October 2, 2014 12:49 PM   Subscribe

You're on a website and you click on a link. Nothing happens. You click again and it works. What happened the first time?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not having any other information, what I would assume happened is that there was either a document.ready event being waited on, a script not having loaded yet, or an AJAX request [or similar] being waited on, any [or all] of which was being waited for before setting an onclick event handler or an href attribute.

Basically: Not ready yet for you on first click, but then later ready for you.

Or: Mouse broken.
posted by jangie at 12:51 PM on October 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

Possibility: the link is created by JavaScript which doesn't add the event until the page finishes loading, to make sure the view is ready. The first click is before the event was added.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:51 PM on October 2, 2014

If it's on an iPad or other touch device, the first click activates the hover state if one is defined since you can't really hover over something that clicks when you touch it.
posted by advicepig at 12:52 PM on October 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

The browser window wasn't focused when you clicked the first time? The first click focused the browser, while the second click activated the link.
posted by zachlipton at 1:06 PM on October 2, 2014 [7 favorites]

Not enough information.

Anything from your mouse down through your OS to your hardware, back up to the internet and repeating the same process on the other side, with various routers and switches in between. We're talking about 100s of different possible points of failure for something as simple as clicking a link on a website, not to mention 'pebcak errors'.
posted by empath at 2:33 PM on October 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Anecdata: I have a website that I visit on the regular. If I visit with my adblock off, the first click on any link loads a new tab in the background that is full of ads. If I visit with my adblock on, the first click seems to do nothing, then the second works as expected. So could be that maybe.
posted by Sternmeyer at 3:00 PM on October 2, 2014

+1 zachlipton. When this happens to me, it is almost always that my browser window wasn't active and the first click activated the browser window while the second click hit the link.
posted by cmm at 3:19 PM on October 2, 2014

Sometimes you click and drag (even a tiny amount) by accident which doesn't trigger the link.
posted by missmagenta at 2:18 AM on October 3, 2014

I run AdBlock Plus in Firefox, and I've run across sites where clicking on a link does nothing, and clicking it again works. Turning off AdBlock, I discover that the first click produces a pop-up ad, which the second click dismisses and completes the link request. But, since ABP blocked the pop-up from appearing, the site appeared to not respond to my first click, when it was actually waiting for the second click. At least that's what I surmised was happening under the hood.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:36 AM on October 3, 2014

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