Sunday, August 06, 2006

Why you should be using more than 1 web browser

Have you ever experienced the following:
1. You try to open a web page, and it takes forever to load
2. You try to log in to Blogger, Gmail, etc and is unable to do so
3. You try to publish a post or upload a photo, but is unable to do so
4. You uploaded a photo, and it said done, but you check and it is not there
5. You have more than 1 email account, Blogger account, account or any any other services. You are logged into one, then you want to log into the other, and you have to first log out and re-login. You find that inconvenient, and you want to be logged into more than one account of the same service at the same time
6. You are in the Layout page and you can't see "Add a Page Element", etc. (see update at the bottom of the page)
(There are more, will add it as it comes back to my memory)

Well, I have found many times that by simply changing web browser, or having more than one browser opened at the same time, I succeed where I failed before. Recently for example, I tried uploading a picture to a Blogger post and it said done, but when I checked the post, the picture was not there. This happened a few times. I changed to FireFox, logged in, upload the picture and succeeded the first time. (Happened again while I was preparing this post). See post What to do when you can't post, upload photos, etc,.

And if you have more than one browser opened at the same time, you can be logged into one Gmail account, for example, and with the other browser, you can be logged into a different Gmail account. I have Gmail account for private use and Gmail account to put on my blog for visitors to contact me, etc.

There are still many who are still using only Internet Explorer, and if this is the case there are even more reasons you should get FireFox. Blogger is optimised for FireFox. And the tabbed browsing is just fantastic. Once you have tried it, you will never want to go back to Internet Explorer again. Then there is a very effective built-in pop-up blocker built-in. Even if you already have FireFox installed, you should get the Google Toolbar. With this, you can conveniently do spell checking within the Blogger post editor as well as other online forms. This is more convenient than using the spell checker built into the Blogger post editor. (See "How to do spellcheck for your Blogger post") With the tool bar, you can check the PageRank of your blog as well as any other websites you visit. With the Google search box built into the toolbar, you can search just the current web page or the whole web. There are many other advantages of having a Google toolbar with your FireFox.

I have 3 browsers on my computer, Internet Explorer, FireFox and Opera and I find that very convenient. But Opera is still not fully support by Blogger yet, although I still use it. I find FireFox much better, especially for those using Blogger. For example, compare the toolbar of the post editor in FireFox and Opera. Here is a screenshot of the toolbar in FireFox (click on the screenshot to enlarge it)and here is a screenshot of the toolbar in Opera (click on the screenshot to enlarge it)Note that there are much less features in the toolbar, and especially notice that the EDIT HTML tab and the COMPOSE tab are missing in Opera. That means, in opera, you post editor will only be in the EDIT HTML mode, which is OK if you are familiar with HTML. (Update: This appear to be an on-off thing. At other tiem I was able to see the tool bar and the tabs)

Another thing. If you are a member of the Google Blogger Help group, and you reply to a post, this will be the window for you to post your reply in OperaNow compare it with the reply window in FireFox:

Update: I faced the same problems that other posters complained about, and the solution that I had always put forth (changing browsers) didn't work at first. I tried uploading in IE. It said DONE, but no picture, no error message. I tried FireFox, clicking on the upload photo icon didn't turn up the pop-up for the upload. I tried Opera, the post editor toolbar (together with the photo upload icon) can't be seen. I tried signing out, and signing in again. No go. I went to take a short nap. I tried IE, FireFox. Still no go. Finally I opened up Opera, and this time, the toolbar plus the icon was visible. I upload the picture, it was success at the first try. BTW if you want to download FireFox (with the very useful Google toolbar) you can get it here: FireFox Alert or direct from this page by clicking on the link "Get FireFox with Google Toolbar for better browsing" at the top of the right sidebar. For Opera, it is here: Opera Download

UPDATE: 28th September 06
Just a moment ago, I tried to log into my Gmail account. The only browser I succeeded in doing this was Internet Explorer. The other two, FireFox and Opera returned error messages. However, don't interpret this as Internet Explorer being the superior browser. Everything depend on the situation at that particular point of time and the situation.

UPDATE 24 November 2006: While this post is specifically addressing the issue of difficulties of publishing a post, it can be used to overcome many other problems. A problem that I just met. I was trying to get opened in
FireFox, I waited and waited. When I could not wait anymore, I opened another browser Internet Explorer. The page opened and I logged in in seconds and read my reports. At the time of writing this update, FireFox is still trying to open the AdSense login page. I am not saying FireFox is no good, but it is a big advantage to have more than one browser in your computer (click BACK button to get back to this page). Changing browsers does often help in various difficult situation.

Note: If you are one of the 80% of surfers who use only Internet Explorer, you can download FireFox directly from this page by clicking on the link "Get FireFox with Google Toolbar for better browsing" at the top of the right sidebar.

Update April 26, 2007: A member of Google Blogger Help group had problem seeing "Add a Page Element" in the Layout (see thread Add Page Element Missing. I suggested try using a different browser, and here is her response:

"Spot on!
I was using Firefox.
So on your suggestion I switched to IE6 and have the 'add a page
element' showing as it should.
Thank you, environman. You're my super-hero!"

