When all of your site problems bubble up, there seems to be only one element to blame: WordPress. But regardless of what Content Management System (CMS) you’ll use, be it WordPress, Wix or other, there will always be some troubles.
Most of the times, the reason behind your site’s glitches isn’t actually WordPress. That’s why today we’ll talk about why you shouldn’t blame the platform for your WordPress site problems, as well as what are some of the more obvious “monsters” behind the issues that keep on bugging you.
The Real Setback that comes with Blaming the CMS
When site owners like yourself feel they have one or more problems with their WordPress site, they start considering moving it to new platforms. But the real concern behind this plan is that you haven’t really figured out if WP is the reason you are facing this trouble in the first place.
That means that even if you move your whole site to a new CMS, you might still face the same problems. Not to mention that the transition will be a pain and will add a lot of work and time for learning to your schedule.
You’ll have to get used to the new design of the backend, the terms, functionalities and how to properly use them for your new site builder.
Think of big brand sites. Whatever platform they use for building their site, they face problems like the rest of us.
When you have resources, you can hire a team made up of experts to handle each aspect of the site. That means they will continuously take care of it and it will be harder for the audience to spot problems.
But problems still come up. Bid brands just have a faster, more efficient way of handling it.
Consider the fact that they have one person who solely takes care of the SEO aspect. That means they closely supervise everything from the sitemap, to content optimization, social snippets and ranking position reports.
Managing these tasks alone takes up a lot of time when you are taking care of your site on your own or as part of a small team. Moreover, it’s not the only aspect you need to consider for your site.
In this case, any problem with the site might seem overwhelming because:
- You may not have the expertise needed to identify and solve the problem;
- You might not get to check all content and sections of your blog frequently enough;
- Don’t have time to focus on all aspects, ranging from security to design;
- Have too many options in your Dashboard;
- Don’t have a budget for the tool or service you actually need.
That being said, let’s find out what are the most obvious culprits for all of your site problems. We’ll focus on each of them in detail and then give you a list of 5 actionable steps you should take today to improve your site.
1. Duplicate or Overlapping Plugins
One of the most common reasons you might be facing WordPress site problems is having more plugins that do the same thing. For example, you might have installed an SEO plugin. Months later, someone recommended a great new SEO plugin and you’ve decided to install that one as well.
Well, that might not be the best decision, as they will clash with each other. That means that they don’t know which one of them should actually do the work. And when both try to fix the same issues, they only generate website problems.
Try to choose only one plugin for a task. There are cases where even functionalities from your theme might clash with one of the plugins that you’ve installed.
As an example, consider SEO themes that add metadata to your articles and other plugins that try to that again. You’ll end up having your information twice in the code of your page.
In turn, Search Engines and Social Media platforms won’t know which is the right one.
Your audience will end up seeing generic or wrong descriptions and images, even if you took the time to set everything up.
2. Installing Unmaintained Plugins
Behind each plugin in the WP directory, there is a developer, a team, or a company. Make sure they constantly update and maintain the plugin and that you have access to these updates, especially for the plugins you pay for.
There are plugins out there that haven’t been updated for years. Sometimes, a plugin is just a one-time experiment for developers who then move on to a new project and forget all about the plugin you are using.
There are serious problems these plugins can cause to your site, including:
- Crashing your site
- Creating security loopholes
- Slowing down your site
- Messing up the theme or design
- Or simply not being compatible with your version of WordPress
The WP developer community checks the plugins, but it takes time to make sure none of them is causing all your site problems.
When choosing your WordPress plugin from the directory, check the last update information. This can give you an idea about whether the plugin is constantly updated or not.
To go the extra mile, you can also check the development tab and see the Changelog. This will help you make sure they are actually constantly working on the plugin.
3. Having too Many Plugins Installed
The best part about having a WordPress site is that you have access to a lot of plugins to make your site exactly what you want it to be.
It also makes taking care of the site seem easy. For each of your site needs and wants, there is a plugin that can make that small thing come true. So, most probably, you’ll install it.
But each plugin you add makes it harder for your site to load.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic number of plugins that you shouldn’t go over. But there are a few key best practices that you should keep in mind so that you don’t end up installing a whole bunch of new plugins that you might not ever use:
- Consider finding a non-plugin solution to your problem first.
- Make sure you are using the whole functionality of the plugin, not just one feature.
- Focus on plugins that offer a full set of features that help your site from one end to the other.
- Do at least a Quarterly clean-up where you get rid of all the plugins you aren’t using.
4. Choosing a Bad Theme for Your Site
Sometimes, when you’re regularly complaining about your WordPress site problems, it can all be cut down to the theme of your site.
And you might wonder how could that be. It has always worked well. Even when you set it up, it had no problem.
Well, here’s the catch: in the WordPress world, there are permanent changes and updates. From the core code of the CMS to all the plugins you are using, they should all be constantly updated.
That’s why you need to make sure that when you choose a theme, it isn’t just beautifully-designed but also well-maintained, updated, and compatible with the plugins you are using.
Check to see how the theme looks like on all types of pages including posts, product pages, and landing pages. You might want to expand your site in the future, so it’s good to check if there is room to grow.
5. The Hosting Company You Choose
The price of hosting for a site can vary. And that is based on the type of services that come with that hosting. It’s good to check if the company you choose:
- takes care of their server to provide a secure environment,
- offers backup options,
- maintains your site live,
- is a trustworthy company.
Even if you find a good company, you might want to go for a shared hosting service. The advantage is that you’ll pay less and only for the space you need.
