Every once in awhile I run into an issue with one of my client’s sites or even one of my own web projects that causes a mass crisis. White Screen of Death, which I prefer to call “White powder donuts” because it sounds much nicer, is the one that always freaks people out. I usually have to spend about 30 minutes just calming the person down so they can tell me what they did last and everything will be alright. Halfway through me calming them down I usually have their website back up and running like nothing happen.
He who smiles in a crisis has found someone to blame.
1, 2, 3, Breathe
I briefly talked about how to Troubleshoot common errors made in WordPress in the Beginners workshop at WordCamp Miami in Fort Lauderdale. One of the things I pointed out was to stay calm and relaxed during a problem with your website. I know, I know freaking out when you see weird and strange things happening to your website is normal behavior but you have to calm down and just breath.
Now that you have calmed down, there are a few items that you have to go over.
By: Alan Cleaver
Try to remember your last few steps before your website broke. I usually keep a log with a paper and pen to jot down what I have done. This helps me keep track of changes if things tend to break. If you can go back to what you did wrong, you could probably fix it without having to restore your files and database with a backup. For example, if you installed a plugin that took down your site, you can get into your plugins folder via FTP and change the name of the plugin folder which will basically turn off the plugin.Do you have a backup and how recent is it? If you have a backup of your site then you can restore your site back to the date when the backup took place. Now, if you didn’t backup your site before updating your site, plugins or adding some code snippet that you found somewhere on the net you might be going further back then you like to. I, like most people, prefer to automate my backup for every month for my websites. I have a few websites that are backup every week or even daily based on the amount of content they generate in a certain time period. I will always recommend that you backup be done before making any updates and code changes. A more recent backup of your website can save you a headache trying to put it back together.
The facts are that things break but if you don’t freak out you can easily get it back up. Glitches can happen for many reasons and some of them will require you to do a full install of WordPress. Don’t dwell too much on why the glitch happens just focus on getting your website up and working on preventing it from happening again.
I realized late in my college years how important it is for me to be able to communicate in written language. It was not like I did not know the basic writing skills, I was just too lazy to write out long papers on topics that just plain out sucked. When I got around to do them they were within a few hours of them being due. Even today I have to send out clear written emails, user guides, and manuals for myself, clients and colleagues.
Now, this really started after I spent some time going through old notes and emails to myself and others that were just awful to read and really understand what I was saying. I clearly needed to go back and read over those to fix a few spelling and grammar mistakes. Most of the readings can be fixed by just reading it out loud and going over it.
41 Cards Writing Exercises
To help me strength up my writing skills and get me in the habit of written communication, I will be drawing from a deck of 41 cards with some interesting and funny quotes. I will use these as topics or points of discussions for each one. So, for the next 41 days, I will be doing a daily writing exercise just to make me a little better in life.
What can you do?
There are a few things you can do to help me out and also help yourself. Join me by writing in your own blog post and share it with the corresponding blog post on this site. If that is a little much for you just leave a comment on what you think.
Good internet marketers and marketing agencies will tell you to produce great content for your business website. Based on the marketer or the agency they will tell you that great content usually consists of giving away information that is really known by you or people deep in your industry as “Secret Sauce”.
Yes, go ahead and create a blog about your secret ingredient that keeps your cupcakes moist and delicious.
At a Sunday church service, the Pastor gave a great example of sharing with a box of mints that he had in his hand. The box of mints had two openings, one for sharing with others and at the opposite side an opening that was not meant to share with others. Can you guess which opening was larger? The side for sharing with others was a small opening meant to let one piece of gum out at a time. While the side opening allowed you access to get a handful of mints. Now, it would be better to share more than one mint at a time with others. Well, most people prefer to only share one tiny piece of mint gum than to open up and dump over a quarter of a box into someone hands.
Sharing is Caring
Giving a little information even if it’s one piece of mint information will not hurt your business. More than likely it will help your business grow and build trust with your potential customers. Most customers are looking to purchase a service or a product from you so giving away a little information will only confirm with them that you know what you are doing.
On this site, I will be sharing my secret sauce through my expertise in business, skills in web development and demonstrate how to hustle with pocket lint. I do this to gain trust and integrity from potential clients and partners.
What Secret Sauce Should You Share?
Sharing your time, knowledge, or skills are the easiest things you can do to get started. Just having an FAQ page to answer common questions or giving tips on how to use your product for different functionality. Creating written, audio, and/or video content to display your act of kindness of sharing your secret sauce. Forbes has an article about ways to share your expertise that is worth at least a glance.