5 Common Small Business Website Problems

July 8, 2014By
Small Business Website Problems

This is how I feel when I wake up to website issues.

If you operate a small business website the chances are high that you’ve experienced a problem or two.

If you’re like me then you’ve experienced a lot of website problems. I’m talking all kinds of things and if you’re like me you probably have no idea how to deal with them.

I see myself as someone that can fix a few things with a site. I know my way around WordPress and other content systems. I know a little code (enough to do some damage). I guess I can fix a few things, but when it comes to some problems I have no clue.

In this article I’m going to share common small business website problems. Some you might already know how to fix, but hopefully these are helpful. I’ll share the issue and the fix.

1. Content Is In The Wrong Font And Style

This happened to me when I first started blogging and working with websites. WordPress is much, much better with it now, but back in the early days it was frustrating.

If you copy content from something like  Word document and paste it onto your website with a system like WordPress you’re opening yourself up for font issues and even some potentially other big issues.

WordPress is better now especially with blog posts. You can paste from Word, but it’s still a little tricky with other sources like Google Drive.

It’s always best to paste your content from somewhere that doesn’t have any associated formatting. WordPress has a Text-Only paste tool for blog posts. This strips out all formatting making it easy for your website to apply the correct font and style.

2. Contact Form Isn’t Working

This is obviously not a good thing.

If this is happening to you the first thing to check is your spam folder. This still happens to me on occasion. There are a number of things that can cause an email from your contact form to go into the spam folder. If it keeps happening, contact your host to see if they have suggestions on making changes. The host for your site and for your email.

This could also be a technical issue with your site. This is why it’s good to have a developer on your team to help. The issue might be caused by a recent update to your site like with WordPress and its plugins. Or it could be that your site is out of date.

3. Site Is Down (Or Taking A Long Time To Load)

This is the one that makes you want to scream especially when it’s the first thing you notice when you wake up.

The first step is to take a deep breath, go get a cup of coffee and see if the site comes back. It is normal for a site to be down for a couple minutes. It shouldn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. Usually it’s a host issue and they’ll work to resolve it.

However, if it lasts for more than an hour then it’s good to reach out to your host. If you’re on a shared server, which most small businesses are, then it’s usually a crashed server or an issue where another site on the server is getting an influx if traffic and taking up all the space.

Talk to the host and see if they can find the issue. Chances are they’re already working on a fix. If it’s an issue that’s ongoing then find a new host that can provide better reliability.

This could be an issue with your site, but in my experience it’s usually host related.

4. Images Disappeared

You think you’re going crazy when you go to your blog or homepage or something and realize that no images are showing up. It’s happened to me. When it did happen to me it was a WordPress plugin issue. I updated a plugin and it caused the images to disappear. And the plugin didn’t even have anything to do with the images.

WordPress is quirky like that especially if you use more than a few plugins. You’ll run into the issues. If you’re good with plugins, go in and turn them off one by one to identify the culprit. Once you do, visit the plugin site on WordPress and install the previous version.

This will usually restore your images until the plugin puts out an update to address the issue. If you need to have your designer or developer help you with it.

5. Site Is Jacked Up For A Friend

I’ve had people reach out to me saying that they can’t access Ghost Blog Writers on their work computer. I ask what browser they’re using and they’ll say something like Internet Explorer 7.

For designers and developers, they go back to a few versions on the different browsers, but for IE 7 or IE 8 there are less than 1% of the population in the world using them. It’s just not worth the time to develop a site version that will show up on those browsers.

Just rest easy knowing that most of your visitors will see the right site. You can always check your analytics to see what browsers people are using. If you do have visitors that use an older browser then it would be worth it to pay your developer and designer to spend the extra time working to make the site look good for those visitors.

I hope these will help you. I don’t wish any website problems on you and your business, but if you have a website the are going to be issues. The best thing you can do is to keep a designer and a developer on your team. Pay them well and they’ll help you out when you get in a jam. And also hire a good hosting company because hosting seems to cause the most issues when it comes to your site going down and things like that.

Image: Evil Erin