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Sitemeter bug takes down thousands of web sites (for Internet Explorer users)

Sitemeter crash
Thousands of web sites are currently inaccessible to Internet Explorer 5.5, 6, and 7 users thanks to a new Sitemeter bug. Sitemeter is a free web analytics service used by many popular blogs and web sites including Lifehacker, Gizmodo, and Consumerist. They all appear to be affected as of this morning. It's worth noting that the bug only affects Internet Explorer users. The web sites load just fine in Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

It's likely that the bug is due to tracking code changes Sitemeter has been rolling out. Visitors to web sites using the code who are using IE will see the page start to load, and then get an error message. When you click OK to make the error message go away, the entire site goes with it. Nice.

If your site has been affected it looks like you have two options. You can either remove the code altogether until Sitemeter gets its act together, or you can try modifying your code by using the plain HTML version instead of the Javascript version. If you take the latter route, your counter won't show up thanks to another bug, but at least it will continue tracking visits to your site.

Thanks Darren Paul!

Update: It looks like the bug has been fixed.

Tags: bug, crash, outage, sitemeter, web-analytics