If you are having trouble accessing a website, it could be because of a problem with your DNS cache. To reset your DNS cache on your Mac, you need to enter a command using the Terminal. In most cases, this will work, especially if you are using macOS Sierra, High Sierra, or Mojave. Earlier versions of OS X may need some additional commands as well.
When you play a YouTube video on your Mac in a web browser you can use keyboard shortcuts to jump around in the video, control volume, go to full screen and turn on or off captions. Make sure you have the YouTube video selected as the keyboard focus by clicking on it before you try to use shortcuts.
When you are searching the web or Apple's discussion forums for technical information, it is important to only look for recent posts as older posts will contain information that doesn't apply to the current devices and operating systems. You can limit your searches in Google to the last month or year. You can also limit your searches in Apple's user discussion forums.
Instead of saving links in bookmarks or the Reading List, you can also save them to a Reminders list and the Notes app. This can be useful during research or when you want to share a link of links with students or co-workers.
While Safari is the default browser and the one most people use on their Macs, you can also easily use Chrome or Firefox. The advantage to those is being able to use the same browser on non-Apple devices, and for Chrome being able to use Google's cloud systems instead of Apple's. Both are free and easy to install, and may come in handy in situations where Safari doesn't work.
Even if you have been searching online for years, you may not know some basics about how to search quickly and efficiently. Often people try formulating a series of keywords for a search, when all that is needed is to type a question. On the Mac in Safari, you can choose your search engine, and sometimes skip the search results page with the suggestions provided. You can also search a specific site if you already know which site contains the information you seek.
You can search for text on the current web page using your iPhone or iPad just as you can with a desktop computer. The trick is knowing how to start a search. You start by using the address field, which feels like you are about to leave the page. But if you look at the search suggestions, you'll find a On This Page item at the very bottom that allows you to find the text on the current page instead. You can then use a new search field at the bottom and arrows to find more matches.
You can use the address bar in Safari to search with your default search engine. In Safari Preferences you can set this to Google, Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo. But you can browser to any search engine you want and use it outside of the address bar. You can also set your default search engine to almost any other site using Safari extensions.
The ability to move video into a picture-in-picture overlay with macOS Sierra is a great new feature. However, it doesn't appear to work with YouTube videos. You can get YouTube videos to do this, however, if you know how.
With a simple change to how you type your search terms, you can target one website instead of the entire Internet. This is handy when you know the result you want is in a specific place.
With Safari in El Capitan you can subscribe to news feeds in the left sidebar and see an aggregated list of items that update automatically. You can also include Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. This allows you to see the news from your favorite sources all in one place without needing to go to individual web sites.
You can change your default search engine in Safari to Google, Bing, Yahoo! or DuckDuckGo. The latter offers no-track searching and a variety of other features. You can use "bangs" like !apple to quickly search inside popular websites. You can also set it as your default on iOS.
Many web sites feature multiple language options. If a site is not in the language you speak, try looking for a way to switch to another language inside the site. For sites that do not offer a translation in your language, you can use either Google or Bing to translate bits of text or entire web pages. You can simply copy and paste text or a URL in Safari, or use Chrome's special feature to do this quickly. The translation isn't always perfect, but it works well when no other option is available.
When sharing links with friends, long URLs can cause issues as they take up a lot of space in tweets and text messages, and can wrap across multiple lines in emails. You can use one of the many free URL shortening services to turn any URL into a very short one. These will redirect to the original page. The danger in using URL shorteners is that you can't be certain where a link leads. But browser extensions and the URL shortening services can help with that.
Every computer uses DNS servers to translate domain names to numerical addresses that can be used to find web pages. You can use the default DNS provided by your ISP, or you can choose your own. Sometimes you will see speed and quality improvements by using a public DNS instead of the default. Learn how to set your DNS in System Preferences and learn a potential pitfall of doing so.
The Chrome browser is a good free alternative to Safari for Mac that is very similar in many respects. But it does offer some interesting features such as the incognito window, task manager, site information menu and Flash encapsulation. It is a good idea to have multiple browsers on your Mac and familiarize yourself with the features of each.
Google Maps has been around for a while and there are many advanced techniques that users may no know about. For instance, you can adjust routes to include more locations by simply dragging. You can show someone a map location by sending them a short URL. You can also get directions for public transportation, walking and biking.
You can use the Google app to perform voice searches that return similar results to using Siri. Google voice searches can often be faster because your voice is interpreted on the phone, rather than being processed by a remote server. But Google voice search isn't integrated with iOS like Siri, so using both is your best option.
Learn how to use the keyboard to move between fields, menus and checkboxes in forms on web pages. Knowing these shortcuts can save you a lot of time if you need to fill out forms often.
You can do much more with a Google search than just enter plain search terms. You can use modifiers like quotes, dashes and asterisks to search for more specific things. You can also search on a particular web site or for specific terms in a page title. There are also many bits of information that you can find without having to leave Google, such as definitions, weather, movie times, flight times and conversions.