Websites look wrong

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A website may look wrong for many reasons. The website might not follow web standards and use code that works in Internet Explorer but causes display problems in Firefox or other Mozilla browsers. If the website doesn't work in Firefox or Mozilla Suite by design, the best long term solution is to respectfully ask the website developer if they can make their page work in Firefox/Mozilla Suite. For help on doing this, see the Tech Evangelism project page.

The problem may also be related to your browser settings or configuration, a Firefox/Mozilla Suite bug, a problematic extension or another program that is blocking web content. If you don't find an answer below, look through all articles related to web page display, listed here.

Common problems and solutions

These articles contain solutions and provide more information about some common problems with web page content and page display:

Other solutions

  • In Firefox, go to "View -> Page style" and change "No Style" (in Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey, go to "View -> Use Style" and change "Basic Page Style") to whatever else is there, if it's not already checked. Conversely, websites designed with faulty CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can cause page display problems with things like font, color and layout. In such cases, using the "No Style" or basic setting may allow page content not otherwise viewable to be displayed, using only the HTML layout [1].
  • Sometimes incremental reflow bugs or layout problems on a specific page can be fixed by forcing a page reflow. This can be as simple as changing the font size of the page, resizing the window, toggling the page style or reloading the page.
  • Clear all cookies. In Firefox " Options: "Privacy -> Cookies -> Clear Cookies Now" (Firefox 1.5) or in "Privacy -> Show Cookies -> Remove all cookies" (Firefox 2). In Mozilla Suite preferences, under "Privacy & Security -> Cookies -> Cookie Manager".
  • Bypass the cache and reload the current page, by holding down the Shift key as you click the "Reload" button on the toolbar.
  • Clear the cache: In Firefox Options: "Privacy -> Cache -> Clear Cache Now" (Firefox 1.5) or "Advanced -> Network -> Cache -> Clear now" (Firefox 2). In Mozilla Suite preferences, under "Advanced -> Cache -> Clear Cache".
  • The page may require cookies or popup windows. In Firefox, enable cookies in the Privacy options and enable popup windows under Content. In Mozilla Suite, these settings are enabled under "Privacy & Security -> "Popup Windows" and "Cookies". Also check for related settings in your Internet security software.
  • Many websites need JavaScript to work correctly and some require Java. Make sure these features are enabled in your browser settings and are not being blocked by an extension or by your internet security software.
  • Security software that filters web content or that includes ad-blocking or site-screening features may prevent certain web pages from fully loading. Temporarily disable the security software or go through the program options and disable the content-blocking feature [2].
  • Install a user agent spoofer, such as the User Agent Switcher extension, to make the web site think you are using a different browser.
  • Go through the standard diagnostic steps for Firefox or Mozilla Suite.

Possible solutions for website developers

  • Ensure your code completely or nearly validates to W3 specifications. Use the HTML Validator and the CSS Validator to find errors in your website.
  • Check the JavaScript Console for errors and warnings.
  • Post in the Web Development forum at mozillaZine to get help with your site.
  • Additional resources for web developers trying to identify and solve problems can be found in the external links section of this article.

External links

  • Using Web Standards in your Web Pages is a complete, updated and well structured set of tips, info, explanations and procedures to upgrade webpages to make them work and render as correctly as possible in Firefox 2, MSIE 7, Opera 9, Safari 3, Icab 3, Seamonkey 1.x and in any W3C web standards compliant browser.
  • Mozilla Web Author FAQ
  • Javascript Best Practices lists some of the most frequent coding practices which create problems for javascript and DHTML-driven webpages in Firefox and in modern mainstream browsers. The web page explains and proposes, with small examples, the best coding practices and most recommendable ways of developing problem-free javascript code.

(The page Firefox Support page "Websites look wrong" is based on this page, ).