Web designers: stop wasting time breaking the Internet

By andy

What is it about some web designers that, instead of spending time on developing a great user interface and making the site look good, decide to add code that breaks basic functionality.

A couple of days ago someone sent me a link to an article about gadget discounts. When I visited the site, not only was the link to the manufacturer not hyperlinked, but the left mouse button had been disabled when the pointer was over text in order to stop copy and pasting.

I had to type in the URL because I could neither click through nor C&P.

Huh?

When I examined the code I noticed some other “niceties” such as a ‘ban’ on right-clicking over images.

The code looked for anyone using Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator (seriously, what decade are we living in?) and, if they dared to right click on an image, a pop-up box spewed out a copyright message.

They hadn’t bothered to do a complete job on the code, mind, because using Safari I was quite able to copy the image.

That said, I would have been able to copy the images and text anyway. Automated scrapers would’ve managed it. Anyone intent on ‘stealing’ content would have done so regardless.

The only people this tactic hurts are regular surfers who just want to use their PC and the web in the way it was designed.

Hyperlinks. Full mouse functionality. Copy and paste.

It really shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Web designers: if your client asks you to ‘protect’ their web pages, please politely decline, inform them that there’s no way to stop people determined to copy content, and then design to standards and principles that don’t crap all over your visitors.

Thank you.

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