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Troubleshooting WordPress Problems

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wordpress-logo-200It’s what every blogger fears. Something has gone wrong with their blog. It could be something minor, such as, as with my case, excerpts not working, or it could be something major, such as the site’s home page being nothing more than an error.

This is not the time to panic. Most problems with WordPress are easily corrected but there is a very real risk that, by attempting to fix the problem through the wrong methods, you may do more damage than the issue itself.

So take a deep breath and start troubleshooting the problem. To best do that, you have to first understand exactly what is going on and then take precautions to prevent the problem from getting worse before you take any additional steps. Fortunately, the process is actually fairly easy and most of it can be done by just about anyone.

Step 1: Understand the Problem

The first step is always to try and figure out exactly what is going on. If you get an error message, search for it using Google. Odds are you are not the first to see the error and you’ll likely find some good resources that explain the problem and how to fix it. Pay special attention to any results that come from the WordPress.org forums as they are likely going to be your best resources.

This should help you deal with any of the common mistakes. Issues such as bad database passwords and so forth are common enough that a quick Google search can find both the problem and the solution.

If you don’t have a specific error message, meaning that something is simply going wrong, try to replicate the problem and test different scenarios. If it is a problem in the admin panel, try logging in from different accounts. If it is a problem with posting comments, try logging in as yourself and posting as well as posting as a stranger.

When you think you understand the exact problem, try describing the symptoms in a Google search and see what you find. Even if you aren’t successful, you will still have a better handle on the problem and can better diagnose it down the road.

2. Consider the Changes

Next, think about if you’ve done anything to your site recently that might have triggered the problem. Especially with obscure problems, it may have taken you a few days to notice the issue so be prepared to stretch your memory in those cases. Here’s a list of some of the more common things that can trigger problems in WordPress.

  1. Updating WordPress Itself
  2. Installing/Updating Plugins
  3. Changing a Setting
  4. Moving to a New Host
  5. Switching Themes

In short, anything you did to alter or change your WordPress install any way, including many things that seem innocent, can cause problems. This is why it is important to keep track of what you’re doing in case something goes wrong.

3. Backup

By now you probably have either figured out what likely caused the problem or what the more common solutions via your searching. Either way, you’re probably ready to take some kind of action but, before you do, it is worthwhile to take a moment to backup.

If you don’t have a good, recent backup of your site it is imperative that you make one now. Specifically, you need to make sure you have a copy of your WP-Content directory, specifically your plugins, themes and uploads folders, as well as a copy of your database, which will likely be obtained from your Web host’s control panel.

Even though your site isn’t working perfectly, there is likely still plenty of useful data that may be in danger of being overwritten.

4. Follow Advice from Steps 1 & 2

If you got a tip on how to resolve an issue from one of your searches or can think of something that you did recently and can easily undo, take that step now. This can include following directions on the WordPress forums, deactivating a plugin you recently installed or reverting back to an old theme.

If any of these things fix the issue, you at least know what caused the problem and can move forward without it, at least until the problem is patched.

5. Check Your Plugins

If there was no help available, your recent action couldn’t be easily undone (such as with a WordPress upgrade) or the steps didn’t solve your problem, a good place to start looking is your plugins.

Deactivate all of your plugins and see if that corrects the problem. If you can’t access the admin panel, you can use FTP to rename the plugin directory temporarily. If that fixes the problem, then you can assume it is one of your plugins creating the issue. You can then reactivate one plugin at a time until the problem resurfaces, letting you know which plugin is causing the problem.

These types of issues are especially common after WordPress updates its core files as many plugins have compatibility issues with new versions. Once you have everything working, you can check to see if there are any updates for your plugins that may address the issue.

6. Check Your Database

Using your site’s control panel, open up your database and, if possible, perform a “repair” on it. This will fix any errors in the database and ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. This should only take a few moments on a large database and is relatively safe to do. However, once again, it is important to have a backup available in case data is lost.

7. Reinstall WordPress

If it is not a plugin issue, then you may want to make sure you have a good clean install of WordPress, especially if you just did an upgrade. Sometimes core files can become corrupted and create some odd errors. Download a new copy from WordPress’s site and upload it via FTP.

Generally this is safe to do with a good FTP program, but it is especially important to have your backup ready in the event something goes wrong.

8. Ask for Help

Nearly all WordPress problems are beaten by this point but, in the event you’ve gotten to this point and nothing has worked, it is time to ask for help. I would submit a post to the official WordPress forums and get the help of the gurus there. If your problem seems to be related to a specific theme or plugin, you should probably ask your question on its site.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to do so publicly. Remember, if others were hesitant to ask for help in the public sphere, there would be no results for others to search for.

