Even as a professional website support technician, I still have moments where I am amazed by the evolution of the internet. I remember in college the phrase I often heard with technology was, “If you’re over five years behind, you are outdated.” My how things have changed. In the web world today, if your information is six months behind, you tend to be outdated. Today was a good example of just such a phenomenon.
We received a support request from a client telling us that their search was no longer displaying any results. I fired up my trusty Google Chrome and everything was working perfectly. It turned out that they were using Firefox 23. I loaded up the site using Firefox and sure enough, no results.
I found it odd that Explorer, Safari, and Chrome were all displaying results, but Firefox was not. I turned on my trusty Firebug and opened up the console. Thank goodness for error messages. I got this little gem:
Blocked loading mixed active content
Google to the rescue! I found this little gem and read about the recent changes that were “finally” being implemented into Firefox. It actually turned out that Firefox wasn’t broken at all… it was not allowing an unsecured http: site to load information into a secure https: site. The unsecured site in this particular instance was a Google search showing up in an iframe within a secure site. Firefox even has a nifty little icon to go with the blocked site – a shield in the browser address bar that allows you to click on it to “turn off this protection,” if you’d like to run the risk.
Google is a secure site, so the quick solution was to just add a little ‘s’ to the protocol and everything worked fine. But my point is, I find it fascinating how often this sort of thing happens… a site works just fine one day and the next it’s “broken”. This is just one more case exemplifying the importance of maintaining the most recent patches to your content management systems, updating your websites to the latest versions, and staying on top of the constantly changing world wide web.