Update April 26, 2007: Since a while ago, when I experienced some difficulties with Opera while using Blogger, I have installed and used Flock, another web browser. I have been pretty satisfied with it. So now, I have 4 browsers in my computer.

Update 23 July 2007: For a further reason why you should have many browsers in your computer (click BACK button to get back to this page), see How to make a clickable link. Read the section on "Make tool tips appear for hyperlinks".

Books from Amazon

Book: Blogging for Dummies

The Rational Guide to Google Blogger (Technical accuracy is assured by Biz Stone, Former Senior Specialist on the Google Blogger Team)



  1. Great advice!

    Hail Firefox!
    Beats IE hands down!

  2. Thank Angela. It hurts when I am criticised for recommending using more than 1 browser, especially when I recommend people using only IE get Firefox (done sincerely). I am encouraged by your comment. Thanks again.

  3. I think you are doing everyone a service -- and I know many that would agree! I shy away from IE whenever possible!

    Great site, keep up the good work! Adding you to my blog roll!

  4. Firefox is the only way to go! Well, that's not really true; I've always been a big fan of Opera as well. Between them, I hope they wipe IE off the map. Although I've actually heard good things about the up-and-coming IE7. I can't ever see myself leaving ff for it, though.

    I love your tips BTW! Keep it up!

  5. I heard they have tabbed browsing for IE7 too. Favicon which appear on Firefox and Opera doesn't on IE6 and below. And readers have commented that they do for IE7. So I suppose when they release IE7, they will then be a real compeitition to Firefox.

  6. Anonymous9/08/2006

    I used to love Opera back when the layout was still clean and unbloated. Firefox is my fave right now.

    As for Interner Crashplorer, if I could get a penny for every time all my open windows crashed and the desktop goes awol, I'd have enough pennies to start my own benevolent dictatorship.

  7. Peter,

    So what's hard about posting a link to a thread in GBH?

  8. I agree with Angela Both I.E 6 & 7 are in my opinion awful.
    I have found an odd thing though as around 80% use I.E so I looked at my site in I E and was horrified to see all my links scattered around all over the place at the bottom of the page instead of the side bar on the right.
    also the picture you told me how to put at the very top of the page shows all the html in I E not so in Firefox; it looks fine in there.
    my son says it is incorrect tags!!!
    and says I have messed the template up

  9. Really good article !! thanks

  10. Hi Chuck,

    "So what's hard about posting a link to a thread in GBH?"

    I don't keep track on threads in GHB. There are millions of them. And search produce a long list and I don't have time to check them one by one to see which one is relevant. I have my posts in excel file and using the "find" function will get me to the relevant post without even having to be connected to the web,. I previously used the Google sitesearh box to find the post, but sometimes a page takes forever to open. With excel I don't have to depend on the Internet.

    Hope that is good enough reason for you.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    Guide to Malaysia

  11. Hi radio op,

    Hard to tell what is the problem. Would be clearer if you have a screenshot or the URL to your blog. Is it a simple "Sidebar pushed to bottom of post" problem. If so, refer to Trouble-shoot "sidebar slide to bottom of page" problem.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    Google Generate revenue from your website with Google AdSense. Get something for your hardwork

  12. That screenshot you posted saying "will be the window for you to post your reply in Opera", was a total crap. I have been and is a big fan of Opera and Opera is by far the best browser for me. The text box is displayed BETTER THAN THAT OF FIREFOX in Opera. I wonder if you are using an old, rotten-out version of Opera like 7.0 or something. Come forward man, we are in 9.5 now.

  13. Hi Ameer,

    I did not use Opera for quite some time after I encountered this sign in problem as I have 4 browsers in my computer, used to be 5. So I had lots of choices and didn't really need Opera. Recently I had to, and found that what you said is true, but postponed updating that post as I had lots of things to attend to. In fact I am about 3/4 way through a post.

    Anyway, thanks for the head up, I will now open Opera, try to sign in, and if reconfirmed, I will immediately update that post.

    Wished you had commented there and did it more politely though. The effect on me will be the same. The effect (reflection) on you is not so good.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Blogger for Dummies

  14. My dear Ameer,

    I just checked the post, and there was an update, dated
    UPDATE 12 November 2007:

    I did not receive email notification for your comment which I see is 11/09/2007, so looks like I just missed getting pot shots from you by 3 day. I have been pestering Blogger about not getting email notificatons for a long time, but so far thay can't seem to be able to do anything about it. I approved your comment today 13 Nov 2007.

    Anyway, there is still one small problem. After signing in, it did not log me in immediately. I waited a long time, did other things, went back, I still get that "click here to continue" message. Only after clicking, I got into Dashboard. I checked and found I am using ver 9.24.

    Well, you said you are with 9.5. I checked "Tools" to see if Opera is under automatic update but cannot find anything to that effect. But I have been using Flock (based on Mozilla FireFox). I normally have 3 browsers opened simultaneously, Internet Explorer 6, FireFox 2.0 and Flock and seldom resort to Opera now, so it is no big deal.

