What to do when your coaching website breaks

Your website is the shop window into your business and one of your most essential marketing tools. So, if your coaching website breaks, you might lose out on potential leads and clients.

And I know this is a worry many coaches have because “What do I do if my website breaks?” is a question coaches always ask me.

In this article, I will show what to look out for and what you can do if your website runs into trouble.

But first…

What do I mean by “breaking”?

Websites can break in more ways than it’s probably sensible to mention, so I’ll stick to the big three you’re likely to come across:

1. Random bits of code

Confusing code errors are relatively common and look something like this:

And unless you’re tech-savvy, it’s just a jumble of letters and symbols that’ll leave you completely baffled.

2. Your connection is not private

Another common issue is a ‘Your connection is not private’ error:

This issue is enough to bring you out in a cold sweat, especially with the accompanying message: “Attackers might be trying to steal your information”.

Chances are, they’re not. This error is caused mainly by SSL Certificate issues (which is another thing altogether). But if you want to know about them, you can read a little more about SSL Certificates in my article,  check out this super-helpful article, How to Convert HTTP to HTTPS: A Quick Guide.

3. The white page of death

And the most baffling error of all, a blank white page.

With no error message, how do you even begin to know what’s causing this problem?

All of the above can feel overwhelming, and you might think your website is broken for good. But fear not. In the following section, you’ll find some general best practices that I use to help solve all kinds of problems for my clients.

How to fix your broken website

If your website is glitching or looks completely broken, here’s what you can do to start fixing it:

1. Take a screenshot of the error

Taking a screenshot is pretty straightforward, regardless of what you are viewing your website on. If you’re on a Windows computer, press CTRL+PrtScn. Or, if you’re a MAC user, press Shift+CMD+3.

You can also download screenshot extension tools to your browser, like:

Taking a screenshot makes it easier to reference the specific issue to your website host, developer, or just by Googling it.

2. Restore your site from a backup

Any website host worth its salt will make free daily backups of your website. Or, hopefully, you’ve read my website maintenance article and you’ve got your own automatic backups in place

Reverting to an earlier backup will often fix the issue, allowing you to investigate the problem. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as a software or plugin update that conflicts with your site and causes it to break.

3. Google the error if you don’t have a backup

Let’s be honest, your first port of call will be Google. So, if you know you don’t have any backups, the screenshot allows you to Google the specific problem.

In most cases, you’ll find lots of forums with questions from users with similar issues that have been answered on how to resolve the problem (and its most common causes).

4. Contact your web host

If you’re at a total loss, contact your web host. They usually have a team you can email or speak to in a Live Chat.

Many coaches I know have done this, and usually, the web host team can see the issue straight away and will give you good advice on how to fix it. Or, if it’s possible, they’ll fix it for you.

Planning can save you a world of pain

Your website breaking is something you might not have even thought about before reading this. So, make sure you:

  • Create a regular maintenance schedule
  • Back your website up daily

By doing these, you’ll keep on top of the health of your website, and should anything break, you’ll hopefully be able to fix it without too much downtime.

To learn more about taking care of your website, including how to make backups, take a look at my article, Website Maintenance for Coaches: How to Care for your WordPress Website.

Need help with your coaching website?

Then I can help you fix most WordPress website problems with a one-time website tune-up (for a small fee). Or, for long-term peace of mind, why not enroll your website onto my care plans? Not only do they take care of your website maintenance, but I’ll also be by your side to take care of any tech issues you might have in the future.

I hope this helps!

Jennie

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Hi, I’m Jennie.

I build beautiful, highly targeted websites for life coaches so they can get their mind off their website and onto becoming an example of what’s possible.

My clients are coaches with big goals and a ton of resolve to get it done.

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