When you think WordPress, most associate it with bloggers, but the platform has grown significantly since its inception in 2003. Aside from its infamy as a blogging platform, WordPress is also a phenomenal service for anyone who is considering building a website, as well. There are 1,000’s of themes you can use, design options, and plugins that can be used to upgrade your site. Updates are always coming out to improve user interface and website performance. All in all, it’s great for those who want a do-it-yourself option. However, there are common problems that pop up when using WordPress. Here are some of them and the solutions for these issues.
Having a site backup plan is important. Sometimes things glitch and the last think you want is to lose your entire website, because it was not backed up. Some hosting companies offer backup services, or you can use an independent information technology (IT) specialist, such as Prosyn IT support, to do the work for you. These specialists can help with a wide range of services and can provide you piece of mind when building out your online presence.
No one wants their site to look like another’s. Customization is the best way to differentiate yourself from your competition and the variety of themes is, in part, what has made WordPress so successful. While WordPress does come with a couple of free themes, or layouts, the best way to use the service is through paid themes. These can vary greatly in prices, starting at around $25 and going up into the hundreds of dollars.
Each theme has a preview option, so that you can see how a sample site would look; from there they can still be customized to meet your exact needs. There are many places online that you can buy WordPress themes or you can purchase them directly through WordPress itself.
The problem with paid themes is they can be buggy and many come pre-filled with text. These spaces are set so they can be customized to your needs, but it takes quite a bit of time to go through every inch of them. The last think you want is a potential client landing on your website and find information that is not applicable to your business.
If you are just starting out, simple is always best. You can always build up from there. Don’t get yourself overwhelmed on day one with building your website. If you are not the patient type, maybe consider hiring a design team to do the work for you.
Plugins is another way to refer to add-on options for WordPress. They allow users to extend and expand the functionality of their sites, customizing them to meet the uses needs. Even more than that, plugins act as their own business with tens-of-thousands of developers making a living by creating plugins. In 2015, the number of plugins downloaded surpassed 1 billion. The problem with plug-ins, because they are built by independent developers, is they often have bugs that need to be resolved. Some have their own upgrades, for a fee, which can be problematic for those working on a tight budget.
Plug-ins often work through trial and error, so time is needed to find the best ones. Customer reviews are helpful, but unless you are using a web designer that already had their favorite repertoire of plugs-ins, the technical aspect of making them functional for your site could require an IT person. While some have their own troubleshooting and support sections, others have no developer contacts.
Sometimes you will have a plugin that is wreaking havoc on your site; some are just not compatible with others. It’s hard to know which one is the trouble maker, so you can do one of two things. If your site was working fine before you uploaded a new plug in, deactivate the latest addition and see if that solves the problem. If it is still glitching, try deactivating all of your plugins and systematically try and find the bad egg in the bunch.
Sometimes good intentions go array. You have your theme set, with a sidebar where you want it, but it is showing up differently when you actually start working on it. There can be a variety of culprits to this common issue, but you can start with checking to see if you have too many div tags open or closed. Div tags are pieces of code, running in the background HTML of your site.
If you go to the HTML tabs, they look like this: <div></div>. When one too many or too few, elements close or open in the wrong place, which can completely mess up your layout. This is especially the problem if it is visible only on one post or page. You can use tools, like HTML validator, to find it if you are not locating the problem quickly on your own.
Connection Time Outs
No one wants a time out error when loading your website. A potential client will not wait for your site to load; they will just move onto another that works properly. If you find you are getting time out errors, faulty plugins could be the problem. Start by deactivating all your plugins and see if that resolves the problem. If it does not, then go to the second common source: your theme. If you still do not find resolution, you make need to contact your hosting company or IT
specialist to see if there is a hosting issue causing the problem.
WordPress has many components that require registrations and passwords. Your hosting company, WordPress itself, the Jetpack program, etc. all require passwords and sometimes we forget what they are. If you are not using the same password for everything you can run into this snafu. Luckily most have email verification avenues to reset your password. Also, using a password recovery system can make your life much easier so that this does not happen in the future.
Files to Large
If you have a large website, it will require a lot of memory to store your site. There are times that you will get warnings, when trying to back up your work that you have reached the maximum file limit. There are solutions to this. Most of the time, a large database backup file is caused by certain plugins storing a significant amount of data. Plugins that block spam or that collect statistics can generate a large amount of data. Often this data is not essential and is just wasting space in your database backup file. If you’re using a common backup tool, you should be able to select the specific data to be included in the database backup file. Leave out the rest that does not contain the core information.
Internal Server Error
It is not uncommon to see this error when building out a site in
WordPress. One minute your site is working fine and the next you get an error code. Again, conflicting plugin or theme, or even a corrupt WordPress installation are often the problem. Look at your most recently added plugin and start from there. It is usually an easy fix and you can get your site up and running again in no time.
There are a number of things that can go wrong when building a WordPress site. Most are connected to bad plugins. Sometimes there will be issues with the coding and if you are not an expert in HTML or PHP configuration then consult and IT person or utilize the WordPress help tools. You will typically find that your issue is a common one and has been troubleshooted before. Take the time to understand the basics of WordPress and you will find that it can be a very functional site builder with unlimited configuration options.