Why do some web sites make my browser freak out?

I used to have rudimentary coding skills back when it was plain HTML. But modern web sites run lots of scripts and stuff. I use the Mercury Browser on my iPad, and every so often a site will just confuse the hell out of it. It will lock up, forget what it was doing, go unresponsive and crash.

Why? It’s a decent browser most of the time. This morning I tried to read an article on The Nation, and it went nuts. What could that site be doing to cause this behavior?

I’ll be grateful if a tech person could explain this in small words.

I’m no web developer or coder, but, IME, when a web page does this to me, it’s nearly always because there’s an ad embedded in the page with bad / wonky coding, which mucks everything up.

Or, even worse with some sites, there are multiple ads, all of them competing for processing time.

Generally speaking, web sites cater to the Tier 1 web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer. (In the US, forget Opera and Safari.) Niche web browsers are numerous and unknown so developers go for the biggest bang for the buck. At the same time, too many web developers do not design to meet standards-compliance.

In other words, unless the web site is standards-compliant, and the web browser is properly designed, there will be problems.

Try this:

Does the site function when viewed in Chrome, Firefox and IE? If so, the problem rests with the Mercury browser. If the site is screwy when viewed in the top three browsers, the site is the problem (and the Mercury browser may/may not have issues itself).

Also could depend on how old your browser is. I haven’t updated my machine in many years, and I’m still running Firefox 3.6.9. Little by little, more and more web sites work poorly or not at all in my browser.

HTML5 is all the rage now, and also the latest version of CSS. More and more sites are coding to these newer standards. Older browsers either don’t support that, or only partially do. So your browser version matters too.