4 Common WordPress Problems. Which Do You Want to Solve?

Tutorials, Website Planning, Working with WordPress

I get emailed a lot about WordPress problems. Most of the time, it’s a common problem I’ve been asked before so, I thought it was time to write a blog post related to them.

NOTE: If you don’t have time right now to fix these problems then download the checklist below so you can work through it at your own pace.

 

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I get emailed a lot about WordPress problems. Most of the time, it’s a common problem I’ve been asked before so, I thought it was time to write a blog post related to them.

Here are 4 questions I get asked most frequently.

WordPress Problem #1

“It’s all so confusing, I mean…where do I even begin to understand how to use it? I just don’t have the bandwidth to learn it and I don’t have the money to have this taken care of. What do you suggest?”

You’re right! WordPress is a powerful beast – when you understand how to use it. It may not be perfect, but nothing ever is, is it? That’s just one of the reasons you’ll be asked to update the software from time to time – to improve it’s functionality to make it even better. The other reason being to address any security issues.

Of course it has it’s haters – like every successful thing/person. And the majority of the time those hating, are those who haven’t invested the time in getting to understand that person or thing.

So, YES! It can be hella-confusing to understand. But lets get real, anything we embark on as small biz owners and entrepreneurs is going to be confusing at first. That’s just the nature of the path we’ve chosen.

There’s so many different areas of business that will be foreign to you and WordPress is no exception. There’s always going to be a learning curve with anything new and if you’re not into that, you should either bite the bullet and hire help or re-think your future as a business owner.

You’ll continue to struggle and waste time, swapping out things that ‘aren’t working’ for new things that you’ll eventually get tired of too. This is applicable to anything you’ll have to learn in business from marketing to workflow…anything! The real question is, when will the search for ‘easy’ ever end?

Nothing will help you if you don’t first commit to learning. Commitment is everything. So please – Stop using ‘limited time and money’ as an excuse. We all have the same 24 hours in a day & I think you’ll find that most successful businesses started out with a great idea, a desire for something more and barely a few dollars to rub together. Don’t believe me? Check them out for yourself. This puts all of us on an equal playing field.

What if you put that energy into focusing on the real issues you’re facing – like learning to DO instead of freaking out because you don’t understand? Take a deep breath sister because even when you feel your backs against the wall, you still have options and the effort will be worth it – promise.

Take action :

  • Commit to learning how to use WordPress and STOP looking at every other website builder out there. The search ends now! You got this!
  • Write down all the the things that are bothering you about learning the tech stuff and tap the shit out of those little critters!

  • Dedicate yourself to learning just one thing about WordPress ‘every single day’. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by clicking around the WordPress Admin Panel to see what each menu option can help you do and watch this WordPress dashboard tour. Soon enough, you’ll be whizzing around the back end like it’s second nature to you!

WordPress Problem #2

“I’ve got an embarrassing amount of things that need updating but I’m so scared to touch anything in case I break something?”

That’s totally understandable and I bet, the more you have, the more urgency you feel to get this sorted? As I mentioned earlier, updates are important for 2 reasons:

  1. To improve plugin/theme functionality.
  2. To address any security issues.

And as far as a solution goes, this relates to the first issue in so many ways but there’s also another layer that again, affects us in all areas of our business.

The technical logic – it’s somewhat abstract so it’s hard to clearly understand unless you’re actually implementing. That said, there’s a level of confidence that you need to cultivate before you’ll be able to push any button relating to your website without fear. And that confidence comes through learning to understand the beast. {Read: WordPress problem #1}.

Until then, I can only tell you how to minimize the amount of updates that show up in your dashboard.

Now here’s the kicker, I can guarantee that some of those updates have nothing at all to do with the way your website works or functions. I bet you’ve installed plugins and themes you don’t even use – am I right? So, I strongly suggest you remove (Yes! Delete!) any plugins or themes that aren’t serving a purpose. By ‘purpose’ I mean, you don’t use it. It’s just sitting there, taking up space on your server.

Please note: Backup your site before following the steps outlined and if you didn’t install it, get in touch with the person who did (your developer) to double check that your site does not require it to function properly.

