When one of your website pages isn’t displaying or working the way you expect, it’s frustrating. All kinds of questions come to your mind.
What’s causing the issue? How long has your website been broken? And how many of your website visitors had the same problem?
You need the issue identified and resolved quickly so you can focus on your business. And that means a call to your web designer or developer.
When I get one of those calls from my clients, I listen carefully to better understand what’s going on. And then I ask three questions to learn more about the issue.
Last December, those three questions helped me troubleshoot and resolve my client’s website issue in less than two minutes.
But what happens when the problem still isn’t resolved?
That means I’ll need more information so I can investigate what’s happening.
Like an auto mechanic who takes multiple steps to troubleshoot the low-pitch grinding noise in your vehicle, web designers and developers have a number of
steps they take to identify website issues.
Here’s three more pieces of information to help your designer or developer troubleshoot your website issue:
- Have you checked the web page in another browser?
- When was the last time the website worked correctly?
- What changed on the website?
Read on for more details.
1. Check the Web Page in Another Browser
Opening the website page in another browser will eliminate any browser-specific issues. If you discovered the website issue on Firefox, open the page in Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari.
Does the problem persist?
If yes, then the issue is not specific to a browser. Your web designer or developer can use that information to troubleshoot what’s happening with the web page.
But if the page renders correctly on another browser, then the issue could be due to browser extensions or add-ons you’ve installed in your browser.
Or due to configuration settings you changed in existing extensions or add-ons.
If you made changes or added new browser extensions or add-ons, uninstall or restore the settings to see if the page displays correctly.
2. When Did the Page Work Correctly?
Was it last week? Or earlier this week, before the web host made a change to the server?
Knowing when the page worked correctly provides critical information.
If the page was working earlier this week, before a server update, your web designer or developer can contact your web host customer support to learn more about the update.
3. What Changed on the Website?
Save your web designer and developer time (and yourself money) by reporting changes you’ve made to the website.
If your site uses a content management system (CMS), did you make settings changes? Change to a new theme?
Add or remove a plugin? Remove a user from the website?
Any of those changes can potentially impact the content and layout of your website. ‘
If you’re using WordPress, a plugin like Simple History tracks recent changes and can lend insights.
Real Life Example
Last week, one of our Meetup members reported a website issue where the navigation menu displayed correctly on Firefox, but not in Internet Explorer.
After more than 20 messages going back and forth between the member and others, the member revealed a critical piece of information about a recent website change.
Knowing that information led to more questions and eventually the navigation menu issue was resolved.
Troubleshooting website issues can take time and effort. Providing all information to your web designer/developer can help them to diagnose your website issue quickly.