Custom Search

Saturday, August 02, 2008

IE7 and Sitemeter, 'Operation Aborted’ Error

[Update] Site meter fixes their coding, apologizes and says all is working again. Whole message shown below the original post.

There is a widespread problem throughout the blogging world with those that that use the popular free sitemeter service and accessing those sites for people using Internet Explorer 7.
Last night dozens of emails hit my email box telling me that my site could not be accessed by readers. When the situation was delved into a little more it seemed that those using Firefox/Mozilla or Safari could access the site perfectly but those using Internet Explorer 7 were receiving an error saying "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site (URL for site) Operation aborted".

I also found it was not just my site, but throughout the Internet, bloggers and websites that use the popular SiteMeter page counting site, were having the same problem.

SiteMeter is a real time website tracking and counter tools that give users instant access to vital information and data about your sites audience.

As of this moment, there hasn’t been any official statement from SiteMeter via their blog nor by their support personnel regarding the outage, but their main site still functions smoothly. Still, for all sites running the JavaScript based counter, when users come to the site using Internet Explorer 7, the page attempts to load, and then pops up a dialog box that says “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site . Operation aborted.”

According to Mashable, some very popular blogs as well as smaller blogs' readers started having the same problem and it isn't just limited to IE7 users, some IE6.x are similarly affected.

As of now there is no word from SiteMeter, via their blog and users affected can contact them via their contact page to report the issue.

Many I have spoken to about this problem simply deactivated or disabled their SiteMeter temporarily in order to allow the appropriate actions to be taken to correct the problem.

By doing a google search, keywords IE and SiteMeter, one can see that the problem hit fast and hard and is affecting blogs of all sizes and popularity.

More from LGF.

Update: Wired is also tracking this and it seems Gawker sites have been affected as well.

A number of web sites that use SiteMeter tracking code to monitor the number of visitors to their site are reporting that the code is causing Internet Explorer browsers to crash when users visit their sites.

I haven't spent time testing a lot of sites, but the Gawker Media sites all seem to be affected. These include Gawker, Valleywag, Gizmodo and Lifehacker, among others.

The problem appears to be affecting IE 5.5, 6.0 and 7.0. Internet surfers using IE to access a site that has SiteMeter tracking it receive a message saying the site cannot be loaded and "operation aborted." The issue seems to have begun late afternoon Friday.

SiteMeter has not responded to a request for comment and so far has posted no announcement to its web site addressing the issue. But SiteMeter's blog has a few posts published earlier this week referencing its move to a new platform and changes to its tracking code.

A number of sites are reporting that once they remove the SiteMeter code, the problem disappears and their page loads fine in IE.

Those are some big sites affected, but removing the code helps. I replaced mine with statcounter for now and people say they can access it again. [End Update]

Message from SiteMeter saying they fixed the problem and explaining what happened.

Dear SiteMeter Users,

We corrected a compatibility issue with our SiteMeter tracking code and IE7 and IE6 browsers that started last night.

The problem was related to some work we were doing on the backend system for our upcoming website launch.

We’ve identified and resolved two separate but related issues -

1 - IE Users viewing pages - The error occured when the SiteMeter tag was not a direct child of the body tag (e.g. if the tag was within a table or div). Recent changes we made created a failure for visitors viewing sites using Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 6.

2 - Accessing SiteMeter and Stats - Individuals trying to access or view their SiteMeter stats by clicking on their SiteMeter logo/icons were unable to gain access. This again appears to have affected only individuals using IE7 and IE6.

At this time both problems have been fixed and our services are fully operational.

For those who removed the SiteMeter code from your pages please be assured that the problem has been resolved and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any questions please let us know by submitting a support ticket at

The SiteMeter Team