WordPress Support Tips: 16 Things That Could Go Wrong with Your Site
by Jack Choros
Many things can go wrong with your WordPress site unless you implement a clearly outlined set of tips and strategies for troubleshooting. We’re going to give you some of those tips right here.
WordPress is by far the most powerful and most popular blogging/web development platform in the world. It allows any small business owner or solopreneur the opportunity to put together a professional looking website with little to no knowledge of any coding or web development skills.
How is this possible? WordPress allows any and all developers who wish to do so the opportunity to create website themes and plugins that give business owners the look, feel and functionality they desire in a website without doing all of the leg work themselves. The benefit is obvious. It’s relatively easy to launch a new website or online business without having a ton of technical know-how.
Before you do make the decision to hire someone though, there are a whole slew of support tips you can implement proactively to keep your site running smoothly. It’s time to give your online presence a boost using WordPress!
The Best WordPress Support When Things Go Wrong
Without question, the first thing you need to do to get ongoing support for your WordPress site is sign up for a free WordPress.org account. wordpress.org and WordPress.com are two different websites.
The .org site allows users to upload themes for free, and you don’t need to pay a third-party for web hosting. But as with any free service, launching a free website on WordPress.org is not usually recommended for a serious business. This is because the data storage available with the free hosting comes in limited supply. Upload a few too many photos and videos and your site will quickly reach its maximum capabilities.
Launching a WordPress.org website therefore is mostly good as a testing tool. It’s an opportunity to get used to the WordPress environment, play with some themes and plugins, and avoid the costs associated with hosting and customisation.
But it’s not just for that. Perhaps the most important part of having a free account at WordPress.org is the fact that you have access to a support forum. You can troubleshoot errors by tapping into the site’s knowledge base. You can ask questions to developers and figure out how to fix things.
How to Use WordPress.org
The first thing you’ll need to is go to the support tab on the WordPress.org homepage and make an account. Don’t worry it’s free! As soon as you sign up, you’ll receive an email asking you to confirm your email is indeed yours, and that’s it you can log in.
Once you get on to the support section of the site, you’ll see a forum that groups call concerns and technical issues into categories. Keep in mind that WordPress.org is a great tool for testing things out and getting questions answered, but the real work of building a brand and online presence with a fully functional site optimised for whatever your business aims to accomplish on a daily basis takes place takes place on WordPress.com. Remember, WordPress.org is best suited for support. The sections of the WordPress.org knowledgeable are below.
This section for any problems you might encounter before you’ve actually launched your WordPress site. Simple issues like learning how to upload a WordPress theme or connecting a WordPress.com site to third-party host can be dealt with here.
This section is for any WordPress problems that you might encounter after installing WordPress. Plugins not working properly? Need to edit part of the theme you chose? Having trouble aligning content the way you want it? This is where you’ll find those answers.
Developing with WordPress
This is where we get down to the nitty gritty. Get questions answered by actual developers who can go deep into coding. Take their advice and learn to fix things yourself, or find out what skills you want in a developer. Do the latter and you can outsource the work to someone else if you’re not the most well versed technologically.
This section is predominantly for business owners who own many WordPress based websites. If you want to be able to use similar features and benefits on all of your sites, this is the section of the forum for you.
Making your site accessible to everyone is important. It shows you’re running a forward-thinking, inclusive company, something that can really elevate your brand in the hearts and minds of consumers in this day and age. Screen readers, keyboard-only navigation and voice controls can all be set up using this part of the forum.
If you want to install WordPress tools on a local drive or computer, this is the place to learn about it.
Everything Else WordPress
For any questions or issues not solved by other categories in the forum.
Requests and Feedback
Requests for new features that could potentially be added to WordPress can be made here. You can also provide general feedback.
Report bugs or issues you’re having here. Try new features that are still being tested.
The Most Common WordPress Problems
There are many issues that plague business owners starting their first WordPress site. We could write a whole book about it. But for now, we’ll highlight the most common things business owners aim to achieve with a WordPress site and possible solutions for those issues. They come in no particular order. Just keep in mind by no means is this a complete list.
Selling Products Online
Many business owners, especially those first starting out, think that if you want to sell products online, it has to be done with Shopify, Amazon or eBay. That’s simply not true. WordPress offers a simple e-commerce platform that will do the same things you can do with Shopify. It’s called WooCommerce. There are a number of extensions you can download to help add, organise and sell products online, all using your WordPress site. Of course, WooCommerce isn’t free, but neither are the alternatives. Also, keep in mind that selling products on your own website means having to use pay-per-click advertising or other forms of advertising to help drive eyeballs to your site.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO Yoast is the leading WordPress plugin for on-site optimization. It tells you how to target keywords, let’s you know how to organize your content so it’s easy to read, tracks whether you used your keyword too much, not enough, or just the right amount. It allows you to write a good meta description which makes it easy for Google to crawl. SEO Yoast is an absolutely must tool that will take your website to the next level and help it rank.
Content Marketing and Social Media
JetPack is a great tool for gaining insights into how well specific kinds of content you post on your site are doing. That’s both in terms of traffic and in terms of social media reach. Jetpack can be added to a WordPress site for free. You can connect Tumblr, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter pages to your content so that every time you publish something new, it gets shared on your social media accounts without having to login to each account separately. Jet pack is a truly great tool.
Making Tables and Charts
While WordPress does allow users to make a basic table or chart one cell at a time, this can be tedious. The better approach to this is to use plugins like TablePress. TablePress lets you create as many rows and columns as you want. Give readers filters to be able to scroll through large volumes of data all in one table. Part of a good content marketing strategy is making content that is rich in information and insight. Tables are a great way to create content people will want to favourite and share.
For business owners looking to sell products and services as commissionaires or affiliates, PokaTable is a great plugin. It allows you to create tables with a visual appeal that allow for ranking and rating websites. Give your readers the impression that you’ve created a thorough review of a certain niche or group of products. Establish your site as an authority in that niche instantly, and end up with a table people will come back to and look up as a reference when they’re ready to make a buying decision.
What to do with WordPress When You Have Trouble
As mentioned, WordPress.org is the go to source when it comes to trouble shooting different WordPress errors. If you still can’t find answers to the issues your having, you can always use Youtube or Google to look up tutorials. Tons of people post screenshot videos on a variety of WordPress specific channels and blogs that will walk you through everything you’d ever want to know step-by-step. The developers of all the plugins you use also include free or paid support to varying degrees depending on what you purchase from them.
With so many plugins and tools at your disposal, troubleshooting WordPress issues will become second nature to you after a few months. The sooner you can get around those issues, the sooner you can focus on ranking your site and generating more revenue for your business.
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