In short, by asking for help and discussing your problem on a public site, you’re assisting those who follow you to find the answer they seek. They find the answer faster and the same question doesn’t have to be asked hundreds of times.

Bottom Line

If you’ve got a WordPress problem, the most important thing is to not panic. Most of the problems can be easily addressed though, if you go in and start tearing things apart right off the bat, you may damage your site in ways that can’t be repaired.

Taking your time and being methodical will not only help you get your site online faster, but ensure that it’s available for a long time to come.

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1 of My Secrets to Being Kinda Prolific

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I have written hundreds of guest posts for this blog.

I have written about 1000 on Blogging From Paradise between posts and travel pages.

A few moments ago I checked my DA for a sponsored post opportunity. The business owner wanted to know blog domain authority before deciding to place a sponsored post on the blog.

Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 48 and 22,457 external links in.

Not super shabby.

I am kinda prolific.

If you want to publish helpful content frequently, just run with my most basic of tips.

Do not wait around for folks to read your content, comment on your content and share your content before writing your next blog post or guest post.

Do not wait to create.

Do Not Wait to Create

The old me – and most bloggers – became highly attached to any single piece of content I created because I feared the content would not register enough shares, comments, page views and sales. Fear drove me to share this piece of content in many places to boost my stats. All well and good but because fear drove me, I resisted my prolific nature, allowing worry and lack to goad me to do stuff that led to me being the farthest thing from prolific.

Eventually, I observed how bloggers who seemed to be in 10,000,000 places at once simply prolifically created a high volume of helpful blog posts, guest posts and videos. Success found these folks because they did not wait around for readers to check out their blog posts. Said bloggers moved on to writing and publishing their next blog post.

Acting abundantly – not allowing their fears to eat into their prolific nature – promoted these blogger’s success as they created generously, publishing a high volume of content across multiple platforms.

I finally learned of this secret and used it effectively when I chose NOT to wait to create.

Now I publish 3 posts daily on Blogging From Paradise. I also publish the odd guest post from time to time. My success accelerated and my online presence expanded when I decided not to get attached much at all to any one blog post, because the next blog post called me.

No sense waiting around for folks to read my stuff because they simply will read at their own leisure. My job is to keep creating helpful content to help readers build successful blogs. As I move in this direction, everything keeps expanding for me.

All because I chose not to wait to create.

Being Prolific Impacts Folks

Peep this tweet from my friend Corey Hinde of The Good Oil Marketing:

I am humbled by such kind words from an established, super successful internet marketer. This is pretty much what happens when you are prolific; you impact folks in a positive way, and you also expand your reach and help more folks, all because you refuse to hold back.

Tips to Be Prolific

  • Blog mainly for the fun of blogging
  • Nudge yourself out of your comfort zone daily
  • Surround yourself with prolific bloggers to feast on their creative energy
  • Do not wait to create
  • Beware getting attached to any one piece of content; promote posts freely across a wide range of channels but look toward the next blog post, guest post or video to create, in order to become incredibly prolific.

Guys; this journey gets a little uncomfortable at times but if you love fun and freedom more than you fear doing some uncomfortable things you will become a highly prolific blogger.

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Blogging

How to Get Your Blogging Mojo Going if You Feel Hopelessly Stuck

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I lose blogging momentum sometimes.

You may be in the same boat, being human and all.

But if you regularly find yourself saying “I need to get serious about building my blog” over the course of years it is time to own this fact: you need to get your blogging mojo going before you become permanently stuck in a blogging rut.

I was rut-stuck here and there for many years, on and off. Maybe I didn’t quit blogging totally but I’d start blogging, then stop, and continue this process for weeks on end. Not good.

You can find your blogging mojo and get unstuck by following these blogging tips.

1: Pick a Dream that Makes You Feel Alive

I am led by my dreams, not pushed by problems, because I picked a big old dream a while back. I wanted to circle the globe. Bingo!

Since I wanted to travel the world more than I feared doing uncomfortable, blogging-building things, I built a rocking blog and kept on moving, keeping my blogging mojo going.

What is your dream? Figure it out. Hold it tight.

If you need inspiration watch my video from New Zealand. I filmed this one at Mount Cook a few months ago.

2: Feel Fears Fueling Your Struggles

Some folks believe they lack motivation to blog. Others feel they are lazy. But at the end of the day, if you are not acting, you are afraid of something or someone.

Laziness is fear manifest. So find your fears, by shutting a door and sitting in a quiet room, and if you feel the deep fears you purge the energies and proceed from an inspired, loving, persistent, energized space.

