There is nothing more frustrating than visiting a website only to find it broken. It’s doubly frustrating when the same site worked just 24 hours before, or less. What causes this seemingly immediate outage and how can it be fixed? As the designer, you’ve spent your time creating a beautiful client site, but when your client and their customers can’t access it, the frustration will spread up the chain. What do you need to know about outages that can help you be a better provider?
Have you ever run into this problem? You’ve tried to access a website that you visit frequently but are suddenly unable to reach it? It either gives you error message or show you a garbled and unnavigable version of the site?
Then you open up a new browser, perhaps Firefox or Chrome, and the same website works just fine. That means you’ve had some browser compatibility issues. It could be code validation problems or may function better on either mobile or desktop but not the other way around.
The only way to really solve for this is to test the site on multiple browsers during the design phase, and that can get clumsy.
Similarly, the website may no longer work because there’s been a software update. You may notice this most often from mobile devices, especially iPhones, if you haven’t yet updated to the newest iOS.
Windows updates can also cause a massive problem with a website. Even if the site was previously just fine, even the day before, it may not be accessed after your computer updates. This can be frustrating for you as the designer because you never know when a new update will roll out or how many people it may affect.
Sometimes the error isn’t any of those things but our own moments of “I can’t even.” More times than we can count, major problems with a website are user error. But how can you solve for someone else’s inability to use the site correctly?
The truth is, you can’t. There will always be people unable to access your site because they’ve done something wrong. All you can really do is provide support when needed and try to simplify the site as much as possible.
When it comes to your WordPress designs, a change from a Plugin may affect the ability to use or connect to a site that was working just hours before. While you may frequently check updates to ensure that they’re still supported, what do you do when one simply changes the processes and affects the whole site?
Before you do anything yourself, it’s helpful to talk to someone who understands the technical language behind your creative design.
Partner with Site Trustee to ensure your site is always up and running so neither you nor your clients are affected by a broken site.