Yo-Yo Scrolling Got You (almost) Down?

Yo-yo Scrolling: image
Lately I’ve been coming across sites that just won’t let you scroll down. Hm. I seem to have seen this place before. Huh? How did I end up back here when I was decidedly aiming to go down. Is your footer VIP only? Are you hiding something down there? Like bad code, maybe. Bad yo-yo scrolling site.

So imagine my confusion when I discovered I had one of those sites! Namely right here on weppot.com.

During the inevitable forum crawl that ensued, I discovered that the problem has been around for a while. And it happens mainly to Chrome users, like myself.

Solutions abound, most of them are just awkward workarounds for your user. Here’s how it worked out for me:

  • Use arrow keys: tried it, didn’t work
  • User Page Down: tried it, didn’t work
  • Use Ctrl + End: tried it, didn’t work
  • Resize Browser: worked! But I would like to see the whole page, please. I’m not on my phone.
  • Reinstall Chrome: Really? How about no.
  • Disable Flash: Not just yet, unlike Steve Jobs Flash ain’t entirely dead.
  • Try the scroll wheel: don’t have one. I use a graphic tablet!
  • Use a different Mouse: yeah, just wait here while I score a mouse on the scroll market.
  • Right click and select ‘Inspect Element’: ok, that works. But do you seriously expect me to scroll with half the page obscured by the Developer Tools Panel???

What is causing this problem in Chrome? Some say it’s Flash. It could also be CSS that’s not as tight as it should be. But while I couldn’t speak for other sites, I did have the responsibility to keep my own WordPress blog turf fault free.

None of the above mentioned issues applied to me. What was my problem? Has it always been there? Not that I’ve noticed. What have I changed lately. Not much, except… All evidence pointed to the, oh, the horror, the inconspicuous flybox plugin! No, not my beloved flybox! I just got this thing, gave it a rave review and it works like a charm, right? It’s keeping my bounce rate down, isn’t it? That may be indeed the case, but while it was keeping my users from bouncing off the site, was it also keeping them scroll-bouncing on my pages? Not good. And worst of all, was my technically savvy friend right when he warned: “I got a bad feeling about this. That flybox is trouble, I tell you. Trouble!” What now?

Let me describe the specifics of the problem. It occurred only on pages where the flybox was not scheduled to appear. It’s as if it had taken control of my site and was now saying: “If I can’t own the footer stage, no one can!”. Evil flybox. Scrolling was just fine on pages with full posts, but not on my permanent pages, like the “About”. And it was happening only in Chrome. Firefox and IE worked just fine.

So I did it. I pulled the plug on the box. With a heavy heart I went back to test the pages. And, lo and behold. I STILL COULDN’T SCROLL! Let’s reevaluate the situation, and break it down into good news and bad news. The good news is, you guessed it, the flybox has been cleared of all charges and reinstated as my partner in bounce rate management. Oh, and my techy friend is about to become a believer just in time for lunch. The bad news: the issue is still unresolved.

I targeted the next suspect: WP Socializer widget. I deactivated it too. But it didn’t fix the problem either. I did clean up the Share Bar, though, and stopped it from dragging along. It made the screen look less cluttered, so I kept the changes.

So who’s left? I decided to inspect my sidebar widgets, one by one. That’s when I saw it. My Google Ads, which were embedded in a text widget where marked as ‘Fixed’.
Yo-yo scrolling: screenshot
We could be onto something here. And we were indeed. Unchecking the box worked. It fixed my scroll, but my Google ads were out of site now. That’s not where I want them. Think harder, Sasha.

Who is doing this anyway? Who is responsible for keeping my widgets ‘fixed’? Ah, yes, the unfortunately named Q2W3 Fixed Widget, one of the legacy plugins installed by the previous weppot.com owner, Raj. I checked the plugin out on WordPress.org. Although the name doesn’t instill much confidence, an author with a Yuri Gagarin pic for a profile can’t be all that bad. I decided to keep the plugin and try a last resort: update it.

And voila! Bug was fixed. An elegant solution to a non-issue, really. So, next time you find yourself yo-yo scrolling, check if any of your widgets are set as ‘Fixed’, and try updating your plugins.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. I saved the reputation of the flybox, cleaned up visual clutter, and banished yo-yo scrolling for good. All in a day’s work for a devoted blogger.

Lesson learned: before you turn against your plugins, just update them. Your bug just might have been fixed in the latest release. Or, alternatively, you can always turn a site flaw into an affiliate marketing opportunity. Maybe something like this:

Yoyo Scrolling: Affiliate Opportunity Image

And if you ever spot that no good yo-yo scroll round here again, please let me know.

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About Alicia Kolesnikova

Blogger & blogging advocate. An avid WordPress explorer and occasional shutter release pusher. Follow me on for extra blogging tips.

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