You click on a link. Your browser returns the dreaded "Server not found" message. You get discouraged. You check your link for a typo--none. You make sure your Internet connection is still working--yes. You hit refresh a few times in an attempt to coax the site back online--zilch. You frown. You close your browser, turn off your computer, and go outside.
Okay, perhaps your everyday bit of Web browsing doesn't end in quite as disastrous of an outcome. But still, there's no denying that Web browser errors can be frustrating when you're trying to access a particular piece of information that's mission-critical to the task at-hand. And your inability to connect to said site could be occurring for any number of reasons, including the dreaded typo, an overloaded server, or some kind of muck-up via your ISP. But how do you know what's going on? It's not like Firefox's "sorry" page is of much use to your digital detective work.
Well you, friend, need a Watson to your Holmes. In this case, your enterprising sidekick is none other than the Firefox Extension ErrorZilla Plus--and using it will give you a whole host of new options for combatting page-loading errors.
The beauty of ErrorZilla is that you don't have to actually do anything, save for installing the add-on. Just sit back and surf the Web as normal. When you come across a page error, ErrorZilla kicks in to present you with a few options for navigating around your (hopefully temporary) roadblock. Of the eight different techniques to try, you can attempt to access a Google Cache or Coralized version of the page with the touch of a button. You can also try pulling up an older version of the page using the ol' Internet Archive Wayback Machine, or test the capacity of the site's server to receive requests by pinging or tracerouting it directly.
That's a lot better than just madly clicking refresh in hopes the page loads, eh? Oh, yes, you can also use ErrorZilla to do that too.
Every Tuesday, Maximum PC picks a new Firefox add-on as its favorite of the week. Have a nifty extension that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.