As a successful website developer in Brisbane, most of our clients have us on speed dial when their website goes down. This is fine, because we can track down the problem and fix it pretty quickly, but are your web developers always to blame when your site goes down?
We get it… websites are complicated
It’s easy for us to see how a client could believe that we, as their WordPress web development team, are the one and only cause of all of their website problems. Being a highly specialised technical field, most people don’t really know how websites work, what other factors may be at play, or even whether they’re supposed to be receiving support (whether free or paid) from their developer. But usually when something does go wrong with a website, it’s not something the web developer did wrong.
What are the most common causes of a website crashing?
Websites can spontaneously have issues for any number of reasons. Unless your web developer is currently engaged to upgrade or maintain the website, there’s very little chance they’re to blame.
Common causes for websites being offline include:
- Software in the website has automatically updated itself, or someone has updated it manually, causing compatibility issues.
- The web hosting account (where the website is stored) has had a change in configuration.
- Hackers defacing the website, or taking the website offline.
- Corrupt databases — this often happens with very large websites or sites that are not actively being maintained to check for problems.
- An increase in traffic which causes the website to struggle (usually temporarily).
- There’s a software update in progress and the website is put into “maintenance mode” during that.
Any of these issues can cripple a website, until the cause it found and fixed, and this can happen with even the very best websites. If you don’t have a WordPress web development team managing your website, you’re running the risk of these problems occurring without even being aware of them.
What should you do when your site crashes?
The first thing you should do is to count to 10 and take a deep breath. Quite often just waiting a few minutes and refreshing your browser will fix the problem. Maybe someone was updating the software and you just happened to check the website at that precise moment. So give it a few minutes and if the issue is not resolved, check your host’s website for any status updates.
If these steps don’t resolve the issue then phone your website consultant (don’t email them) and they will most probably find the cause within a few minutes. Remember however, that website support is usually not free, so if you don’t have a WordPress web development team in place, you will need to pay for their help to fix your website.