There's no reason whyfirefoxisbanned!

Some sites are choosing to stop Firefox users from visiting because they have the ability to block adverts. Will they really increase revenue by blocking part of their potential audience?

Having just read the Lifehacker story about the whyfirefoxisbanned site (no, I'm not going to link to it), I thought I'd share a very quick opinion on the subject.

As some may have seen (if you use IE), I show a warning recommending Firefox to IE users who visit my site. This isn't because there's something really nasty in IE, only that it doesn't display my standards compliant page properly (mainly because of the lack of PNG transparency).

The site against Firefox complains that people are using adBlock to stop adverts from being displayed. Although this is true (I even use adBlock myself), I wouldn't say this warranted backlash against the browser. With Firefox getting more market-share they are cutting out a growing amount of visitors.

When not blocking ads

When I visit a site with advertising all over the page - a block in the middle of the article, lots at the top and bottom, and especially intellitxt type ads - I leave immediately... It doesn't matter if the content was something I was looking for, if I am presented with extremely intrusive adverts I go somewhere else. The site usually gets put on my 'avoid' list too.

When blocking ads

When I visit a site that doesn't have intrusive adverts - maybe a banner at the top, or one under the navigation bar at the side - and I visit often (like Lifehacker and Digg), I will put a rule in adBlock to allow the ads on those sites.

You may ask "why would I do that when you won't click on them?", but the fact is, if they're relevant ads, then I might. Granted, I'm not in the habit of clicking on every advert I see for a cool gadget, but if something really catches my eye with a good offer for something I'm looking for, I'll at least go and have a look.

What should they do instead?

2 simple steps:

  1. Read M. David Peterson's post on O'Reilly's blog and try and understand why it's not in anyone's interest to block any type of user.
  2. Create good content with non-intrusive advertising. The fact that you take some time in making sure your visitors are treated to a nice, comfortable visit to your site will make them like you and visit again and again.

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About the author

Portrait of the author

On weekdays I'm a Senior Software Engineer at Comparethemarket.com, having previously been a Solution Architect at Nokia & Nokia Siemens Networks, creating creative software solutions for mobile operators around the world.

In my spare time I'm an avid new technology fan, and constantly strive to find innovative uses for the new gadgets I manage to get my hands on. Most recently I've been investigating Mobile Codes, RFID and Home automation (mainly Z-Wave). With a keen eye for usability I'm attempting to create some cost-effective, DIY technology solutions which would rival even high-end retail products. The software I develop is usually released as Open Source.

I have a Finnish geek partner, so have begun the difficult task of learning Finnish.


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