At the end of February, we quietly launched our new website. There were a few small hiccups in the beginning, as is expected with any website launch, but they were ironed out quickly.
But then, we started to notice a significant dip in traffic. We first attributed this to the fact that it’s ‘slow season’ for us, but then the dip kept dipping. Further investigation revealed a monumental problem: Our site wasn’t playing well with the built-in Facebook browser.
Here’s what was happening. When a user would click one of our links in their Facebook app, the Facebook default browser would try to open the link, only to throw a “Page can’t be loaded” error. This only happened if the app setting ‘Open Links Externally’ was not selected.
Sometimes the page would load, sometimes it wouldn’t. We had no way of seeing this error in action unless we had the specific setting set to default (using the Facebook built-in browser vs. the phone’s default browser).
Still following? It’s annoying to say the least, but we finally figured it out yesterday.
We use a plugin on our website that allows for server-side caching, which ultimately provides a better and faster experience for the user. This plugin, for whatever reason, was not playing nice with the Facebook browser. Maybe they have some debugging to do on their end. Who knows.
So, we apologize to anyone who has seen this error over the last almost two months, but it seems that it’s resolved.
Now, let’s get that traffic back up.