Laptop with browser graphic

Five annoying aspects about websites

I’ve been both a blogger and an internet user for quite some time now. As such, I’ve seen plenty of changes to the World Wide Web. However, there’s plenty about the modern state of websites that are, well, annoying. Below are five things that bother me about modern websites.

Browser notification requests (and how to turn them off)

One annoying website aspect is seeing a browser-based popup asking if I’d like to receive notifications from said site. While I expect this on sites that actually need such (like map-based sites), the notification requests tend to pop up on rather random sites. Never mind that with a few exceptions, I expect notifications from my computer or smartphone, not my browser.

To turn off browser notification requests by default:

  • Chrome: Under settings, go to Privacy and Security > Site Settings > Notifications, then select “Don’t allow sites to send notifications.”
  • Firefox: Under preferences, go to Privacy & Security > Permissions, then click “Settings” next to “Notifications.” In the popup window, select “Block new requests asking to allow notifications” and select “Save Changes.”
  • Edge: Under settings, go to Cookies and Site Permissions > Site Permissions > Notifications, then set “Ask before sending (recommended)” to off.
  • Safari: Under preferences, go to Notifications, then deselect “Allow websites to ask for permission to send notifications.”

The above browsers also contain options to turn on/off notifications for individual sites.

Sites that still include Google+ share buttons

Google sign
“Google Logo 1” by Ryan J. Quick is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Flickr / cropped from original)

Another annoying aspect is seeing the Google+ share button still included on some websites.

For those that forgot: Google+ was Google’s social network attempt, launched in 2011 as a would-be Facebook competitor. While I liked Google+, unfortunately it never caught on; as I’ve written before, Facebook has an iron grip on the social media landscape. As such, Google shut Google+ down in 2019.

Despite the shutdown being two years ago (and with plenty of advance warning), I still see some sites include Google+ among its share buttons. This seems to suggest a lack of attention to site updates/maintenance.

Sites that aren’t mobile friendly

There’s still some sites that aren’t mobile friendly, despite smartphones and tablets dominating most web browsing nowadays. For sites running WordPress or Ghost, most themes by default are mobile friendly these days. You’d have to go out of your way to not be mobile friendly; either that, or it’s a sign you haven’t updated your site design in a few years.

Still, I wrote a post back in 2016 about making your WordPress site mobile friendly. While WPTouch is no longer updated, Jetpack still offers a default mobile theme.

Not using HTTPS

HTTPS graphic
Image by skylarvision from Pixabay

Some sites still aren’t using HTTPS, or don’t load the HTTPS version by default.

For the latter, browsers can use the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension to ensure getting the HTTPS versions of websites.

Autoplaying video

Finally, I’ve written about autoplaying video before, and why it’s awful. See that post for details, including how to block such.

Image by janjf93 from Pixabay

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