FAQ: Solving and Reporting Technical Problems
We've consolidated a few tips and tricks for solving some of the common site difficulties into this thread. Plus, we have some suggestions on how to report problems so that Engineering can find them and fix them.
Check below for:
Reporting and Discussing Bugs
Solving Registration and Login Problems
Clearing your Browser's Cache, Taking Screenshots
Finding Missing Posts
Reporting and Discussing Bugs
Bug reports in the Site Talk forum can be a great help to the Engineering team. Many of you know the site quite well and notice quickly when something goes wrong. Your assistance in tracking down problems is always appreciated. To help make the reporting process easier, here are a few tips:
- Use descriptive titles for bug-related threads. “Error when adding new restaurants” is helpful; “ARGH! It’s broken!” is not. We can find bug-related posts much faster when they are labeled appropriately.
- Keep each bug in its own thread. Check recent threads to see if there's already one about your problem before starting a new thread, but please don't bring it up in unrelated threads. That may get attention, but also makes it harder for us to organize the information we need to identify and solve each bug.
- Find a happy medium between detail and brevity. Include the browser and OS you were using when you saw the bug, especially if it is different from the setup you normally use or if it only happens on one setup and not another. Providing the time and day when you saw the issue can also help. Finally, keep an eye out for patterns in the problems you are reporting. For example, if a bug only occurs for very large threads, or when visiting recipes posted by only certain users, or when a certain ad is also showing on the page, then that information may be relevant.
- Show us the issue -- take a screenshot and use the photo upload function to share it with us if it's something visibly broken. If an error message pops-up, copy and paste the message into your report.
- Once we’ve stopped asking questions about a problem and/or identified the issue, please be patient. There are a lot of factors affecting the amount of time it takes to track down a bug, fix it, and apply the solution to the live site, even when the problem is simple.
Registration and Login Problems
When you register a new account, you should get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject 'Confirmation instructions'. Click on the big blue button, or copy and paste the URL into your browser's address bar in order to activate your account.
If you don't receive the email within a few minutes of registering, please start by checking your spam folder. It's very common for these emails to end up there.
If it's not there either, please send an email to email@example.com from the address you used to register, letting us know your username and that you're having difficulties, and we can activate your account for you.
If you've successfully logged in before, but you're having trouble logging in, please try switching between your username and your email -- either should work, but some people have more luck with one than the other.
If it looks like you've logged in, and you don't get an error message, but the site is treating you as logged out or sending you to your profile instead of letting you post, try these things:
- Return to the page you want to post on and refresh your browser so it reloads the page. Just doing this will solve most of these problems.
- Log out and log back in, and reload the page again. Try posting and see if it works.
- If neither of those options works, there may be a problem with your cookies. Check that your computer is allowing cookies from CHOW.com. Cookies may be blocked in the security options in your web browser, or by your firewall or adware software. Remove any existing CHOW.com cookies, and try logging in, refreshing the page, and posting again.
- An incorrect date and time setting on your computer can also make your cookies work incorrectly so check those, as well.
If you're still having difficulties, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a detailed description of the problems you're running into and we'll try to help.
Finding Missing Posts
The first place to look for a thread you've participated in is in your profile. Click 'view profile' in the top right corner of the screen.
If the thread still exists, if your posts have not been removed, and it hasn't been closed, it will appear in 'my threads'.
If your post was recent (among your last 30 posts), it will appear in the 'my posts' section, even if the thread is closed or was split into multiple threads. You can click through to find your post.
If the thread isn't listed and the post doesn't appear on your list, it's possibly your post has been removed. You can try using the built-in search or Google site search (use site:chow.com with your keywords for a Google search) to find the thread based on the keywords you remember about it.
If you find the thread and your post isn't there, it's probably been removed. If you're not sure why, check your registered email address (including the spam folder) for an explanation, as we may have already sent one. If we didn't send one, it's probably one of these things:
1. It wasn't a significant issue. Sometimes there just isn't time to email, but there's no need to worry you'll get in trouble for something we've never even warned you about before.
2. If you were replying to something else, and it also got removed, the problem may not have been with your post.
3. If it was just your post that got removed, it's probably covered in our Etiquette: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605
If you still have a question about whether or why something was removed, or you want a copy of it, you can write to us at email@example.com Please provide details about the post you're concerned about, what thread it was on, when it was made, etc, as that helps us track down the situation.