“The website isn’t working!”
Four simple words that will send you into a spiral of dread and despair. You go to your website and see something like Internal Server Error or Connection Timed Out. Worse yet, your website seems to have completely disappeared. (This is fondly referred to as the “White Screen of Death.”)
While WordPress is a great blog and website platform, between plugin compatibility issues, theme updates and more, there just might be six million things that could go wrong. But for now, let’s just focus on six main WordPress issues.
Things That Can Go Wrong With Your WordPress Website
Performance and Security Issues
Before you build a new website, it’s a good idea to get your website set up in the best way possible, to prevent future potential performance and security issues.
Not all hosts are created equal. If you are not very technical or just want someone else to worry about performance and security for you, choose a company like Synthesis from Copyblogger Media that offers managed hosting for WordPress. You will pay more but you get guaranteed performance, automatic security updates and piece of mind that lets you sleep at night.
When logged in as WordPress admin, you will constantly be reminded to update your plugins, your framework, your theme and WordPress itself. Most people proceed with the installation without a thought, then oops—your header image is broken, or your website looks different than you expected, requiring extra work.
Visit the website of your theme or plugin before performing the update. Read the details of the update to determine if your website’s look or functionality will be impacted.
Ten Million Dollar Tip:
Maybe your current hosting runs too slow, maybe you don’t like their customer service, or maybe your site keeps getting corrupted. Whatever the reason, when you decide to switch your hosting provider, WordPress might be a little crabby about the changeover.
If you’re worried about the migration process, try hiring a WordPress service company like Fantasktic to handle everything for $99. You’ll experience minimal downtime (if any) and you won’t have to worry about the technical details.
If you’ve made any changes to your website recently and now you’re having problems, an incompatible plugin is likely the issue. Be sure to check each plugin’s compatibility with your current version of WordPress before installation. Sometimes plugins aren’t compatible with each other and there’s no way to anticipate the conflict in advance.
If your WordPress website is broken and you suspect plugin issues, you need to isolate the plugins folder on your hosting server. To do so, rename your “plugins” folder to “plugins_old” (your server should automatically generate a new copy of the “plugins” folder when you do this). Now, open your website again and, if it now works, you know a plugin conflict is to blame. Copy each plugin from “plugins_old” back into “plugins,” one at a time, to identify which plugin is the culprit.
Spammers can access your WordPress website in numerous ways, and no doubt about it – they’ll be on the attack every day. Spammers can create fake accounts on your website or post comments littered with garbage links and inappropriate topics.
Spam-fighter Akismet is an unbeatable solution for curbing all those spam comments. While Akismet used to be a separate WordPress plugin, it now comes default with the latest version of WordPress, so all you need to do is activate it and you’re ready to go.
Who The Heck Knows?
Most people who run a WordPress site have, at one time or another, experienced a white-knuckle WordPress situation no amount of tweaking or research can repair. Maybe you’re completely locked out of your website.
Maybe you’ve somehow managed to create an infinite loop of code you can’t access to fix. First of all, don’t panic. In all likelihood, there’s a solution out there somewhere.
If everything else fails, and you feel like all is lost, visit the WordPress Support Forums for help. If the documentation for your problem doesn’t already exist (which it very likely does), you can post your specific problem in the forums, and a surprisingly enthusiastic team of WordPress admins and users will offer specific solutions.
Don’t Let These Potential WordPress Problems Get to You
WordPress is a useful website platform, and you’ll most likely be very happy with your website 99% of the time. Just keep an eye out for issues and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you encounter a problem.
Frustrated Woman Photo via Shutterstock