How to help us help you
We welcome your questions or reports of issues at Help Desk, but we can help you faster if you include some key information with your ticket. We also have some troubleshooting steps you can take first, which may help you resolve the issue on your own. If these steps do not resolve your problem, then we have provided below a list of the key information we need you to include with your ticket so we can assess the problem quickly.
Problems with loading or using Daily Kos can arise at many points along the way, starting from the launch of content from our site servers and ending with its arrival at your own device and browser. If the problem you have encountered has been caused by something we did, we usually know about it thanks to the internal monitors we have set on the site. But it is also true that you may be the first one to alert us to the problem. We would rather have many redundant reports about one pesky issue than no reports at all.
These are the troubleshooting steps we recommend taking to rule out a “local” problem, meaning one that affects only you.
- Try a hard refresh/new browser tab for the page. Sometimes the first page load was just badly timed.
- Clear your cache and cookies for the site. (The steps for this process are browser-dependent.) If you are a regular, steady reader of Daily Kos then it doesn’t take as long as you might think to accumulate enough old and stale data to interfere with the loading of new and fresh data. This is especially true for users on mobile devices. After you take this step, it's often a good idea to reinforce it by closing your browser and rebooting your computer.
- If neither of those two steps addresses the problem, and you are on a desktop or laptop, then please see how the site behaves if you open it while you're using a private or incognito window. (This feature is also something all browsers offer, and explanations are also easy to find.) We suggest trying that mode because it disables most (though not all) extensions or add-ons to your browser. Some extensions simply don't play well with Daily Kos, and their presence on your browser can interfere with site loading or operation. If the site DOES load and function well while you're in incognito/private mode, then you'll have to figure out which extension(s) to deactivate for Daily Kos. Most extensions permit site-by-site application/exemption.
If none of these initial troubleshooting steps does the trick for you, then the following four steps describe what we would like you to tell us in your Helpdesk ticket. Open a helpdesk ticket by clicking on "Ask" at the top of this dialog, where it will let you pose your question to a person.
- Tell us what device, operating system, and browser you're using when these problems occur, including version numbers. We need this information for several reasons; these are the two most important. The first is to be able to identify patterns in reports of problems; the second is to be able to replicate the issue, which we usually must do before we can diagnose and resolve it.
- Tell us where you are, virtually speaking, when you encounter the problem, and relatedly, how you got there. That is, we’d like a specific URL for a page causing you problems--including the site home page, if that's where the site does not behave as expected--and also a description of how you arrived at that page. It's especially relevant to know the route you used to arrive at this problematic page if you started from a Daily Kos Recommended email, or if you see the problem on some pages and not others.
- When you are on the page that does not look or behave as you expect, do you see any warning or error messages? If so, the exact wording of those messages is good for us to know.
- Lastly, please attach a screenshot if you can capture one. Sometimes that is the most direct and productive explanation you can supply us. The Helpdesk permits attachments up to 10MB in size.