WordPress Problems Finding Help
WordPress empowers you. WordPress gives you the tools and information to build your own website. You may find yourself stuck on a particularly annoying problem which you need help with. Agent Care takes a look at finding help for your WordPress problems.
WordPress is made up of various elements and the framework it’s self is split into 2 distinct areas (wordpress.org \ wordpress.com). Getting the right help and where you get your help from will depend on what the problem is and what is causing the problem.
The first task is to isolate the problem. Pinpoint the problem to a distinct area of WordPress. Start by asking yourself if any changes have been made recently such as a new plugin install or update. If possible try to narrow the problem area to one of the following:
Could the problem be with the:
- WordPress framework code (the codex)
- Theme issues
- Plugin conflict
- Virus or hack
- Widget conflict
- Certain web browsers
Google is your friend when it comes to diagnostics. If you have any error messages displaying or any symptoms such as ‘the white screen of death’ these terms can be typed into a search engine where an answer could be found.
If the problem is more technical investigative work may need to be undertaken. One method to identify plugin problems is to disable various, or all plugins to see if they are causing a conflict somewhere. Be aware that turning some plugins off may alter the look and feel of your website. If your problem still exists after disabling the plugin you can count them out as the problem. There may be a bit of trial and error but it’s a good place to start to diagnose WordPress problems.
Why do conflicts happen
The common cause is usually a conflict with variables or function names in the plugin. These confuse the program and can cause the problem. Most plugins get around this by using a prefix for all their functions and code calls but sometimes a clash still occurs.
If you discover the problem is with a plugin the best place to get help is the plugins hosted forum on WordPress. They may also have their own support on their website. Plugins also come in 2 flavours, paid (usually called premium or professional) and free. This may influence the amount of help you will get from the plugin developers.
When developing a plugin, there are several processes a company or a developer must go through to ensure that the software isn’t going to cause any problems when it is integrated with WordPress. The team at WordPress scrutinise the code to ensure that it follows the WordPress codex coding standards, and also that the support structure is in place.
The support is normally on the WordPress plugins repository page. When you want to install a plugin look at this page as there are some important points to ensure that there is good support.
To check if a plugin has good response look at the comments, ratings and the forum activity. If there are lots of ‘resolved’ against the tickets then you know that the support is being actively worked on.
If you are not getting a response to your question within a reasonable time you could replace the plugin with an alternative that has better support.
In order to apply the fix and to fully understand what the response is, you need to have the confidence to actively investigate the working of the site in order to apply the fix.
Note down as much information as possible, such as when the problem happened, and what happened just before it occurred. Take screenshot of any error messages you see and note down any steps you need to perform to replicate the problem.
Before you go any further, backup your WordPress site, this tutorial from wpbeginner will give you an overview of your options.
Customer care is a hosting companies number 1 priority. You should receive a first class service.More so, if they offer specific WordPress packages. Occasionally problems my arise because of your hosting account. They may send you your error logs to enable you and your developer to track down any problems in the hosting environment.
Some common WordPress problems:
Problem: – A white screen of death
Issue – Usually an indication of a problem connecting with the database for various reasons
Problem: – error message with the text ‘syntax error’ in it
Issue – Indication that the code syntax is incorrect for some reason, sometime caused by a hack
Problem: – 500 Internal Server Error
Issue – Server side problem
Issue – A missing reference or generally a clash with a plugin using a similar library or indentifier
Problem: Displaying a page you weren’t expecting – such as a skull or some random site or redirected to another site
Issue – You’ve definitely been hacked
WordPress Telephone Support
You will hardly ever find traditional telephone support within the WordPress community as most of the support is done via on-line communications such as forums, email and live chat.
Generally the reason for not providing telephone support is the cost involved, the underlying ethos at WordPress as an opensource and free to use product.
The company behind WordPress Automattic don’t have the resources to man a telephone system, the only time you will get a call is if your wordpress.com hosting package need renewing.
The Help Sandwich
The sure fire way of getting help
Developers, support staff, well everyone really love praise, but hate rudeness so even though you are annoyed, frustrated, or out of your comfort zone try this method for getting help quicker….
Imagine your WordPress problem is the filling in a sandwich, we all like a well structured and tasty sandwich and the same can be applied to a help request, the basis is you envelope your problem in a nice comment or praise.
The basic construct for the help sandwich:
- Bread – nice comment
- Meat – the problem
- Bread – positive outcome
- I really love how your plugin has helped me with my site speed but I have a small issue I need help with.
- I keep getting a page freeze after I save the settings in the admin, and I have a tight deadline this week
- It would be great if I could get it sorted quickly so I can get my site loading even faster.
This approach is definitely worth a go if you are not getting much response from your support.
General WordPress Help Tips
Have a contingent plan in place just in case of problems, ask yourself the question, what do we need to do recover from being hacked or virus.
Make sure you have regular backups, work out a procedure to replacing the backup on your plan with the contact details of your host.
Remember, If you have a WordPress on a WordPress hosted server then you can get direct help from the ‘happiness engineers’, support staff.
There are time when you have got so busy with your business or blog that you don’t have time to sort out problems, that is where support packages can really work for you.
Depending on what support you need it is worth looking around at various companies and seeing what packages they offer. The good thing with paid support is after while with a support team you will see less problems as and you can concentrate on improving your site appearance, speed or SEO
At some point in your WordPress experience you may have a problem that you will need help with. This guide will point you in the right direction.
You can ask Agentcare for WordPress help and we will assist you. Our top priority is to give the best service to our customers.
Useful Help Links
Help you can get directly from WordPress