Problems can arise from the fact that you are sharing that server with several other site owners, which can even add up to thousands. And this will negatively impact your site. When too many people are using resources on the same server, it will slow down your site and can even crash it.
The better (and more expensive) option is to opt for a managed WordPress Hosting. They will make sure that all the security features dedicated to WP sites will not only work but also load fast. So that you don’t need to worry about your WordPress site being too slow.
If your WordPress site problems keep recurring frequently, do check your hosting package.
6. The Settings in Your Dashboard
The truth behind having too much freedom with setting everything up is that you are unrestrained to fail. It’s true that most of your site settings will be taken care of when you set up your site and you won’t constantly tweak them.
But there are a lot of aspects that can cause problems. You might have a lousy permalink structure, so you change it. And then all the links you’ve already shared on the net will result in 404 errors.
This might even influence your ranking on Google.
Make sure that nothing in your settings is clashing with plugins you’ve installed, and you’ll be on the safe side.
How to Get Rid of Your WordPress Site Problems
Now that we know some possible reasons for why your WordPress site has so many problems, let’s see what are 5 steps you can take to change this situation. We’ll focus not just on fixing the issues we’ve mentioned above but also on ways to maintain your website free of WordPress site problems.
1. Backup, Backup, Backup
We can’t stress enough how important this is. You need to make sure that you always have an up-to-date backup. If possible, a complete daily back-up of your site would be ideal.
This is just to be prepared for those rainy days. And believe us, there will be rainy days for your site. You should also do this before doing any changes to your site.
You have two options here:
- Discuss it with your Hosting Company and make sure the option is included in your package.
2. Contract a third-party service for this task.
After you know your site has a back-up for its current state and future stages, you can proceed to the second step.
2. Clean up Your Site
If you’re having WordPress site problems, you are probably eager to solve them. Now that you know you have a back-up of the site, proceed to delete all the plugins you are not using on your site.
Recheck your site after you’ve done this to see if the problem you are having is still coming up. If it does, then you’ll have to exclude all of the plugins you still have on the site.
Uninstall them one by one, and then check the problem again until you find the culprit. Make sure to re-install and re-activate all of the plugins you’ve established are not causing your issue.
If you’ve found the plugin/s on your site causing the problem, you should:
- Find an alternative plugin for that task and test it out.
- Express your problem with the plugin on the support forum on WordPress and let the developers help you.
- Get a consultant to solve the task at hand without a plugin.
When you have two plugins that clash, consider this process for both of them. There might not be an alternative to the first plugin, but there might be a non-plugin solution for the second. Know your options for both plugins before taking the decision.
3. Scan your Site for Security Vulnerabilities
This a great way to maintain your site up and running. Make it a priority to make sure your site is scanned for malware, loopholes and back entries, regularly.
You need to remember that hacking attacks happen every day. Focusing on ensuring your site is safe before being targeted is better than hoping your site would never be hacked.
You can use services to regularly scan your site, or you can get the software and do the task yourself at least once a month.
If you find any problems, make sure to solve them as soon as possible. Install a firewall, check to see if your site is blacklisted anywhere; these are just the first things you can take care of.
If your site is blacklisted, it means that there is a virus or malware on your server that has been identified and reported. You can also be blacklisted for employing spam tactics. You can find out more on how to check and recover from the Google’s Blacklist here.
4. Get in Contact with a Professional
Taking care of your site on your own or with a small team is an accomplishable task. But from time to time, you might need external help. Consider working with experts who are specialized in solving certain problems your site experiences.
There are no such persons that are “Jacks of all trades” for sites and know how to do everything including:
- Site structure,
- Content creation,
- and Security.
Don’t hesitate to get help when you need it.
Get in touch with an expert who can audit your site to identify your problems and recommend solutions. Make sure to find reputable companies or consultants.
If not, you risk that the people you will work with will cause more problems than you had to begin with.
5. Check All Aspects of Your Site
Because your site problems can vary from crashes to ranking on Google, it’s a good idea to have a clear checklist including everything you need to look over once every other week.
The checklist should include:
- Site speed test
- Check for Broken Links
- Update to the latest WordPress version
- Double-check site navigation
- Make sure download links work properly
- Review Google Analytics
- Test Mobile Device Compatability
- Review On-Page SEO for Homepage
- Remove Inactive website Administrators
There are numerous other aspects that you need to check (but not as frequently). For example, renewing hosting and domain is a task that you might only have to worry about once a year.
Developing your own list with reminders to check all of these aspects will make sure that no other site problem will catch you by surprise.
Before you start blaming WordPress for all of your site problems, make sure you’ve eliminated all the other options we’ve explored here. Remember that the main takeaways from today’s article are:
- Be careful of what you add to your site. From plugins to themes, check to see if you don’t have something already taking care of that particular task. Install something new only when you are sure you are going to use it.
- Your hosting company is an important aspect of keeping your site live. From speed to security and backup, your hosting company can influence your site performance.
- Ask for help when your site needs it. You can find developers and consultants ready to help you find and fix the problems your site is facing. That will save time and also assure you it’s not just a patch up that will resurface as a problem.
- Checking and maintaining your site will help you stay away from problems. The best way to solve a site problem is to prevent it. But the only way to do that is to constantly be aware of all the aspects of your site.
What were some of the causes of your WordPress site problems in the past? And how did you manage to identify and solve them? Let us know in the comment section below.
At the end of the day, we have to accept the fact that we’ll always face some problems with our site – regardless of what CMS we are using.
It’s part of owning a site.