    But maybe you can help me change my mind as you seem to be a big fan of Opera. I like to consider myself a life-long learner, willing to learn from any source. So if you can outline to me all the reasons why you think Opera is so much better, I will like to hear about it. I think you owe it to us after making those remarks.

    There is one thing though. I prefer FireFox with Google toolbar. You can't get Google toolbar with Opera, though I have found there is a complicated way to get Google toolbar for Opera, but is too complicated, so didn't go through with it.

    Anyway, looking forward to your response.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Generating Revenue from your Website

  15. Peter,
    Thanks for letting me know that you approved my comment. Infact, I waited three days for it to appear. The RSS reader built-into Opera helped me do the watch for the comments feed. At last, yesterday, after having the impression that you didnt approve it due to the rude wording. Anyways, sorry for the rude comment and thanks for the prompt reply.

    There are many, infact so many, reasons why I love Opera. Friendly UI, simplicity of design, the RSS reader, mouse-guestures, voice recognition, widgets, etc... (too many to list.) I agree that Firefox is a very good browser but there a some good reasons why I choose Opera over Firefox. Security and Speed are the key factors. Opera is undenyably faster than Firfox. Try doing a test yourself and do some research on it. You will agree. Opera is THE most secure browser interms of bug fixing and vulnerabilities. It has built-in fraud protection and when you access an untrusted website, it wont just end up saying "The website you are accessing uses an untrusted certificate." Opera will indeed give you a brief description WHY it is not trusted and even gives you the option to view the certificate itself. This is the best way you can decide whether to accept or deny the certificate.

    Firefox has one thing that I dont like. It keeps copying other browsers (specially IE). You will feel the difference with Opera. It feels like the browser of new genereration of browsers.

    You seem to love Firefox with Google toolbar. Well, have you heard about Opera Widgets. There are couple of Opera Widgets out there which is the same (sometimes even better than) as the Google toolbar. You can install one of those widgets just like you install a Firefox extention and voila! you just got Opera with Google toolbar.

    Opera has so many features you are yet to discover, Opera has recently launched 9.5 beta with a lot new features including Opera Link (bookmark synchronization). Have a look at my blog for more details.

    Opera pioneered many of the hit features present in most browsers today. Did you know that Opera was the first browser to introduce tabbed browsing and the first to introduce search boxes in browser toolbars.

    Opera is a cross-platform and even a cross-device browser. I am posting this from my mobile phone using Opera Mini 4.0. Well, Opera Mini is no more called a mobile browser. We call it the Opera Mini web browser because we can view web pages just the same way we view them on a desktop browser. Opera has gone beyond the screen size and brought the full web to the palm of our hands.

  16. Hi Ameer,

    Thanks for responding with such great details. They will be useful for both me and my readers. Such constructive comment is a great improvement over your original comment which (for your own sake) could have been worded in a much better way. Greatly appreciated and will look at what you have mentioned later when I get the time.

    As to "You can install one of those widgets just like you install a Firefox extention and voila! you just got Opera with Google toolbar".

    I will try that immediately but I will not know if I can find the widget to install. If you can give us the URL, it will be a great help.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Alternatives to Google AdSense

  17. Dear Peter,

    Here is the link for Google toolbar widget for Opera.

    In Addition, Opera widgets are now a web standard and accepted by W3C.

  18. I have tried to download Mozilla from the links you provided and I'm unable to. When I try to open the temporary file after loading the wizard I was told it was a corrupt file. Is there something I need to disable on my computer? If so, how do I do that? My main problem is that I can't see the toolbar on my blog anymore. I'm using IE and I thought maybe if I could use Firefox it would solve the problem.

  19. Hi Jenny,

    I will try to find out. In the meantime, you too can contact Google AdSense support and ask them for help.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Blogger Dough
    (Blogging helped my put 2 sons through college on my pension and if not for blogging, I would have been in financial difficulties. We want to help you do the same)

  20. Hi Peter,

    You have a great blog!

    I am just looking for solution and dropped by. I just currently installed Firefox3.5 and surprise that my blog post didn't show up when I view my blog.

    My other blogs were ok with it. Can you give me some hints or possible solutions that I can try.

    Thank you very much!

  21. Hi Peter,

    You are not required to reply my request.

    Your post has already gave me a GREAT HELP :)

    After reading your post, I realized that I need to try more browsers. Finally I solved this probelm with Opera!

    I am unable to update/save widget at IE8 and Firefox, and Opera did. I guess my problem may caused by created 2 Google Search Engines (one on top and one on bottom of the blog post). With Opera, I am able to delete one of them and saved it.

    At the end, my blog has shown properly in Firefox.

    Thanks again, Peter, for your great blog.

  22. Are you saying you published a new blog post but you don't see it on the web. It could be you are viewing a cached copy. See What to do when you don't see a new post

  23. You blog is so educative , i hav added your blog link to my blog on onr of the post , i believe my visitors will benefit from you. . great job . keep it up.

  24. Thank so much of your kindness


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