General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Why won't some websites allow you to use the "back" button on your browser?

Asked by AshlynM (6657 points ) May 14th, 2012

No matter how many times you push it, the site will remain stubborn and force you to stay on the page. The only way out would be either to go to your home screen or exit out the browser completely.

Why is this? Does it depend on the browser?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They are “sticky” websites, look them up on a Google search. They want you to stay on their website.

rebbel's avatar

In some browsers (Opera, Chrome, others?) you can right-click the back button.
It will show you a list of the last visited websites; simply click the desired site (the one previously visited) and you are gone from the sticky one.

gambitking's avatar

sometimes, when you go to a new page, it is opened in a new tab on your browser, and there literally IS no “back” on that tab, it’s the first page you’ve visited on that tab so there’s nowhere for you to go back to.

In other cases, the website is as the above posters describe, but you have multiple means by which to get out of there, including just clicking on the last entry in your history prior to that page.

thorninmud's avatar

Super annoying. I can only imagine that this is done to drive up their stats so their numbers look better to potential advertisers.

Anyway, it’s all done with HTML coding tricks.

Brian1946's avatar

It could be that some pages are scripted so that the back button redirects you to the present page, rather than to the previous one.

If you right click on the back button, the location for the immediately previous page should be at the top of the list. Perhaps the script writes the present page location onto the top of that list, which then bumps the previous page location one line down on the list.

This is probably why I can usually escape such a page by double clicking on the back button.

ETpro's avatar

Why? Because some humans are flaming A-holes and some of those build websites, or have them built. These site owners somehow think they can make you like them enough to do business with them if only they beat you over the head with a bludgeon long enough. Lord knows what sort of mischief they would be up to with anyone unfortunate enough to give them credit card info.

@thorninmud has given you the how. There’s the why.

DeanV's avatar

Perhaps they’re coded in flash?

mowens's avatar

IT’s true. Some websites are coded with only forward progression in mind. Why would you want to go back?

Programmers have to think of all possibilities. Even the smallest thing can be over looked. Such as going backwards.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Some web pages load the ads as a seperate “page” after the actual page your looking at (lovefilm.com I am looking at you). So when you click back you are actually just loading the ads again so you have to click back 2 or 3 times quickly to actually go back to the last page.

ETpro's avatar

@Lightlyseared As a developer, I can tell you that it’s possible, if users don’t have apps to prevent it, to permanently lock them on the site unless they place an order. The only way out of the best coded ones is to use the three fingered salute, call up the control panel and then the task manager, and shut down the browser task. Even trying to close the browser just triggers a Don’t leave message. This is mostly done by porn sites, and every click you execute to try to escape allows installation of yet another tracking cookie or virus. You just don’t know that’s what the click is “agreeing” to do.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@ETpro I’ve set my OS (so any borwser installed) so that it won’t resolve the IP adress of any site that appears on a (constantly updated) list of known malicious sites. It can be a bit of a pain sometimes but it generally means that should I go to a page like that I end up staring at a blank screen and a confused little mesage telling me that I don’t seem to be connected to the web any more.

ETpro's avatar

@Lightlyseared I just use the three fingered salute to get to the Task Manager and let me shut the browser’s core executable down. But a blacklist might be worth investigating.

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