Common Website Troubleshooting Tips

Website Troubleshooting
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Written by Simon

Last Updated 21/12/2023


Common Website Troubleshooting Tips

In this article, we will cover common website troubleshooting tips. Knowing how to troubleshoot these 3 issues can save you time and money from having to hire a developer. These techniques are what the developer will do first before checking anything else, so being able to identify and resolve these issues is a great skill to have!

Troubleshooting is the term used in web development to identify and fix a problem. As your WordPress site uses multiple plugins and themes from different developers, sometimes programmes can conflict with one another or stop working. 

Website troubleshooting is a process of elimination. In this topic, we will cover the 3 basic causes that can “break” your site and how to fix them. The three most common issues with a website are:

  1. Caching
  2. Site Optimisation 
  3. Plugin/Theme Conflicts

If you face an issue with your website, start with point 1 and progress through point 2 and 3 until you identify the issue. Remember to back up your website prior to any troubleshooting. If your plan has a staging site, use this whilst you aim to identify the issue.

Caching

As covered in our caching topic: Caching services will serve your browser a snapshot of your website from the time it cached.

Recommended Reading: What is Caching?

Clearing Browser Cache

Because these caching services are showing us an old version of our website, changes we’ve made since then might not be showing. This is always the first method for troubleshooting. Make sure you clear your browsers cache. This can be done by:

Clearing Website Cache

Next you want to clear your website’s cache and for users on PODTech hosting with the SG Optimizer plugin installed, this can be done with one click. Log into your Back Office and in the top black bar of your browser you will see Purge SG Cache.

If you do not have SG Optimizer, you will need to look for Purge Site Cache in whichever plugin you have installed to optimise your website.

Clearing Server Cache

As this can be tricky, contact your host and ask them if they can flush your server cache or at least provide an article for you to do it yourself.

Site Optimisation

If the issue you’re having is related to things like videos, images or text, your Site Optimisation plugin could be causing the issue.

This is also easy to fix. Open a browser window and navigate to your site’s optimisation plugin. Next open another browser in Private/Incognito mode.

It is important you don’t open a regular browser window here, as your browser cache may prevent you from seeing any changes you make.

Go through each option in your site optimiser and toggle off the settings one at a time. Every time you turn one off, refresh your live site in Private/Incognito mode. If the site still appears “broken”, toggle the setting back on and move on to the next one. SG Optimizer saves any settings right away, so check your optimiser doesn’t need its settings saved before refreshing.

Recommended Reading: Setting up a Website Optimiser

Plugin/Theme Conflict

Step 1: Log into your back office and update the website to latest versions, this includes Plugins, Themes, and any WordPress system updates.

Recommended Reading: What is a Plugin?

Step 2: In a similar way to the Site Optimisation troubleshooting technique. Open one browser with all your plugins and another in Private/Incognito mode.

Next click Deactivate on one plugin and refresh your front end that’s open in Private/Incognito mode. You might find that more things appear broken when you look at the front end. Don’t worry, as soon as you click Activate on the plugin, it will revert to normal.

If the issue you’re trying to fix hasn’t resolved itself, reactivate the plugin and try the next one. Repeat this process with all the plugins until you find which is causing the issue.

Step 3: Once you have identified the plugin that is causing the issue, you will need to find a replacement plugin for that feature. Head to your Plugins>Add New and find a similar plugin to replace the one you’re having issues with.

The same can be done with Themes.

Recommended Reading: What is a Theme?

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