BackYard Chickens › Learning Center Articles › Troubleshooting BYC Problems, Bugs, Error Messages & Other Issues

Troubleshooting BYC Problems, Bugs, Error Messages & Other Issues

For the vast majority of our users the BYC website provides tons of great tools and features to help lean about raising chickens and sharing pictures and stories.  Unfortately from time to time we receive reports of people having problems.  Hopefully this guide will help those visitors an members find answers to their problems.


The Rapid Pace Of Technology - Stay Up To Date FOR FREE!

Tech and the internet evolve at lightning speeds.  Many people visiting BYC are using Internet Explorer 8 as their browser (4 years old) and some are even on IE 7 (over 6 years old).  In internet time, that's like taking a Model T onto the freeway and trying to keep up with all the cars around you going  65 MPH... you're bound to run into problems!


Are you on an old version of IE?  We STRONGLY suggest that you use the newest version of Google Chrome or Firefox, both of which are free (some reports show Chrome may be the best choice).  Programmers all over the world would be happy if they didn't have to code for IE, but they have to since people keep using the inferior browser.


Again, Google Chrome & Firefox are completely free and you can even run them at the same time as Internet Explorer to see the difference in performance.



Troubleshooting Website Problems - Easy as 1, 2, 3x √8 ÷ ∝!

Trying to troubleshoot problems on a website for a user is like a mechanic trying to find and diagnose a problem with your car... over email!  wink.png     In the case of mechanic, sometimes it's easy for them to to find the problem... you drive your car in with a big hole in your radiator... pretty easy to diagnose and they know what needs to be done to solve the problem.


Of course there are also the times where your car makes a loud knocking sound from the engine... except it stops when you take it into the shop.


The same applies to problems with websites, but imagine instead of one engine in your car to troubleshoot, you have 10!   That's what it's like trying to fix problems with very large / robust websites... it's very complex and complicated.  Is it a problem with the server, the database, the programming, the ads, the user's browser, browser plugins or extensions, the user's computer, other software on the user's computer, the internet connection, or one of the almost infinite combinations of all of the above?  



What We Need To Help You, Help Us, Help You, Help Your Chickens:

Just like a mechanic, the #1 best way to get to the root of a problem is to be able to reproduce it.  The difficulty is that we often can't duplicate the problem, especially if the problem is only happening to one or a few users.  This often means the problem is with the user's browser and/or computer, and again, there are billions of combinations to try to account for and solve.   Basically, we need as much information as possible!


Steps You (and all good troubleshooters) Should Take:


  1. Try resetting your computer.  Turn it off, wait 2 minutes, turn it back on.
  2. Clear your internet browser's cache / history of files. It's easy to do and almost as important as taking out the trash at home!  See instructions here and here.
  3. Determine if the problem is because of your browser and/or plugins and extensions.  Download a free version of either Google Chrome or Firefox and see if the thing that was broken now works. Note: when we people to "try another browser" it isn't meant to say, "permanently change browsers" (unless you're on IE).  Instead we mean: "Try a different browser for a moment to help isolate if the problem is with your browser or your computer or your account or something else."  It's just part of the process of determining the exact cause of the problem so we can then try to fix it.
  4. If you're still having problems, continue to the steps below:



Report The Problem & Be VERY Specific!


Here are a few questions that will help us find, duplicate, and hopefully resolve the problem you are having.  Go through these questions and once you have the answers to each of them, post a new topic in our feedback section with all the details of your problem:


  • Describe your problem in as much detail as possible!
  • What is the URL of the page that you had problems?
  • Did you receive any error messages?  If yes, what were they? (please copy and paste the entire message, screenshots are best)
  • What were the exact steps you took before having the problem?  Please be as specific as possible so we can reproduce exactly what you did.  Go step by step, provide links, details, clicks, etc.
  • How long has the problem been happening?  When did it start?  If only one time, what day and time did it happen?
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Which browser and version are you using (eg., Firefox 3.5.9, Internet Explorer 7, etc.)
  • Have you tried disabling all your browser plugins and/or extensions?  (Some of these conflict with website features and tools)
  • Have you deleted your internet cache / browser history of files and tried again?
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Have you tried a different browser (we suggest Google Chrome or Firefox)?


The more info you provide, the higher the chances you will have of getting a quicker reply and solution!  



Again, we are sorry to hear any reports of problems any of our visitors or members are having.  Hopefully with your help we can identify, duplicate, and fix these problems as the arise!



Comments (2)

Please make sure to follow the instructions above and post a new topic in our feedback section with all the details required above:
 Very informative, thx!
BackYard Chickens › Learning Center Articles › Troubleshooting BYC Problems, Bugs, Error Messages & Other Issues