Browser compatability for images (help)

  ligeti 15:53 01 Jul 04

I have a client (at last!) and have developed a website for his business. He has just got back to me complaining that none of the images are showing. I checked this on a few other PCs and all seemed fine. It was then suggested that the images are possibly not showing on different browsers? How do I correct this? I have tried to fathom this out in Dreamweaver but to be quite honest i get lost in the terminology, however it seemed to suggest that you must decide before hand who your target audience (concerning browsers) is and develop your site accordingly - is this correct? In which case do I then tell my client to buy a new PC or something??
Hope you can help

  Taran 17:44 01 Jul 04

I can well imagine your clients reaction if you suggest he or she buys a new PC..


Several things come to mind here.

You don't mention your clients system configuration at all and this is possibly where the problems lie.

Are they behind a network (and its security) or do they have direct outside access on a single PC to the web ?

Do they have a firewall (software or hardware or both) ?

Which browser are they using, what version is it and which version of Windows are they running ?

If, as you say, other people are able to view the site without any problems my first guess would be some form of security software is intercepting the images and preventing their display.

What is the file format you used for the site images and what naming convention is being used ?

The quickest and easiest way to check a site on alternative browsers is to install them on your development PC and test the site before and after it goes live in each one. Check PC Advisor cover disks for copies of some other browsers.

I keep Opera, NetScape, Mozilla and Internet Explorer on my main Windows development computers and I also routinely check my sites on one of my Apple Macs and in Konqueror on Linux, just to be sure the widest audience possible can view the site without issues.

I've not encountered a problem where alternative browsers were responsible for preventing images from displaying on a site unles the image was deemed some sort of advert. Some browsers and firewalls feature ad blocking and sometimes it can be a little too enthusiastic. That's why I asked about the naming convention you used for the images. Depending on how you name them they could be viewed as an ad and blocked by certain software applications.

  ligeti 20:43 01 Jul 04

Hi Taran, thanks for your response.
I asked about my clients browser type and system configuration, they replied: "I use a normal PC".
I don't know if they are behind a network, but they did report that no pictures where present when they tried to view the site from a motorway service station.
You asked me: "What is the file format you used for the site images and what naming convention is being used?" Not exactly sure what you mean by naming convention, But here is an example from a typical line containing image instructions:
<img src="pics/logo0.gif" width="194" height="112">
In Dreamweaver the 'img' part of this code is underlined with a red wavy line with a message that pops up on mouse over saying: "Tag IMG is missing required attribute alt [Mozilla 1.0, Netscape Navigator 7.0, Safari 1.0]"
Thanks (hope you can help)

  Taran 21:20 01 Jul 04

The missing required attribute you mention is the ALT tag, which is a text desciption of the image and is used for accessibility and other purposes. It is not vital to the image for display purposes but it is good practice to use ALT tags for images. The ALT tag should be a few words that describe the image, along the lnes of:

Main page logo


Space Shuttle launch

or whatever the image actually is. You should avoid using the words image, picture or anything along those lines in an ALT tag, but it should contain a few words describing the image. Missing ALT tags will not stop your images from displaying though.

When I asked about file formats and anming conventions I was aksing whether you were using GIF, JPG or PNG file formats for your site images. Naming conventions are a logical naming system. When managaing a large collection of imagers on a site it is important to keep them named in a manner that allows you to come back tot he site at a later date and see at a glance what you are working with. The naming convention could be anything you see fit that you can work with.

As an example, I keep an images folder in the web root and all images go into it. On a large site I might have other folders in the images folder called gallery, thumbs, or whatever else I need, but on a small site I might just drop every picture into the images folder.

My own naming conventions for images and other files follows a logical name structure that I like to use. Other designers follow their own system.

Ayway, the drag myself kicking and screaming back to the point in hand, if you don't mind, would you post a URL for us to look at ?

If yuo would rather not display the site on a public forum like this which would be entirely justified in many circumstances, perhaps you'd be willing to email me the link ?

If you want to do that just click on the envelope icon next to my username and send me a message with the site address. I'll look at the source code and make certain that all is as it should be.

I can't help but suspect that the files are not present or are not named as they are in the source code. The most common reason for images not displaying is that they haven't been uploaded, or if they have the HTML that makes up the site points to the wrong image.

As an example your line of code is looking for an image called logo0.gif in the folder called pics. If the image is actually called logoO.gif (capital letter O instead of the digit or number 0) then the image will not be found.

There could still be a simple reason why your client cannot view the images, but it would help if I could look at the site and check out the underlying code.

  Taran 23:19 01 Jul 04

there are no missing images on the site, or if there are they're doing a very good job of hiding. Nothing failed to load and I checked all the pages in Internet Explorer and Mozilla.

If the motorway service station PC failed to display the images then I'd imagine it is a problem or deliberately configured limitation of that computer.

I'd be interested to learn whether there are any other computers that fail to load the page correctly or whether it was just that one. If it is just that one then two real possibilities come to mind. Either it is having a headache displaying images (or certain types of image) or security measures are in place to prevent the images displaying, and this is possibly the one to go for. If not one of the images were showing up I'd guess that the PC has had image support removed or otherwise locked off, for obvious reasons...

As I mentioned in my first reply, this could be down to an unruly firewall or even an unusual browser setting, but it cold also be down to how the system has been set up if image browsing is something that the owner wanted disallowed. I often do this for clients who have several staff members accessing the web through a small number of computers. On a fairly open network or computer leaving full image support in the browser can get the computer owner into a lot of trouble if someone is looking at things they shouldn't be. It's a heavy handed approach but some circumstances demand it.

Anyway, I like the site layout and no, I can't find any images failing to load anywhere.

One point I would make though, is an amendment to your <title></title> tags. Currently they are as follows:

<title>Spanish&Portuguese Property Investments</title>

And that is displayed in the browser head as Spanish&Portuguese Property Investments.

I'd suggest altering it to this:

<title>Spanish & Portuguese Property Investments</title>

It will display as follows:

Spanish & Portuguese Property Investments

This does two things. It replaces the & character you used with a legal code version of the character (&) that all browsers can cope with and it puts a space between the words and the displayed & sign. Sorry if you think I'm being picky but, well, that's me.

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