I kept putting off writing an eBook for many years. Turns out I was not lazy; I just feared nobody would buy the eBook because I saw myself as a loser who knew little. I also feared people would criticize me. But I went forward and wrote my first eBook to get out of my fear-rut and to keep on moving.

Some of my eBooks do not sell as much as others and people sometimes post negative reviews of my eBooks but since I do not fear these outcomes, neither have any power over me. I just keep expanding my success, helping folks and befriending blogging pros because I move forward, unburdened by many blogging fears I faced, embraced and released.

3: Study Persistently Energized Bloggers

I am no Tony Robbins but blog persistently from an energized space.

Each day I:

  • do 1 hour of deep yin yoga
  • exercise for 1 hour
  • usually take an icy cold shower
  • focus on having fun with my blog versus attaching to money or traffic outcomes

I have written thousands of guest posts, over 10,000 blog posts (old and new blogs combined) and I have also written over 100 eBooks. Toss in the thousands of videos I created over many YouTube channels (since closed) and you see I am a pretty prolific dude. An energized, prolific dude at that.

You’d be wise to see how I go about my energy ritual daily to take a few pointers. Consider deep yin yoga to open up your body, to open your mind and to form the habit of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Maybe meditating daily opens your awareness. Exercise is definitely a must, every single day.

Circulating your energy freely moves you from being fear-based, lazy and sluggish to being love-based, energized and prolific. I was once pretty dang lazy before I dove deep into energy work.

Wrapping it Up

Keep at it guys. I know this blogging journey feels scary sometimes but if you grab the right blogging resources and follow the above tips you will avoid common blogging ruts that appear to cripple most bloggers.

 

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1 Clever Way to Find Blogs for Reading and Commenting

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Have you missed me?

I dove full bore into promoting my eBook through blog commenting a number of months back. Toss in a prolific blogging campaign over at Blogging From Paradise and some serious video creation and you see I am a busy bee.

A few days ago I uncovered an incredibly neat and pretty clever way to drive traffic to your blog through blog commenting, via a neat method of finding new blogs for your collection.

The Problem

Do you feel stagnant, blog-reading-wise?

I did. For a minute.

Turns out I dug deep into my blogging comfort zone for too many years, reading and commenting on the same blogs week after week, month after month.

If you know anything about successful blogging you likely know that all blogging growth occurs well outside of your comfort zone. So I had to venture out of the familiar by finding new blogs in both the blogging and travel blogging niches because my readers gravitate to both.

Enter a cool method for identifying new blogs for reading and commenting.

Google Image Search

The other day a neat little idea knocked on my mind’s door; why not use a Google image search to find blogs in my niches?

5 minutes later I literally had an unlimited number of blogs for enjoying, commenting and for connecting with fellow bloggers.

The method is simple. Google a competitive keyword in your niche. Example; I Googled “blogging” to start my search.

I then clicked on the “image” link by the top of the page. A series of images popped up related to that keyword.

Some images link to business sites but for the “blogging” keyword, most images linked to well-read, reputable blogs. Perfect.

Blog by blog, I slowly worked through each image, clinking on the blog post URL related to each picture. After reading each post I published a personalized comment and retweeted every blog post, adding the #blogging hashtag for increased targeting on Twitter.

Why this Strategy Is So Powerful

I – like you – have run into stagnant blogging circles on social media and through forums. Even if new bloggers join sites like Facebook and G Plus daily you cannot access and unlimited number of new blogs on a daily basis through either channel once you become an established blogger.

This is not the case with a Google Image search because the sheer volume of new blogs – for competitive keywords – yielded through such a search boggles the mind. Even better? Ranking high for an image search usually indicates a high quality blog for reading, for commenting and for building friendships with top shelf bloggers.

Downsides

Some of these blogs linked to images are low quality offerings. Resist the urge to grab and scarf down rotten blogging low hanging fruit. Stick to quality blogs.

Some images point to business sites. I found this to be especially true when Googling major cities and islands around the world to find new travel bloggers. A high volume of images found during a search linked to tour operator sites. Sifting through tour sites or local chamber of commerce sites to find legit travel blogs requires a significant amount of time and energy.

Spending the time and energy to find new blogs is worth the effort but if you find some keyword image searches seem dominated by business sites – not blogs – feel free to try another keyword that may be linked to predominantly blogs for an image search on Google.

The Verdict

I only dove into this traffic driving strategy a few weeks ago but I noted new bloggers finding me daily through this approach.

If you are stagnating in familiar blogging circles commit 100% to this Google image search method. Reach out to new bloggers, build brand awareness and drive traffic through an easy to follow tactic.

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