Strange error message

January 3, 2013

The other day a retailer gave me a web address (mercator.com.au) to check for a product. I entered it into Firefox–without the ‘www’–and got this strange (almost rude) error message:


Nothing on the page was clickable and there was no indication that I needed to type the ‘www’. So, because I’m a determined little bunny, I then added the ‘www’ bit (www.mercator.com.au) and this time I got the correct site.

These days, browsers like Firefox etc. normally resolve the ‘www’ bit and add it automatically, but not in this instance. Back in the day, it used to be that an address without the ‘www’ and one with the ‘www’ had to be linked (by the domain host?) so that they would resolve correctly, no matter what the user entered. Obviously that didn’t happen in this case, but the web developer did take the time to write this error message — I think that time would have been better spent making sure that the non-www URL resolved correctly.

[Links last checked January 2013]


  1. When things work…it’s great! When they don’t…well…..things can get strange!

  2. This reminds me of an unpleasant situation when a developer, colleague of mine, entered a comment (injury) into the code and forgot about it. I remember the QA Engineer testing the code felt offended and made a big case around that forgotten injury. Think what could have happen if the customer would have seen it….

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