Nearly nine years ago I set up a news website for the UK insolvency industry. It was reasonably successful. About nine months after I started it, the site was acquired by a publisher of several related industry magazines.
The acquirer had their site running on Coldfusion which was an old technology even then. The design and functionality were actually usable, but they told me the sites only worked in Internet Explorer, and so the decision had been taken to contract a development house to rebuild everything. As part of the purchase, we agreed a deferred consideration of $16,000 for me to help them find a competent agency and provide some technical guidance on what was needed.
A few weeks after the agreement was signed, they’d received some quotes and asked would I come in for a second round of pitching. I finally got round to taking a more detailed look at the sites.
Exactly as they said, everything worked perfectly in Internet Explorer, but no links were clickable in Firefox or Chrome. I checked the consoles for errors and found nothing. But viewing the source, I noticed that every
a tag was being rendered with a href which looked something like
I got the server’s FTP details - pulled down the code, found a
ROOT_URL variable that was set to
http://trademagazine.com\, changed the backslash to a
/ and emailed to say their sites now worked in all browsers. The tender process was cancelled, and six months later the money landed in my bank account.