SiteMeter Crashes Blogs

SiteMeter, the popular web statistics service, is having a huge issue at the moment. It appears that the statistics code will crash anyone visiting a site using SiteMeter with Internet Explorer 5.5, 6 or 7! That’s a whole lot of potential visitors getting “Internet Explorer cannot open the internet site” errors, and not OK of course. I’d expect people fleeing from SiteMeter now…

So what can you do if you’re a SiteMeter user? Well, remove the SiteMeter code, probably located in your site’s footer but that depends on where you put it of course. SiteMeter won’t be able to track your visitors when the code is removed, but on the other hand the people visiting your site will be able to actually see it…

So who uses SiteMeter? Oh, no one in particular, just the b5media blog network, the Gawker sites, Perez Hilton, and a whole bunch more. There’s a nice little list on SiteMeter’s site, but don’t expect to be able to visit it if you’re running Internet Explorer.

For the record, nothing on the SiteMeter blog, and nothing particularly visible on the main site either. Not good, why aren’t they informing people?

Read more at One Project Closer and on Liz Strauss’ blog. A big hat tip to Darren Paul for the heads up!


  1. says

    Is sitemeter that much worse in their service? I have never used sitemeter for my websites. I have been using analytics. I think this would be a good tip for the sitemeter users.

  2. says

    After a long night of frustration I was able to find a comment from Sitemeter support. This is what they had to say regarding a planned outage. One would think they would have notified their clients via email regarding the updates. As you will notice there is no mention of Internet Explorer in the memo. This is not good!! They stand to lose a lot of clients over this “Bug”.

    ———— Quote from SiteMeter Support Page ——–


    Our hosting provider has scheduled an outage on August 3, 2008 from 12:01 AM – 05:00 AM to consolidate their network into a single autonomous system. The following servers will be affected:

    SM1, S17, S21, S26, S36, S37, S38, S39, S40, S41, S46 and S47

    They will be migrating to a new network hardware infrastructure during this maintenance outage. The actual outage time maybe less than scheduled outage time. We apologize that your account will be affected during this scheduled maintenance. If you have any questions please let us know.

    Thank you,
    SiteMeter Support

  3. says

    You can add me to the list of people that use Sitemeter. Or rather, you can add me to the list of people who “used” it. I took it off and have no plans to put it back at this time…

  4. says

    Use the “Regular HTML” version of the sitemeter code — prevents the IE crashing problem and lets you keep tracking visitor stats.

    In your sitemeter code, get rid of everything except what’s between the noscript tags.

    Or grab the “Regular HTML” code from your sitemeter account at Manager > HTML code.

    The limitation is that referrers can’t be tracked using the regular html sitemeter code, so we’ll all need to switch codes again once sitemeter releases a fix. (I don’t think MSFT is going to release a fix first….)

    Thanks to this comment from John Martin on Inquisitr for explaining how this problem affects IE, which was the a-ha moment for using the workaround.

  5. says

    Yep, that little bug hit us, too. Wish I would have seen your blog article BEFORE I spent an hour tracking it down

    Not sure we’ll put that code back in.

  6. says

    I’d recommend Clicky to anyone looking for an alternative (also JavaScript based and free).

    I’ve been using it for ages now, and it’s very good — superior to SiteMeter IMO. My favourite feature is the ability to hook it into your site’s cookies and such, so on my phpBB forum stats I have the usernames instead of IPs in the reports, same for WordPress, etc.

    They do have a (slightly biased) graph of how it compares to SiteMeter and others on their front page. I’ve tried every service they compare it to and more, and I do conclude Clicky is my favourite.

    Clicky just so happens to be the service that Performancing Metrics is a white label of, as an aside. :)

  7. says

    Ouch! That’s why I developed my own web analyitcs app: and Google Analytics is NOT real-time (I have no idea how they can get away with that), so if you use Google Analytics and your site is mentioned on a high traffic blog, you won’t know until a day or so later…

  8. says


    Thanks for the heads up on Clicky. I took a look at the features and it looks really interesting The timing is good as I no longer running SiteMeter. Will take me a while to get over that little “Bug”

    When I was following all of the different posts regarding what the SiteMeter /IE7 crashing problem was and the many ways it could have been avoided. . Seems like a lot of people wanted to place the blame on Internet Explorer since everything was fine with FireFox and other browsers.I really like FireFox and recommend to users, however in the real world of browsing the net Internet Explorer has a much larger market share.
    The total global usage share of Internet Explorer is 83.27 percent which is 2.54 percent less as in June 2007. Most people are still using Internet Explorer 6 which is 53.95 percent which is 2.45 percent less as in June 2007. The current global usage share of Internet Explorer 7 is 29.06 percent and increased 1.35 percent since June 2007.
    These figures come from

  9. says

    Now it makes sense why I started getting the irritating ““Internet Explorer cannot open the internet site” ” error. And I thought IE6 was to blame!

  10. says

    Yep, we have to be very careful about not blaming IE for everything that goes wrong on a particular website. IE usually gets the blame for poor programming and lack of testing. The only time the website is at fault is if the error is on Firefox… Because it’s oh so perfect!

    This is a classic example about the FF die-hards attacking IE with no real proof of the problem.

  11. says

    Actually, Felipe, although the error is indeed a faulty in IE, that doesn’t make it OK for a service to not test everything properly. The web is full with hacks to make sites look decent in IE6, it is every designer’s nightmare (or not, but it’s a bore to fix everything for sure), and you’ll be blaming the designer if the site looks crap for some 30% of the visitors, won’t you? Even though IE isn’t standards compliant…

    So it is not a matter of IE vs. FF, it is poor testing on SiteMeter’s behalf, and something that just shouldn’t happen.

  12. says

    i’m a site meter user because this the only free service i know that i can esily access my visitors but because of your topics i guess i have to shift to google webmaster tools

  13. says

    I hope they have sorted this issue by now! I stopped using them back in ’06 after I heard that they were sharing user information.

    I now use statcounter and google analytics.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *