Topic: Web Design

How WordPress Plugins Can Cause Your Website to Crash – Learn How to Protect Your WordPress Website

WordPress has grown to be one of the most popular website building platforms on the Internet. It’s estimated that over a quarter of all websites on the Internet are powered by the Content Management System. One of the biggest reasons why WordPress is so popular is due to the fact that there are over 29 thousand plugins that can be downloaded. A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that integrates with the WordPress software, allowing for a new function or tool on the site. Many of these plugins are free to download and install, some will come with a fee. If you need your WordPress site to do something, there’s probably a plugin that will help you do it.

With so many plugins available, it’s very possible to download and install a WordPress plugin that will have a negative effect on your website. It doesn’t matter how careful or experienced you are, it’s very possible to install a plugin that could cause your website to crash. There are a few things you can do to keep your website safe from harmful WordPress plugins.

Regardless of the plugins you install, you will always want to regularly backup your website. There are various do-it-yourself solutions on the market, but it’s probably best to seek the help of an experienced WordPress development company. Manual backups are the best way to ensure you have everything stored properly, but automatic updates are better than nothing. We would also recommend that you store your backups on a secure cloud service.

Do Your Research and Test Your Plugins

Every WordPress plugin will come with some basic information that you’ll want to review before you download anything. You’ll want to take a few minutes are review things such as the number of times the plugin was downloaded and read any reviews or feedback left behind about the plugin. Do not download the plugin if there’s been negative feedback left or if you see a limited number of downloads. It can be tempting, especially if the plugin seems to solve a problem on your site, but a bad plugin can quickly cause a nightmare for your website and might even make it crash.

If you’re going to download third-party WordPress plugins from unknown sources, it’s always best to have a functional copy of your website available for testing. Your testing site should be an exact clone of your live website; with all the same posts, pages, plugins, custom code and theme. This is your best solution keeping your website safe from a problematic plugin but will take some work to keep everything current.

How Can One WordPress Plugin Bring Down an Entire Website?

It’s hard to really pinpoint one specific reason why a WordPress plugin can take down your website, there are many things that can go wrong.

  • The plugin could simply be coded badly
  • Maybe the plugin is well-coded but it conflicts with a poorly coded element in your WordPress theme
  • The newly installed plugin is coded well, but it conflicts with another plugin already installed and active on your website
  • A plugin could be coded so poorly that it doesn’t work with WordPress itself

Many people feel okay about installing a new plugin due to the fact the site seems to work properly after the installation. This can be a positive sign, but it’s not uncommon for a plugin issue to arise after the installation. There are various updates issued by WordPress and updating your WordPress to the newest version could cause a problematic plugin to take down your website. Plugin developers should be proactively updating their plugins before WordPress launches an update if a plugin hasn’t been updated there could be major issues. An out-of-date plugin can cause two scary issues; the website may start showing error messages on the top of each page, or your live website will appear as an empty white box. Typically, the white screen error is caused by a memory limit. These issues will need to be fixed on the backend of your website and will likely require the help of a WordPress developer.

Custom Plugin Development

One of the best ways to prevent plugin-related issues is to have a custom WordPress plugin built specifically for your website. An experienced developer will look at your website and develop a custom plugin that adds the functionality you’re looking for but will work with your current theme, plugins and content. Sure, having a custom WordPress plugin developed isn’t going to be free, but it’s a worthwhile investment when you consider the potential harm your website could face. You will also have the peace of mind knowing that you alone own the code for the plugin.

What to do if Your WordPress Crashes Because of a Plugin Issue

First, you’ll want to take a deep breath. It’s scary to see your website crash, but it is fixable. Issues will need to be resolved in your site’s admin area and you’ll want to do so quickly. Some issues can be resolved by simply uninstalling the offending plugin. Working in your admin area can be risky when you don’t have the right experience and a simple problem can quickly become a larger issue with only a couple wrong clicks. You may want to seek the help of an experienced WordPress developer and have the issue fixed right away without causing more issues. It’s possible that your website’s code could also have issues that need to be attended to.

WordPress is a great website platform and the selection of plugins is one of the main reasons the CMS has become so popular. Your website is vital to your business and the thought of it going down due to something as simple as installing a plugin is a very scary thought. At Insiteful Solutions, we’ve been building WordPress websites and keeping them maintained for nearly a decade. We have various WordPress maintenance and backup packages available. Our team of experienced Toronto WordPress developers will work with you to create custom WordPress plugins that are designed to suit your site and needs. We’re also here to help if your website is down due to a plugin error. Let us know how we can help.

Designing a Website for the Mobile World – Why Mobile Designs Matter and Why You Should Care

Mobile Design

Mobile Design

The Internet is going mobile and it’s happening more and more every day. If you don’t have a mobile design or mobile version of your website, you’re losing a large percentage of your web traffic. Regardless, of the industry you work within, people of all ages are using their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to view content online.

It’s estimated that there are 1.2 billion mobile web users online and some of them no longer use a desktop on a regular basis. The data also shows that more and more people enjoy shopping online from their mobile device. It’s easy to see why more smartphones are sold yearly than desktop computers. Computers aren’t going anywhere, but people are using their mobile devices a lot more than ever before.

Taking mobile-first strategy with your website design is something we recommend to all of our Toronto clients. With so many different mobile devices and screen sizes it can almost be impossible to have a custom design for each mobile user. Basically, a responsive mobile design allows adapting to any screen it is being viewed on. A responsive website design is usually the best way to make your site look great on any device. It can be the best way to ensure that all the important elements of your website appear correctly for your entire audience. It doesn’t matter what the hottest phone on the market is, or if people are using Apple or Android; your site will look great.

Why Your Business Should Have a Custom-Built WordPress Website

Custom Built Wordpress Website

Over the last few years, WordPress has grown to become the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the Internet. WordPress estimates that more than 25 percent of the world’s websites are powered by the platform. Brands both big and small are utilizing the thousands of features offered by the CMS.

WordPress is one of the most affordable solutions available to website owners. A simple WordPress theme is free to install, launch and maintain. There are many different open source and paid options that provide users with access to literally thousands of themes, templates, plugins and widgets. It’s likely that there is custom built WordPress solution for almost anything you could want on your website.

We’ve been helping business owners throughout Markham and the Toronto region design and build custom WordPress websites for nearly a decade. Over this time we’ve been able to build some really engaging and modern designs. Here are some the top reasons our clients have enjoyed using WordPress to power their website.

Easy to Use and Manage

WordPress was initially built for non-tech savvy content creators and bloggers, the interface of the CMS is designed to upload content quickly and easily. You don’t really need a lot of experience working with websites to add, update or delete the content on your website. The CMS is built with a simple to use interface, allowing you the ability to add text, images and even video with just a couple clicks. There’s no need learn or even look at HTML or other code. Your staff will need minimal training to hit the ground running and start posting content. The Internet is full of helpful online manuals and walkthrough videos that provide excellent tips for your staff. There are even mobile applications that let you update your website from your phone or tablet.

By default, WordPress allows you the ability to have full user management, RSS feeds, revision backups and tracking, blogging and many other features. WordPress is a very powerful tool right out of the gate with its many default features and plug-ins. There are more than 50,000 WordPress plugins that can be instantly downloaded, many of which are free or can be purchased for a small fee.

Affordable Website Development and Maintenance

Most WordPress websites require some customization work. When compared to other CMS solutions on the market such as Drupal and Joomla, WordPress customization is very affordable. Monthly website maintenance packages are affordable and will help keep your website running safe and secure for years to come.  With the size of its community, WordPress is constantly rolling out critical updates that make the platform evolve on a regular basis. The flexibility of WordPress is another reason why it works as a CMS for many Toronto businesses. WordPress can be used to create everything from a simple blog to a complex and custom website with many moving parts. Many time-consuming functions such as building contact forms, slideshows, and custom navigation can be done quickly without the need for heavy development time.

Some of the most commonly used web applications integrate easily with a WordPress website. Tools such as MailChimp, Facebook, Instagram, and other marketing platforms can quickly integrate with WordPress, this can create some exciting ways to build and engage with your customer base.

Full E-Commerce Capability

Every day businesses process e-commerce transactions on their WordPress powered website. Tools such as WooCommerce make e-commerce secure, easy to manage and scalable. Over the years the WordPress community has focused a lot of attention to towards online security. With some ongoing security maintenance, you will have the peace of mind of knowing your website is secure for your customers to process transactions. WordPress now has some of the easiest to use e-commerce solutions on the Internet.

With WooCommerce you can easily manage your inventory with detailed information, images and video on each of your product pages. Major online payment gateways such as Moneris, PayPal and Stripe can quickly begin processing payments on your WordPress site. You even have the ability to upload your entire inventory via a spreadsheet file to instantly populate thousands of items to your website. There are various syndication tools that will link your website to your company’s CRM tool.

Rank Higher in Search Engine with SEO

WordPress has a reputation for ranking well in Google search results with SEO-friendly coded pages and design. There are many factors that Google takes into account when they rank websites and WordPress takes most of these elements into account. The content is designed to load quickly with clean code, something that Google rewards heavily. There are some really great SEO plugins that can be installed for free that will instantly have a positive impact on your SEO strategy. Images can be easily optimized to load quickly and appear higher in search results.

Built for Mobile Devices

Creating a positive mobile browsing experience is something that’s important for all business owners. WordPress developers have focused much of their attention on building websites with a strong mobile design. Many traditional websites require a lot of code and testing to ensure their content works and look good on all mobile devices, WordPress automates this entire process. Many of our clients see a majority of their traffic now coming from mobile devices and WordPress is a great way to keep this audience happy and engaged.

As a Toronto online marketing company, we’ve had a front-row seat to the evolution of WordPress over the last few years and it’s only getting better. The open source nature of WordPress has a created a community with some of the best developers in the world constantly making updates to the platform. There are many reasons why WordPress has now established itself as the largest CMS platform on the Internet.

Your business can literally do anything with WordPress and our team of experienced designers and developers will make your website stand out with a unique and interactive design. Contact us today to learn more about how WordPress can benefit your business today.