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=5e291648113cc731&hl=en

http://www.chromeplugins.org/google/chrome-plugins/block-flash-disable-most-visited-sites-7491.html

http://www.chromeplugins.org/google/chrome-talk/userscripts-chrome-7483.html

http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel

http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=114662

September 7th, 2009 by Aviva B
Posted in SEO
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