How to remove Plugins from your website in 3 clicks:

  • Log in to your WordPress Admin Panel
  • Hover over ‘Plugins’ in the menu (left-hand side) and click ‘Installed Plugins’
  • Find the plugins that you want to delete.
  • All Plugins need to be ‘Deactivated’ before they can be ‘Deleted’. Deactivate means they aren’t working on your site but they are still taking up space. Deleted means that all files associated with that theme or plugin will be removed from your server. So go ahead and click ‘Deactivate’ those that have no purpose.
  • Once it’s Deactivated it will now show a ‘Delete’ option. Go ahead and click ‘Delete’
  • You’ll then be prompted to confirm you want to follow through with the deletion. Click ‘Yes, delete these files’.
  • You won’t ever see another update notification for this Plugin again 🙂

How to remove unused Themes from your website in 4 clicks:

  • Login to your WordPress Admin Panel
  • Hover over ‘Appearance’ in the menu (left-hand side) and click ‘Themes’
  • You’ll now see all the themes that are installed. Take notice of the theme that is currently active on your site.
  • Hover over an inactive theme/s and click ‘Theme Details’. At the bottom right of the pop up box you’ll see the ‘Delete’ button. Click it.
  • You’ll then be prompted to confirm the deletion so click ‘OK’
  • You won’t ever see another update notification for this Theme again 🙂

Take Action

  • Follow action steps for WordPress Problem #1
  • List all the plugins and themes that you no longer need
  • Follow the steps provided above

WordPress Problem #3

I am tired of dealing with Spam comments – don’t these people have anything better to do!!?

Although this isn’t a huge problem, it’s a complete time waster dealing with spam on your site. I agree, it is annoying and I can’t for the life of me understand why these people can’t just do genuine business? They prey on the unknowing to spread their shit through the inter-webs making the web look nasty as hell. And all for the sake of a link to help them get noticed.

Fortunately there’s Akismet, and if you haven’t activated it yet, now would be an ideal time to do that.

Take Action

  • Log in to your WordPress Admin Panel
  • Hover over ‘Plugins’ in the menu (left-hand side) and click ‘Installed Plugins’
  • You’ll see it’s already installed. Once you activate it, you’ll see a large, green button telling you set it up.
  • Follow the official Akismet Getting Started Guide

WordPress Problem #4

I know it’s so wrong on so many levels not to be backing up my website but I just don’t know how?!!

Obviously, hackers are far more dangerous than spammers. These guys really do mean business and they’re smart as hell. They do it for many reasons one of which is to divert your ‘pay now’ buttons to their accounts meaning, they get paid instead of you. They also do it to rank higher in the search engines by adding links from your site to theirs. Some even do it simply for bragging rights!

These guys don’t discriminate so we’re all up as potential targets and if you’re serious about your work (which, I’m sure you are), you need to swing into action on this now. If your site is less than 20 GB your hosting provider should be taking regular backups of your site BUT don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Be proactive about this. Prevention is always better than a cure.

If you’d like some help to set Backup + Secure your website, send me a request here.

2 Tools to Backup and secure your precious website:

    • BackupBuddy is basically, set and forget (and easy to install!). At $80 per year, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
    • Wordfence is another amazing addition to your website security arsenal. Basically, it prevents, patrols and protects your website from hackers. When it sees an attack on it’s network, it automatically locks the offending IP address (that’s our computers unique signature) from all other WordPress sites running Wordfence.
      Check out their homepage to see Wordfence in action, in real-time. You’ll be astounded! I almost forgot to mention it’s FREE with a premium options if you so choose.

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about taking a pencil and crossing off actions that thrills and motivates me. If you love checklists then you’ll love the fact that I’ve created one so you have the thrill of crossing these problems off your list for good!

If you’d like a copy then click the download link below to have it delivered to your inbox instantly.

 

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Let me know in the comments below which WordPress problems you’re ready to handle. And if your problem wasn’t addressed, let me know all about that and you might just find the solution in a future blog post 🙂

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I invite you to go ahead and do than now. 

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