While it is possible that an issue someone runs into on a website is an issue with the web server or a programming issue with the site, it is very important to rule out any browser or workstation incompatibilities first. If the website is not being opened in a supported browser, for instance, it can cause errors that would otherwise not exist. So what are some standard troubleshooting steps than can be taken?

Are you using the latest version of your browser?

Just like any other piece of software, browsers can have bugs. If you are not running the latest version you may encounter bugs. If you are using Internet Explorer, check Windows Update to ensure you are on the latest version. If you are using Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, you can check for updates within the browser (usually located in the "Tools" or "Help" menu). Once the browser has been updated, try repeating whatever cause the issue before.

Have you cleared your cookies and cache?

In most modern browsers, this can be done by pressing the key combination Ctrl+Shift+Del. Browsers will save some information from websites, such as images, to your computer to increase the load time on that website (caching). Websites also use cookies to store small pieces of information about you within the browser (note - we do not store any secure information about you or your account in cookies). Sometimes the data in your browser is older than the data on the website, causing a conflict. Clearing your cache and cookies is always a great troubleshooting step.

Have you reset your browsers to its default settings?

For various reasons, the settings in your browser may have changed to a setting that is incompatible with the website you are trying to use. For instance, perhaps you have disabled cookies or javascript, but the website requires those to be enabled. Try resetting your browser its default settings (use the "Help" menu in your particular browser to find out how), then try visiting the website again.

Have you tried the website on a different computer?

While this is not always possible, it is often an important troubleshooting to try. Other pieces of software, such as antivirus programs or toolbars, can affect your browsing experience. Trying the website on another PC is a good way to try to eliminate those variables.