I recently came across a web page that really surprised the heck out of me. I get it; I really do… but is it worth risking traffic to your website?
I was reading an article on LiberalLogic.com, today. As the page loaded, a yellow banner opened at the top of the page. It says,
“Firefox users we wanted to take this space to let you know what Mozilla, the company that makes Firefox has been doing, and it’s not good. Mozilla recently forced it’s CEO to resign because he had, 5 years ago, donated $1,000 to a pro-family political group. Apparently Mozilla is intolerant of anyone that disagrees with their Liberal view of politics. To read more please visit WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com. (We aren’t blocking Firefox, but we feel it is important to let you know what’s going on.)”
*For those Grammar-Nazi types, that is a direct copy and paste from the web page. Also, I removed the link, because I don’t want you going there… yet.
Before I even got to the article I sought, I clicked the supplied link to find out what the heck was going on. Apparently, the person(s) who put this all together felt it important to make a statement about the recent media smear that occurred between OKCupid and Firefox, and its CEO, Brendan Eich. The gist of it is this, OKCupid, a dating website, didn’t like that Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich, had made a “personal” contribution to back Proposition 8, which supported the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. So, OKCupid called for a boycott of Firefox, blocking Firefox users from visiting their website. This in turn, set off others to boycott Firefox and block Firefox users from visiting their websites as well.
I understand why people feel they need to do something drastic to make a statement. However, I have to think there are smarter people out there. If you’re like me, you’re fighting for stats on your website. You are trying to get traffic to your website! Do you feel your statement is worth traffic to your business? I don’t. In fact, I don’t think that boycotting a company for what a man, CEO or not, in that company, does with his personal time and money is a wise thing to do.
Internet Explorer tends to get the higher percentage of users in website traffic… but that’s probably because every Windows computer sold has it installed. You must download Mozilla Firefox and Chrome if you want to use a faster and safer browser. Right now, Firefox and Chrome seem to be competing against each other more than they are competing with IE. However, Firefox users are a steady stream of traffic to my website.
WhyFirefoxisBlocked.com gives you some choices if you decide you want to jump on this Boycott ban-wagon. You can grab their script to send all your Firefox traffic to their website where they a commentary in three short paragraphs that explains your redirect. Then they will offer you four different choices of browsers to use instead of Firefox. What this means to you is, if you use this first choice script, you’re sending all your Firefox traffic away. That could be up to 50% of your traffic. Then you’re asking those visitors and potential customers to take the time (what little they have) to download and install an alternative browser so they can go back to your website to peruse your product. Oh, by the way, they don’t link back to your site… This means that your potential customers will have to look you up again. From my experience, no web surfer, casual or otherwise, is going to go through that trouble. They will move on and you will have lost a sale.
The second script offered is less intrusive but no less annoying. It is what I like to call the “Nag” script. It hangs at the top of your Firefox window alerting Firefox users that their company is boycotting Firefox.This is the least invasive. You still get to peruse the website’s product. But as you’re staring at this warning sign, which quite literally nags at you, you begin to wonder if you’re actually seeing everything that this website has to offer. Perhaps they’ve blocked content to Firefox users. So, they click the link in the nag, taking them to the WhyFirefoxisBlocked.com website. They have the same choices as I mentioned before. Download another browser.
Here I am at an impasse in my endeavors to read an article. Do I want to return to the article that brought me to where I am now? No. That website just lost my business.
As much as I am sure, you want to make a statement, make sure you’re not making a personal statement that affects your business in a negative way. You want traffic! If you have plenty of traffic and business without Firefox users, then by all means, block that traffic. Perhaps they’ll end up on my website instead.